Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it? Let’s visit with Out of the Frying Pan author Kelly Klepfer and ask her about her constant companions.
QPQ: Welcome, Kelly! Introduce us to the… *squee!*… hedgehogs you’re sharing with us.
KK: Daisy and Daffodil have been with us since the spring. The girls are still pups (uhhhh, piglets, uuuuhh hedgehoglets…. No… hoglets. There is room for interpretation over what they are called. Yes. I googled this.) We sought out hedgehogs because…. Well. Weird long story I’ll try to shorten.
I’ve loved hedgehogs from a distance ever since I was a little girl and I read Miss Jaster’s Garden. But I never thought I’d own one. My husband had a knee replacement which then got infected. As archaic as it sounds they literally removed the knee and left him without one, putting in a cement antibiotic ball-type spacer to help the healing process. Since he had no knee he was limited. He watched a lot of Netflix. There are reasons binge watching is not a good idea, pet obsession is one of them. Kidding. Anyway he watched one show in particular that was set in Europe where hedgies run wild. Tiggywinkles wild animal hospital in the UK rescues hedgehogs and adopt them out to folks who will give them a lovely backyard and possibly even a charming little hedgehog house. Oddly, it’s much more difficult to obtain a hedgehog here in the states. Many states have forbidden them. I believe this is due to the fact that in a milder climate their population might explode and we’d then be like the UK needing to rescue wild hedgehogs. In Iowa and Nebraska you have to be a certified breeder. And these cute little things are not inexpensive to purchase. So. As my husband’s want grew, I let our adult children know of the perfect Father’s Day gift. I also found a breeder who was running a spring sale. Our hoglets were almost a BOGO (buy one get one free).
They are inexpensive to feed, mostly, they eat high protein cat food and not much of it. In the wild they eat snakes and bugs so I would definitely recommend you adopt a few if you are in the UK. Surprisingly, they don’t smell as bad as hamsters and guinea pigs. I use shredded paper bedding. They have solid plastic wheels they run in and smooth large plastic bins they live in so their little toes don’t get caught and injured. Temperature seems to be the biggest concern most of the time. If they get chilled they can go into hibernation mode which will kill them so I run a ceramic heat source over their cages to keep them cozy. They also have micro fiber pineapple cozy tents that they spend 90% of their time in.
Are they sharp? Heck yeah! You know those wire grill brushes? That sharp. And they don’t like to be picked up. And they will be happy to live in cozy pineapples and eat the food you provide every day and then hiss and jump and puff and pout when you want to interact with them. The biggest thing to do to tame them is get over being scared and cuddle with them every day. I have sewn little snuggle bags that I slide them in hold every night so we bond.. You pick them up gingerly by sliding your hands up under them. If they are freaked out they are literally a ball of dried out Christmas tree needles, If you turn them over belly up they will eventually unroll and begin moving then walking around. Note: Walking around generally involves an initial poo session so be prepared. Once that’s over, it’s all good. Their tails pop out when they get ready to go so there is a bit of warning. Or you could put them in a large hamster ball and let them get it out of their system before cuddle time, but note there is much cleanup involved there, too.
If you’re fascinated with the idea of hedgehogs, go meet one first. Mine are not likely going to become internet sensations because I’m not going to be making them little hats and setting up cute tea party scenes. I might consider putting them in muffin tins, but I only have two. Daffodil is a little fuller figured and might be a bit of a huge muffin top.
QPQ: Wow. That’s quite the introduction to your hedgehogs! I hope your husband has made a full recovery. It’s clear that Daisy and Daffodil bring you both joy. Tell us how you came up with their names?
KK: I gave my husband suggestions. We had to do something alliteration-ish because we have the beagles, Gertrude and Gladys and it only seemed right. Miss Jaster’s Garden involved flowers and hedgehogs so I thought Daisy and Daffodil might be good choices. In the end the man on pain meds picked.
QPQ: Perfect! How do Daisy and Daffodil help you in your writing?
KK: Not in the least. Okay, they give me another angle to find metaphors or similes?
QPQ: Have you ever written one of your hedgehogs into a story?
KK: I have not yet. But who knows, there’s plenty of inspiration. Especially with character development.
QPQ: Tell us three things you and Daisy and Daffodil have in common.
KK: Oh, my if I could sleep in a cozy micro-fleece pineapple many hours of the day, I believe I would. Two, sometimes I get bristly but I’m a sweetheart once I unroll. Three, I can do a huffy puffy complaint session like nobody’s business. But once I’m over it I move on.
QPQ: Well said, Kelly! Thank you for visiting the Quid Pro Quills.
Kelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas . . . she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled Dregs, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons.