It was basically the best drug deal ever, and it happened in a Petsmart parking lot. First there were years of dreaming, and then there were weeks of searching, and then there were months of waiting, and then at last there were hours of driving, and then there were moments of eating lunch at Five Guys and wandering around Target and Michaels because we were in the right shopping center but too early for the rendezvous.
And then it was time, and the white Dodge Caliber we were waiting for arrived. The guy we’d been texting with but had never met got out, said hello, and opened up the trunk of his car.
And there she was, in a Tupperware lined with wood shavings—our tiny six-week-old hedgehog April. Dodge Caliber Guy (we still don’t know his name) took her up and put her without ceremony into my hands. I’d tried to imagine what it would feel like to hold her, but I was totally unprepared for her soft little velvet tummy, her tiny little feet, her baby nose sniffing tiny baby sniffs.
Then we paid, and the guy drove away, and the deal was done, and April was ours to keep.
Pause for anyone who’s confused, because I’ve talked to many who are: hedgehogs are nothing like porcupines. Hedgehogs have harmless spines that feel a bit like toothbrush bristles. They’re shy and sweet and more adorable than I can express here. Several years ago I stumbled over some pictures of them on the Internet, learned they were pets, and promptly became obsessed. Cozy, quiet, and easily startled—they’re basically the hobbits of the animal world. I’ve wanted one ever since.
We were expecting April to be, you know, cute and stuff, but the actual level of her cuteness is astounding. She loves to cuddle with whoever is holding her for a nap when she is sleepy. Sometimes she sticks her tiny tongue out and then opens her mouth in a big, big yawn. Her tiny crunches when she’s eating her food are too adorable for words. And if she accidentally puts her nose too far into her water while she’s drinking, she (wait for it) sneezes. I thought I already knew what cuteness was in the world. I found out I was wrong about that as soon as I witnessed tiny baby hedgehog sneezes.
In four months, she’ll have filled out with fur on her face and stomach, and she’ll be full size—about the size of a softball. But for now, her soft baby-skin is almost bare, and she fits happily in the palm of my hand.
It’s been a crazy life-season (did I mention I’ve got a fiancé now?), but regular posts are on their way again. More art, more writing, more coffee, more story-loving. And now there’ll be hedgehog posts, too, especially since several people have asked for updates as she grows from the tiny baby she is now.
I’m told the cardinal rule of blogging is to keep your blog to one general subject matter. I’d already failed at that, but now by adding hedgehogginess I think I’ve nailed my coffin shut. I don’t really mind. I hope you don’t, either.
Oh yeah, and in case anyone’s interested, April is a snowflake hedgehog, which means when her fur comes in it will be mostly white, and her spines will get lighter and lighter. And we got her through Tanglefoot Hedgehogs, a breeder I can’t recommend highly enough. (Check them out!) Dodge Caliber Guy, if you ever see this, thanks for being so awesome.
It’s good to be back on WordPress. I’ve missed it. Thanks for stopping by—hope you have a lovely weekend!