Hedgehogs as Unlikely Pets

After a lazy afternoon of watching the Discovery channel’s Animal Planet, my wife, from out of nowhere, suddenly asked me if it was possible for us to have hedgehogs as pets. I first looked at her to see if she was awake and not dreaming and stuff as her question really was not ordinary. And upon seeing her perfectly lucid, I contemplated with my answer.

Do you want to have them honey was my answer to her. Really more like I passed the question back to her as I really do not know from where she was coming from, was that sort of a trick question for me or something? I thought we were getting that Bichon Poodle that we talked about last month honey, I added, half expecting her to remember and half expecting to hear a litany. But there was only silence.

Hedgehogs, for those of you who are not very familiar with them, like me a couple of hours ago, are small mammals the size of small kittens. They look very similar to small porcupines but the similarities end there as they are very much different in many ways.

One is the spikes on their bodies, with the porcupine ones being particularly hard and sometimes poisonous while the hedgehog quills are rather soft, pliable and somewhat hollow in the middle. With regards to their reactions to outside aggression, the porcupine releases their quills at their opponents leaving it stuck to whatever it is that aggravated them, while the hedgehog curls up into a ball, quill side up, and generally just hopes for the best.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures preferring to do their foraging at night and lives on makeshift nests, small openings in the ground, or any place where it is dark and tucked away from view. They are omnivores and eat whatever it is that they encounter be it small animals, insects, plants and fruits that litter the jungle floor. They generally keep to themselves and prefer solitary living.

But come to think of it, they do not make good kinds of pets with their seeming aloofness to other living things. The program that we were watching also filmed some hedgehogs in captivity, particularly in zoos and others as pets. The pet ones seemed to be much irritated when they were being handled by people and just scurry to their holes when released. Some even hissed and grunted on contact which further solidifies their wildness and seemingly untamable qualities.

I think they are a better fit in the wild instead of in cages as pets. We have many animals available for us to use as pets so why bother them in the first place. I also think keeping them is illegal in some states and carry a prison term if you are found in possession of one.

Now my problem is to how am I going to say all of those things to my wife? Maybe it’s just a passing whim of hers and does not have any concreteness to it. Anyways she’s already sleeping soundly now. Maybe she was bored silly by watching those hedgehogs on TV, such boring animals if I ever did see one. Let’s just hope she totally forgets about them when she wakes up.

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