Matilda ‘Pig’ Marshall
It was inevitable.
Ever since our dear little cat Chimney went to join the great mouse hunt in the sky we have been hankering after a new pet, but family arrangements and the knowledge that we would be upping sticks and moving house have curtailed our efforts. However as soon as our sticks were firmly down again the hunt began.
Of course everyone that knows us will be aware that our pet of choice is a dog. We all love dogs and can’t wait to have a big ball of fun to muck about with, but the estate agent isn’t convinced that the landlady will be too keen on us having a dog, and as it turns out that she lives next door we decided to wait a while and see how the land lies. She seems perfectly lovely and terribly amenable and I think a dog will be on the cards soon, but in the meantime we NEEDED a pet so we scaled our thoughts down and went browsing.
The choice of pets here is bewildering and much googling had to be done, I mean everybody knows about guinea pigs and rabbits, but we came across animals we’d never even heard of! The sugar glider came under serious consideration, right up until we learned it peed on it’s owners on a regular basis and ‘barked’ through the night. We toyed with an iguana, but the fact that they can grow up to 2 meters long was off putting. The nail in the lizards metaphorical coffin was the fact that, as a rule, they do not get along with dogs.
We had seen hedgehogs, and ‘awwed’ at their cuteness, but when I saw a lady in the market stroking one on her knee the idea became firmly planted. The next time we happened to pass by the pet shop we wandered in and asked for a look. We had decided to get a boy hog, ( who I had already mentally named ‘Pig’), and asked if we could have a hold of one. The owner delved into a box of tiny hedgies and deposited the cutest ball of prickles in my hand. It uncurled immediately and started snuffling at my fingers, then it looked me in the eye and I was smitten. Unfortunately it turned out that this one was a girl, so a boy was duly sourced and given to me while Matilda ( yes I know we weren’t getting a girl, but tell that to my head who had already given her a name), still remained uncurled and was gazing at small person. Already you can see that this hog knew how to play the ‘pick me’ game. Not a hint of a face could be seen from boy hog as he stubbornly refused to uncurl, even when he was put down again he remained in his defensive posture. A family decision was swiftly made and Matilda was coming home with a box full of accessories.
Her initial friendliness and curiosity has continued out as she has made herself a firm fixture. She was done a perimeter check on the living room and seems satisfied with her new surroundings, she has gotten to know us all through sniffing and nibbling, and in hubbys case a friendly savaging, and seems content enough to sit on our knees on her blanket without trying to run away ( most of the time ). I’ve even managed her first bath ( warm water, baby shampoo and a soft toothbrush to clean the prickles in case you are wondering ) which went rather well considering it was her first. The after bath snuggle when she curled herself around my finger and peered out at me from under a much furrowed brow was enough to melt even the coldest of hearts.
So as you can see I’m totally smitten and my social network timelines are already stuffed with more photos than a new mother posts of her newborn, but I shall try and contain myself ( not going to happen ), you can expect a lot more Matilda love here as well. You have been warned.
But it’s been at least 20 minutes since I sat in front of her box and watched her sleeping so it’s time to go and get my fix.
P.S. I am fully aware that we have moved to a wonderful and vibrant city with lots of exciting new adventures, and there will be posts aplenty very soon I promise. But be reasonable, we have a hedgehog.