Wednesday, 10 August 2011
THE RABBIT, THE HEDGEHOG, AND THE HEN THAT WASN'T
Usually I transport cats in the shop van. Sometimes but not often, if Phil isn't available, it may be a dog. I've also picked up a rabbit. This time, three animals from three different species were in need of re-homing at the same time and Tracy of Tendercare Cattery at Burnhope (see several previous posts) was willing to take them all. She wanted the rabbit as company for a pet guinea pig, the hedgehog because she wanted one as a pet, and the hen because she has several already and likes free range eggs.
The rabbit was a bog standard pet rabbit. A no-frills bunny and, to my limited knowledge of rabbits, quite a lively one.
I had to pick up the hedgehog from John Paul who owns JP Pet Supplies on the other side of the river at Fulwell and who delivers large bags of cat litter to Carol. Why anyone would want a hedgehog as a pet, I had no idea, nor why it wasn't just dumped in the wild at an appropriate safe place. But then I hadn't seen it. Because it wasn't just your ordinary British hedgehog most commonly seen squashed on country roads or, recently, ambling up my street in a still-light early evening. No, it was an-
African Pigmy Hedgehog
And not just an ordinary African Pigmy Hedgehog but an albino African Pigmy Hedgehog. Apparently APHs, which come in various colours, are bred as pets. We had this one due to family problems of which I'm aware but am not going to write about. It reminds me of a spiny sea urchin.
Now the hen was rescued by Gary, Carol's ally over at Bunnyhill. He'd found it in a bedraggled state in someone's back garden. And, as with the hedgehog, it didn't look quite how I imagined.
So off I went with the rabbit, the African Pigmy hedgehog, and the hen driving through Durham City and up into the hills beyond to the village of Burnhope.
When I arrived, I was assaulted by her two dogs.
But in a nice way.
Tracy told me the hen wasn't a hen but a cockerel which she hadn't wanted as her others would gang up and kill it. However, as it's a young cockerel she thinks they might be okay. It's also of some fancy breed, the name of which she couldn't quite remember. She put it and the rabbit temporarily in a cat pen. A second after the photo below was taken, the bird pecked the curious rabbit on the top of the head.
And that's all folks.