So I'm in the middle of assembling the Attention post, and suddenly I am seized with the desire to tell you about my hedgehog. This is probably not entirely coincidental.
Back in middle school somewhere, we acquired an African pygmy hedgehog. He came from a friend of a friend who was raising emus and had gotten hedgehogs as company for them, then discovered that either emus don't like hedgehogs or hedgehogs don't like emus (or something along those lines; I wasn't ever really clear on the hedgehog's precise origin). We did a little cursory research to determine things like what hedgehogs eat (Iams cat food) and when they are active (night) and took him on.
We had a variety of ideas about what to name him, so he wound up being called Eric(from the Monty Python sketch)-Erin(first four letters of the genus name of what is, upon checking wikipedia just now, entirely the wrong genus of hedgehog, but we didn't know that at the time)!(pronounced more or less as in "!Kung
"; a suggestion from our visiting grandmother)Ouch(I forget where that came from).
Our research had indicated that African pygmy hedgehogs made perfectly good, if somewhat shy, pets. Our research was wrong
. Eric was a cranky little bugger. When we got him, he had mange, which can't have helped his disposition. But we got that cleared up eventually, and he didn't improve at all. Eric-Erin!Ouch was made of prickles and spite. He had evil little vampire fangs, with which he could (and did) bite through gardening gloves. His favorite activity was gnawing the carpet while emitting copious quantities of foamy drool, then rubbing it into his skin. If disturbed, approached, or thought about, he made a noise something like a rattlesnake and something like a pot boiling over, raised all his prickles into sea-urchin-attack-mode, and shook threateningly at the nearest large object.
We never really bonded with him.
Eventually, Eric-Erin!Ouch went to live with my sibling's science teacher, who had a female hedgehog named Miss Moneypenny. Eric was renamed Q, and he and Miss Moneypenny lived happily under the carpet in their very own room.