Let The Tails Continue – Part 2

Before attending University, I also wrote a trilogy of stories, with my friend Poppy, the cat, about two baby hedgehogs called Itchee and Scratchee. The books were inspired by the hedgehogs that visit our garden on a nightly basis. We are lucky enough to see them from early spring through to the end of October or early November depending on the weather.

Four years ago we had two of the tiniest hoglets we had ever seen turn up on a freezing November night. We brought them inside and put them in a box with some cat food water and a blanket to keep them warm. Unfortunately, during the night, one of them died. The next day, however, another one arrived. We named them Itchee and Scratchee.

I then researched on the internet about how big they needed to be to survive the winter. Ideally they needed to weigh at least 750 grammes. We weighed Itchee and Scratchee on a kitchen scale and Itchee, the smallest one weighed only 110 grammes, whilst Scratchee weighed in at 230 grammes. There was no way that they would survive the winter outside so we decided to bring them into the house.

That evening we bought a rabbit hutch that we found on Gumtree from Tredegar in the next valley over. We cleaned it and put some straw in for bedding and placed it in our lounge next to the radiator. We also put some cat litter into the lid of an old shoe box, hoping that they would learn to use it. Fortunately, they were clever enough to do so. We fed them on wet cat food, crunchies and meal worms and a bowl of fresh water for them to drink. After a week they had doubled in size so we were obviously doing the right thing.

We kept blankets on top of the hutch which could be folded down to prevent them having too  much daylight. My friend Poppy, her kitten, Mini-me and her brother Tyger then decided to sleep on top of the hutch.

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One morning, when I looked in the hutch, there was a bright green lump of jelly in the litter tray. At first I thought it belonged to the boys, some sort of Alien Goo which they used to like playing with. I later found out it wasn’t, so I researched on the internet and found out it was a sign of intestinal worms. If left untreated, the hedgehogs could have died.

Once again, I returned to my computer and found a hedgehog hospital a few miles from our home, in Pontlanfraith. I rang them and they asked us to take them over as soon as possible. Itchee was infected but Scratchee needed treatment too because they had been caged together. After a series of antibiotic injections, they were kept in an incubator where they stayed until March. They were then released back into the wild.

hedgehog hospitalfor bookbaarbPopsBabyHedgehogsFramedfor book

Since then, our hedgehog population has thrived. We now have at least 15 seasonal visitors every night. They have their own plate of food which unfortunately the rats are partial to as well. We have seen a rat and a hedgehog sat side by side munching away many times. We have also gained a new black cat, Bagheera, Baghee for short, who is fascinated by our spiky friends. We are looking forward to the hedgehogs returning in the next fortnight. Last year the first ones were sighted on 16th March.

Baggy and Hedgehogs

All the books are available on Amazon – take a look by clicking on the images.

 

Return of the Hedgehogs

School for Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs book 2 long picture

Me and Poppy welcoming Itchee and Scratchee home.

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Baby Hoglets, drawn by the children of Deri Primary School and Lorna Card’s grandchildren (Tir Y Berth), and their new friends, the Owlet triplets, drawn by myself.

One evening, a couple of years ago, during the summer, we had a surprise. We were sat in the lounge, the back door was open, and we heard a strange scratching noise underneath the table. Upon investigation this is what we saw…Spiky on the books

A cheeky little hedgehog had made his/her way inside.

School For Hedgehogs – Last Book in the Hedgehog Trilogy

Finally, the last book in the hedgehog trilogy will be available on Amazon by Monday 11th November, which just happens to be Baarbaara’s 102’nd birthday.

Happy Birthday

 Summer is here, the weather is warm,

fourteen baby hedgehogs, have just been born.

 Itchee & Harriet gave birth today,

A celebration of life is on its way.

 Two little nests made from

Sheeps’ wool & leaves,

With fourteen soft skinned babies

enjoying the breeze.

 Their prickles will develop later in the day,

Then harden into proper spikes to keep them from prey.

 Tiny feet complete with claws,

 Little milk teeth

and very strong jaws.

In a few weeks they’ll go

hunting with their Mums,

foraging slugs and worms on their nightly runs.

This is what the baby hedgehogs look like after just three weeks……

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Hedgehog Rescue saving Itchee & Scratchee now available on Kindle

Click here to purchase Saving Itchee & Scratchee Kindle version

The cover for the new book Saving Itchee & Scratchee

Left Out in the Cold

 

Two baby hoglets, left out in the cold,

Poor little dwts, they’re not very old.

Their Mam and Dad

have gone to sleep for the winter,

So Scratchee must look after

His little sister,

Itchee’s her name, and she is so small,

Only about two inches tall.

Scratchee must find a place to

keep her warm,

Somewhere they won’t come

To any harm,

Where there’s plenty of water,

And some food for them too,

They need help very soon,

But help from who?

Hedgehogs are back..

Hibernation is over the hedgehogs have been turning up every evening for food, there are two so far, last year we had 2 adults and 3 babies, then another 3 babies after the bigger ones had hibernated, we brought them i as they were tiny, unfortunately one died in the night and the other two went to hedgehog hospital for the winter months, one was very poorly, but the volunteers at the hedgehog hospital in Pontlanfraith gave her antibiotics and injections to get rid of intestinal worms.

Hedgehogs need to be a  minimum of 750gms to survive the winter, the tiny one that died was approx 80gms, then 160gms and 220gms which is incredibly small and the people at the hospital were very surprised that they’d survived at all.

Image

 This is the bigger of the two who survived nicknamed Scratchee.

Also Hedgehogs DO NOT have fleas, it is a total MYTH, they have mites which are host specific and can be treated easily by the vet or with powder used for birds.