Archive for February, 2011


Exposure therapy with hedgehogs!

Hi! Sorry about the lack of writing. Lots of exciting new things going on in my life. For example, as of Friday….boyfriend and I have a pet hedgehog! Awesome!

 

What a cute little fella!

Taken back in October by his previous owner!

Isn’t he an adorable little guy? But there was one concern we had. The little guy was terrified of us! He had a little blankie we have him to hide from the evil light overlords while he slept all day (hedgehogs are nocturnal), and he would venture out occasionally, but if anyone made a noise or got too close or he noticed we were looking at him, he’d run away! And if you uncovered him, he’d curl up into a spiky ball and huff at you until you left him alone.

This made us sad. Very sad. We had a hedgehog, but he seemed to actively hate us! We then went to the internet, holder of all secrets. It told us that hedgehogs are naturally afraid of everything and to not take it personally, essentially, with a few tips on how to make the hedgehog love you. That didn’t work so well for boyfriend. He wanted hedgie love NOW, and he was going to get it.

He remembered that they had been talking about exposure therapy and flooding in his abnormal psychology class, and wanted to try it himself with the hedgehog, to see if it would work. So, boyfriend convinced me that we should take out his hiding blanket, and see if he would calm down and walk around. And he did. After he calmed down from spiky ball, he walked around, sniffing everything, seeing if he could find his blankie. Nope, no blankie. He then played with his woven tube and a super big toilet paper tube that I managed to get from campus (they have big toilet paper rolls, and I like to get them for my mice sometimes if I notice an empty one, because they make cuddle piles in it and they’re so cute.). Ate a little. I put my hand in there and he came up to me and touched my hand with his nose. So cute.

He even willingly came out of his cage onto the bed with us (we had put his cage on the bed for this reason). I helped him out a little (his tube was a bit too steep of an incline for him) , and then he was climbing all over the bed. He was even sitting on my lap looking up at me for a moment or two. I was so happy. He got annoyed after I wouldn’t let him off the towel (when he pees, apparently he pees a LOT. So, did not want pee or poo on the bed!) so we let him back in the tank and gave him back his blankie. But even after we gave him back the blankie, he still kept coming out and hanging out in his cage without hiding.

I really wish I had a hedgie safe apartment, because they can run free if given the proper environment. And you can even litter train them, which I’m planning on starting later today. And I’m going to make him some fleece liners, so it stays nice and warm in there, so that the bedding won’t go all over the apartment like like it does with the mice, and it’ll look nicer AND be more environmentally friendly AND save me money, so that I’ll only need to buy him food, not bedding. There’s a blue and white sky looking color, and a purple one with multicolored elephants all over it. They’re wicked easy to use….put ’em in the tank at the bottom, afterwords, shake ’em out and throw ’em in the washing machine! Really convenient, especially if I manage to litter train him. 🙂

As for the name…it hasn’t been decided yet. He came to me with the name Taji. I had seen a typo or something somewhere and thought his name was Haji. Boyfriend keeps calling him Hejifer. And I want to name him Moridin or Rand (Wheel of Time FTW!). Which one he gets referred to as changes based on our mood at the time. He won’t learn his own name, from what I can tell, so it doesn’t seem pressing. Right now I’m still in shock that I really have a hedgehog that lives with me, it’s so cute!

But, I will bid thee all adieu. I’m trying out something new that will make it so that I will have more frequent blog posts, so expect more posts this week!

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In leiu of finishing the more “serious” posts I have in draft mode, I’m going to share a cute story with you that happened a few weeks ago…

So, I have six pet mice. Ghost, who is grey and white, Lanfear, who is an albino, Padawan, Bastilla, and unnamed (I haven’t figured out what to call her yet) which are various different combinations of being mostly brown with a white bottom and white patches on the top, and “Crackmouse”, who has a real name but i always call her by her nickname because it fits so well, who is black and white.

It started, as most things do, with boyfriend and I watching a movie. All of a sudden, I see movement near the mouse tank that catches my eye. I turn on the light next to the bed…and see crackmouse on top of the tank! Oh dear! So I go over there to try to fix this, because I didn’t want her to get out and get caught somewhere, because our apartment isn’t really “mouse friendly”.  So, I slowly walk over there…and I manage to get her in my hands… but since I wasn’t able to catch her tail, she was able to slip out of my hands (mice are contortionists, I swear) and ended up on the floor.

Fuck.

So, the race to get my adorable little mouse back in her tank before something horrible happened had begun! First she was near the heater. I didn’t want her near that, because there’s a bit of a hole around where the heat comes in that she could get down and get who knows where. But I knew the room itself was near the upper limit of comfortable mouse temperatures, and figured that the metal heater was a lot hoter, so I defended the hole while trying to shoo her to boyfriend, who was trying to catch her. By hand, unfortunately. He failed, and mousie-puu got under his desk, and then ran under my dresser! Oh no! No way to get her out without hurting her besides luring her out, because the dresser is heavy and tipping it on its side would scare the mouse, making her potentially go anywhere!

