A couple of days ago, the prairie dogs were banging on the cage a lot (as they do — see the previous set of videos) and it was bugging TW. She thought it would be a good idea to give them something to play with. I thought it might be a good idea to kill her.
Yea, they are cute but… it’s hard to get work done like this.
Hard for me, not them… they got a whole lot done.
(Prince J once said these were the quietest pets we’ve ever owned. We joke about it all of the time because these girls — not quiet. SO. NOT. QUIET.)
A few minutes later…
And this is why TW often works in the bedroom. And why I am rarely at my desk during phone calls.
First, we tried a dog kennel but Wilma tried to hang herself with that within a couple of hours.
Next, we tried a pet store cat cage but the three girls destroyed that one in just a few months.
After that, we tried a small animal cage which lasted almost a year. The rust was beginning to be a problem, as was the fact that they are all three very good at getting stuck in the little holes that
hold held the ramps in place. Loss of toes/feet/legs was not something we were interested in experiencing more of.
So, we have a new cage. It’s big and it caused quite a commotion today. All three have been very busy exploring it (trying to break it) and getting things all set up the way they want them.
Let’s hope this one lasts. And nobody loses a limb.
Early last week, Wilma got her foot caught under a ramp in her cage. She screamed – a lot. TW finally was able to release her from the ramp, but not before Wilma had been hanging upside down by one foot.
The foot — it was an ugly, bloody, swollen mess.
I called around to find a vet who would be able to see her quickly and had the distinct displeasure of speaking to one very rude receptionist before I found the very nice people at Midwest Exotic Animal Hospital.
The doctor who saw Wilma has two prairie dogs of her own, how fabulous is that. The doctor who saw Wilma prescribed some antibiotic, some painkiller, and will see her again next week to determine whether she needs to have some toes amputated (probably.) In the meantime, the vet said… keep her from being too active, keep her from climbing, keep her with her siblings.
How the hell were we going to do that? Three prairie dogs in a single level environment? We tried some tall, large rubbermaid bins. Wilma escaped quickly. We tried the bathtub. Wilma escaped, not quickly but picture her using her siblings for leverage. Yea, that wasn’t going to work.
So Michelle and I bought a big trash bin for the three to sleep in together at night and when nobody is available to watch them in the playpen (the playpen with bars that Wilma got herself stuck between a couple of days ago while trying to escape and the playpen Pebbles, the really fat lazy one, has figured out how to escape from now.)
Wilma, in particular, does not love this trash bin. The other girls will happily bed down as soon as they’re placed inside. Wilma… not so much.
I’m pretty sure she’s going to launch herself out of the bin, at 3am, and wake me up by biting my toes.
She doesn’t look like she’s in pain, does she?
Wilma let them all out – and they all ran for the dog food.
Wilma learned how to open her cage. When I say learned, I mean LEARNED. It wasn’t a one-time accidental opening, it was a full-fledged, I can open this any time I want type of learned. She was roaming around the house, TW put her back in her cage and closed the door. 15 minutes later, she was out roaming around again. TW put her back and I sat here at my desk, reading blogs and watching her open the cage over and over again. (Each time she opened it, I got up and closed it.) I started telling her to cut it out, as she’d go back to open it – and she’d stop. Finally, she wandered away from the cage door and I forgot about her. Until she got out again.
I tried to call her over, like TW does – she took one look at me and ran the other way. So I started walking behind her, calling TW to come get her and then she noticed me and turned around and CHASED ME. I yelled for TW to save me – she did but guess what. Wilma got out again. And this time the others noticed she was free and that she’d left the cage door open for them.
TW rounded them all up – evil Betty was not pleased with this and I stayed well clear until TW had safely scooped her up in a towel and plopped her back inside. Then we went looking for something to keep the darn cage door closed. TW tried some sort of plastic hook that I’m pretty sure the Prairie Dogs will eat through in about three days – which is fine since it’s stuck on there and we can’t get it off. But it won’t keep Wilma from opening the cage and shoving through the space available to her. So, TW got a heavy duty padlock and wedged it onto the door. She wedged it so well that we couldn’t get it off – or the door open. After about ten minutes, we finally jerked it free and replaced it a little more loosely. Wilma can still get that cage open but not enough to slither through – we hope.
I wish I’d had the camera close by when she first discovered the padlock. She rattled that thing so hard, I thought she was going to break the cage. Here’s a video, from a few minutes later, of her trying to figure out how to outsmart the padlock – and us.