Stella, may I meet Valentine and Popcorn?

11:58 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may.
Today I would like to introduce you to my fish and hedgehog. Valentine is my pet fish. He was a Valentine's Day gift from Mister. Hmm... I wonder how Valentine got his name... Anyways, originally Mister was trying to find a hedgehog for Valentine's Day, but, if you read Oswald's post, then you would know I am set on having my pets a certain color. So, we didn't find a hedgie by Valentine's Day and instead we drove down to Petsmart (on Valentine's Day, 10 minutes before closing time) for a betta fish.

We keep Valentine housed in an old pickle jar with some glass beads. I would suggest fish owners to have some beads or rocks at the base of the tank/jar. Fish can appear brighter when they are against a darker background. The beads also prevent uneaten food and waste from floating when your fish is swimming. (Just make sure the beads are safe for your fish.)
I wish I could say Mister and I just drove down to the pet shop to get a hedgehog, but in actuality the process was similar to Oswald's. Hedgehogs are considered exotic animals and no big box pet shops carry the special license to sell them. So once again we resorted to craigslist. Most domestic pet hedgehogs are either White-bellied or Algerian. Both of the terms are used to identify the species and color category. I know it's confusing but in the end it doesn't really matter. Domestic hedgehogs have been interbred and finding a pure bred hedgehog, or pure bred anything for that matter, is really difficult. For those that insist on knowing, white-bellied species generally have smaller bodies, shorter noses, and smaller ears. Algerian species have larger bodies, longer noses, and larger ears. The Algerian colored hedgies have a distinguished eye or cheek patch. See below. Other than that the coloring will then depend on the colors of their spines and bands. The Algerian colored hedgies below have cream colored spines with dark brown bands.

I wanted one with lighter colored spines/bands and without a dark mask on its face. A lot of times, lighter colored hedgies would be classified as albino and would have red beady eyes. I didn't want one with red eyes. That would just scare me every time the hedgie looked at me. So because I am silly picky (not species picky), it made the search longer.  Mister and I searched across multiple states, multiple times a day. We eventually found a seller over one month after Valentine's Day. The seller didn't post any pictures but claimed to have a lighter colored one without red eyes. It made me and Mister wary to pick the baby hedgie up, but at this point we were tired from searching and we decided we should just drive out and see the baby hedgie.
We drove to Greenville, South Carolina, met tiny Popcorn, and we just had an instant connection. Hedgehogs are sensitive to smell and will avoid anything that is unpleasant or unfamiliar. When Popcorn was placed into my hands, he just got comfortable and fell asleep. Popcorn was born February 14, 2015. It was as if he was meant to be a Valentine's Day present, and I just had to wait until he was weaned to take him home.
This is Popcorn's first car ride and he was surprisingly calm. Hedgehogs like to huff when they get nervous (making it hard to take a clear picture.) When he huffs, he pops! (Like kernels when making popcorn.)

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