Then, I came up with a brilliant solution: Peanut butter! Contrary to popular myth, a mouse’s favorite food is not cheese. Baiting mouse traps (hopefully the kind that you can use to not hurt them and release them into the wild later…I cringe whenever I think of snapping mouse traps now…) with peanut butter will get you a LOT further. So, I made sure the floor in front of my dresser was clean, and smeared some peanut butter on the floor in front of the dresser, because she couldn’t run out the sides. When she came out, boyfriend attacked, trying to trap her in tupperware, but alas, she was too fast! She ran into a corner next to my dresser, populated by a safe, which, while moveable, but we didn’t want to move it because it made it harder for her to get out from where we had her trapped. Boyfriend put the jar of peanut butter on one side, the tupperware on the other, and used a stick to shoo her towards the peanut butter. When she got close enough to smell it, she went over, took a few tentative licks at it….and then walked right in (it was a somewhat used jar of peanut butter…maybe half full at best?) Boyfriend siezed the opportunity, and picked up the jar and put the cap on it (not twisted shut…just clapped it on top and held it there…) I quickly carried it back to the tank, and proceeded to count the mice….there were two still missing! Oh no, half of my mice escaped!

So, there was much swearing, and trying to figure out what happened. Ended up discovering that when I had been feeding them earlier, I had left a piece of plastic askew. It was just enough so that the mice could climb to the top of the water bottle and then jump and grab the plastic and climb up. I never would have thought they could make it, but obviously I was wrong.

The search for the remaining two mice continued, for I did not want to have to buy mouse traps of any sort, and getting a mouse trap for my own mice seemed kinda silly. My mouse tank is on a shelf. There are two shelves, a lower one and an upper one, and under the upper one, there’s a rod that I can use to hang my clothes, because the only closet we have is a small coat closet. We started moving the clothes, because we figured we’d start near where the mice lived and move out. Bastilla ended up being caught up in my hoodie. We quickly trapped her in the hood and let her out back in the tank. We went through all my hanging clothes and still couldn’t find the unnamed one…until I started putting the clothes back. She was crawling around on my kimono. So cute! Trapped her up in it and let her out. At that point,. I went and rearranged all their toys and messed up their bedding, because they mark territory and I wasn’t sure how long the other two mice had been missing. They freaked out. The one who freaked out the most was Crackmouse. She was shaking and jumping all over the place even before I messed up the bedding. Then I moved the bedding, and they all acted like that, except Crackmouse was the worst by far, jumping all over the place instead of walking, seeming incapable of standing still…it was funny and somehow adorable.

Thankfully, no mice escapes have happened since then, due to vigilance on my side. But I wish I could let the mice run free. They’re so cute, and I feel like they’d be less scared of me holding them if they were always around me like that. But they’d escape, or get into something they weren’t supposed to get into, or end up accidentally getting stepped on in the middle of the night….

But, still, it breaks my heart when I’m looking at them through the glass and it’s little nose goes all twitchy and then puts her little paw, that looks almost like a little hand, up against the glass…and then I put my finger, about the size of her paw, up against the glass. They’re too cute for their own good. It makes me feel conflicted. On one hand, I give them food, water, shelter, clean bedding, and enough heat to make sure they stay nice and warm and happy. But on the other hand…they like trying to escape. Is it okay to cage something for its own good? The only way they wouldn’t be caged was if I let them free, but they’ve lived in the tank too long to survive in the wild and I would never see my lovable mice ever again….

Oh well. I’m probably just overthinking it. I’m off to play with them. Ta.

Welcome to Let’s Cook with Momo: Unhealthy college student special!

So, I haven’t talked about it much on this blog, but I like to cook. As a matter of fact, I more often than not end up being the main cooker of the food. I realized that I hadn’t made any food posts yet when I made the monstrosity I made the past few days. But first, allow me a bit of back story…

Like most places in New England, it snowed here. A lot. The problem is, when you grow up in New England, they’re always telling you that this next storm is the snow storm to end all snow storms, and then you sometimes end up with a snow day. It’s bad to drive in the mornings, by noon it’s alright, and everyone just goes around laughing about how horrible it was supposed to be.

This time, they weren’t kidding. I think Snowacolypse covers it pretty well. I mean, we still had utilities, but going outside was a losing venture, even if you were walking. The sidewalks were barely cleared, cars were swerving…and this lasted for about two days.

I was hungry. And going to the store was not an option. I wasn’t going to walk there, and I wasn’t going to ask anyone to drive in that. So, I looked around my kitchen to see what I could find.

Without anymore ado, I will commence with the recipe…

Here’s what you’ll need:

French fries (I used the frozen kind, but I imagine any kind will work..)

Cheese (I used cheddar, but, again, I imagine most cheeses would work…)

Half a pound of bacon

A chicken breast or two

Marinade

Salt and pepper

 

First, cut the chicken breasts into bits and put it in the marinade., unless you want crispy chicken. If you want crispy chicken, I can’t help you much…

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees farenheit. Put uncooked, frozen fries onto a cookie sheet, or, preferably, a similarly shaped pan, with sides. Cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes or so.

While fries are cooking, fry up the bacon. Make sure it gets nice and super crispy, but don’t burn it. Now fry up the chicken until it’s cooked all the way through as well. Mmmm.

Once the fries are done (they should be nice and warm, and crispy nut not too crunchy) take them out of the oven, but don’t turn the oven off, otherwise you’ll have to wait for preheating again. Shred some cheddar cheese on top…about a third of what you intend to use for the entire thing. Then break up the crispy crunchy bacon and spread that all over the fries and cheese. Then add more cheese. Then comes the chicken. Mmmm, chicken. Then…you guessed it…more cheese! Throw it back in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and super gooey. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

And there you have it. My camera is currently not working, so no pictures this time, but hopefully I’ll be able to work something out for next time!

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