When I found the hedgehog baby, 19th October, 47 day ago, it weighed 180 grams, it was weak, stinking, undernourished and possibly had eaten something wrong or poisonous.
Now we have reached 600 grams, it's a young lady now and I call her Erina, derived from latin word Erinaeus for hedgehog aka urchin.
I got the impression it's a female and I found the prove on her belly side.
Erina loves to swim, she has a very healthy appetite, she 'prefers' both, cheap wet catfood but also expensive dry hedgehog delicatessen and drinks lots of water.
Daytime is spent with sleeping, dozing, from time to time coming out of the nest to look if there's still food and water, tasting here and there, taking a long nap after the air circulation has been adjusted thoroughly to her actual needs.
But after midnight it's disco time! Erina slowly sneaks out of her hiding.
She then starts to run around trying to escape just for curiosity to search what's to be found elsewhere. Then she returns to her food rations with a huge appetite, yummy yimmy, sipping water, taking a little digestion sleep and then again physical exercises on schedule, wild nightly work-outs and, the way urchins are, shitting and peeing all over the place! A big mess every morning! Good appetite, human!
This was the sober part of the story,
now have a look at the esoteric part of
Living with Erina
sometimes makes me feel as if she sends me brainwaves,
if she needs some change in her flat,
if she wants more food or more water,
if she happens to escape, gets into trouble and can't get back
then she hides in a way where she can easily be found and retrieved.
She squeezed herself through a slot so narrow you would not expect it.
She wraps paper and plastic foil to build kind of stairways.
She covers her food with paper or drags it out of sight to prevent theft! LOL!
She arranges the circulation of air by forming tunnels with what material she has at hand, better say 'at claw'.
She makes her sleeping couch most comfortable by rearranging stuff
and then she lays down in a way she can observe her hallway.
When she dislikes something, for example when I offered her a little variety of cheese, meat and sausage, she put a heap of shit on it and when I tried to see what she prefers and gave her two small cups of dry food, she put a big heap of shit on the second cup where she expected to have her muchly liked wet cat food.
You see, Erina communicates with me in unmistakeable terms!
She loves to be caressed with my finger tip between her eyes, striking from the little snout back to the neck, she enjoys it very much and holds still for a while, then she's murmuring something in urchin language, stretches out her tongue and makes smacking sounds - to remind me of food donations?
One day when the night went deeply cold, she dragged her sleeping box to the opposite warmer corner, she had folded the insulation mats and then put two small plates one into the other and then put the two plates above the folded mats and then placed her sleeping box on top - so well-adjusted, well-fitting, amazing! When I saw this in the morning I was deeply moved and it made me smile, so brainy, so artful and busy she had worked.
A few days ago while I left Erina in the shower basin unattended she pulled the rubber plug, but that's not all, on the photos I have taken then, I realized while reviewing a picture series, that the nails on the small fingers of her front legs have been broken and I had no clue how this could have happened because it was only the two outer fingers equally on the left and right front leg ...
the most probabale answer to the riddle:
this morning when cleaning the basin I saw that - imagine! - the screw in the middle was missing from its hole and put aside ... shocking, unbelievable!
Could it be? Erina so astute, so crafty? The bolt must have been a little bit loose already, so she unscrewed the bolt and then tried very hard to remove the round sieve when she apparently broke her outer front nails (which will re-grow of course).
Nobody told this cute little creature anything about technical things and it behaves in such a surprisingly intelligent manner in an untypical unlearnt surrounding.
Do you know the tale of Footrace between the Hedgehog and the Hare?
Remember who wins? It's the hedgehog couple, because it's cunning and more clever than the rabbit running in vain.
Here's two pics of Erina taken 3rd December 2010.