Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mayhap I am drawn to defective things...

I have a literal fuckton of things to cross off of my "to do" list, so naturally, in my overwhelmed state, I am not doing any of it.  Rather, I am blogging.  That's how I roll.  I make huge lists of all of the things that I need to accomplish to the point that there's no possible way I can do it all, resign myself to failure on a grand scale and either take a nap or drink more coffee.

What's more... last night, I began to wonder if I was similarly attracted to failure in others.  Not necessarily romantically, which, let's face it, is a whole different bucket of failure, but just in general.  Maybe I identify with it, who knows?  These realizations came to me while I was playing "Explorers!" with Finnegan and he seemed to have resigned himself to failure whilst exploring a cardboard tube, and took a nap.

In case more explanation is necessary, I have a pet hedgehog.  Finny is almost 7 months old, and he is probably the cutest thing that has ever existed.  He is, however, a rotten bastard.  He has a terrible temperament.  He huffs and growls, he's anti-social and the only things that he likes are food and sleep.  (I think he was like this before I got him, for all of you who think I go around breaking hedgehogs willy-nilly.)

When I moved to Seattle from California, I knew I had to get one.  I've wanted a hedgehog since I was very little, but they're illegal in California, so immediately upon my arrival, I did my research and spoke with a very lovely woman whose hedgehog was about to have hoglets and promptly reserved myself a little pincushion of joy.  The day that I went to pick him up, she had told me that one other owner had backed out at the last minute and I could choose between two males.  She handed me one, a teeny little thing no bigger than my palm, and immediately, he tried to eat my sweatshirt and crawl in my sleeve for a nap.  It was love.  I didn't need to see the other one--this was my Finny.  I've done plenty of research into hedgehog behavior and ownership, but it was clear to me very early on that Finny was not the typical hedgie pet.  He doesn't like the treats that most hedgehogs do.  He doesn't like the toys or activities that most hedgehogs do.  He just seems content to sit in my lap, wander around the carpet and cause trouble by chewing on things, and eat his kibble.

I've strived for hedgehog excellence.  I set up obstacle courses for playtime.  I've tried to give him every delicious hedgehog treat imaginable--even pulled the legs off of a cricket for him so that it didn't jump out of his cage.  No dice.  He likes what he likes and is not won over by fancy toys or delicious bits.  So, last night, while playing "Explorer!" where I create tunnels of blankets for him to crawl through, I tried one...last...time... to get him interested in some kind of toy.  It was a cardboard tube that used to house a candle and was just big enough for him to fit in.  He sniffed around, crawled in halfway (YES!  I've succeeded!  He wants to play!) and fell asleep, ass-up.  Sigh.  Failure achieved.

When he woke up, he crawled around the carpet and found some stray corn flakes, chewed them up and wiped them all over his spines.  Now he smells like breakfast cereal and I'm beginning to wonder if he isn't "special."  Not that I would love him any less, in fact, probably more, but it might make sense that he's missing a cute, little chromosome and perhaps I was drawn to him because when all is said and done, I just want to accept my failures gracelessly, eat something, and take a nap, too.

With my semi-deformed, oddly colored Beta (bought specifically because he wasn't as pretty as the other Betas and I felt a swell of love for the not-so-pretty fish that might get left behind) that I named Merrick, after the Elephant Man, the three of us make a pretty strange household.  Maybe it's weird, but I'm a very devoted pet owner, once almost reduced to tears in Petco because when Merrick had tail rot and I came in looking for fish antibiotics, the fish guy looked at me strangely and suggested that I just buy another fish.  "They're like, $5.  Betas don't last long, anyway."  "That doesn't mean Merrick doesn't deserve a fighting (ha, pun) chance!  He is my responsibility, and as long as he is, he will have a safe, happy home."  Even if he is the ugly duckling of fish.  Even if Finny is... odd.  In the end, no one is perfect, but that doesn't mean any one of us deserves any less love.

So, I guess I fail at a LOT of things, but I think when it comes to the important stuff, I'm pretty solid.

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