Ron Jeremy is nicknamed the Hedgehog
September 1, 2006 4:37 AM   Subscribe

When they aren't collecting rings, or defeating the lids of McFlurries, hedgehogs are fine little creatures. Remember your precious Groundhog Day? Where do you think the inspiration for that came from? That's right. After you realize just how cool hedgehogs are, you can't help but making one of those spiny bastards a pet. Just make sure it isn't illegal where you live.
posted by QuarterlyProphet (45 comments total)
I was going to get a hedgehog for my NYC apartment (Man Be Damned!) but then I realized I wouldn't be able to get a vet.

Interestingly enough, hedgehogs are banned under the same law that bans coyotes and tigers. Way to paint with a fine brush, guys.
posted by ®@ at 4:57 AM on September 1, 2006

What? A whole thread on hedgehogs and Numo doesn't get a mention?
posted by j-dawg at 5:11 AM on September 1, 2006

A friend of my wife had a hedgehog for a while. Very cute, but after the novelty of having one wears off, they're not all that great as a pet. Better than a guinea pig, I suppose, but not by much
posted by briank at 5:31 AM on September 1, 2006

®@ writes "Interestingly enough, hedgehogs are banned under the same law that bans coyotes and tigers."

If it had the chance, that hedgehog would kill you and everyone you care about!

Just kidding. They're really cute.
posted by clevershark at 5:52 AM on September 1, 2006

posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:03 AM on September 1, 2006

A friend of mine had a hedgehog. She let it run free, and it pooped all over the damn place. Yucky. But incredibly cute. And I love this line from the Reuters article:

Up to now the opening in the container has been large enough for hedgehogs to get their heads into for a lick of the left-over dessert -- a trap they have then been unable to withdraw from, so dying of starvation in untold numbers.

Emphasis mine. Come on, untold numbers? I'm sure we have at least an upper limit on how many are dying: the number of McFlurries sold!
posted by antifuse at 6:05 AM on September 1, 2006

They won't bite, but they'll ram the hell out of you.
posted by sfts2 at 6:08 AM on September 1, 2006

Nice post. It reminded me that my granny used to keep a semi-tame hedgehog years ago. She found him in her garden when he was pretty small - it wasn't quite clear what had happened to the rest of his family but presumably a badger or fox had got them. She christened him Timmy. After a few weeks looking after him he was big enough to roam free but used to return every evening for dinner - which was cat food and water, as I recall (I seem to remember being told that the traditional feast of bread and milk wasn't actually very good for them). Around the appointed time he would come ambling out of the undergrowth and settle down for some food. Then one day he didn't turn up, and my granny (and everyone else in the family) was distraught. A search and rescue mission combing the garden didn't reveal anything, so we could only presume he had been nabbed by another fox or badger. This was also around the same time that hedgehog flavoured crisps were available in the UK, but that theory was blown out the water upon learning they were actually flavoured with pork fat. I was six or seven at the time and it was the first time someone or something close to me had died - I was absolutely distraught. This is the first time I've thought about it in years, though. Strange what gets buried in your subconscious.
posted by greycap at 6:28 AM on September 1, 2006

FPP's are harder than I thought. When I decided to do one this morning, I realized that about half of my links were from Wikipedia.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 6:28 AM on September 1, 2006

A groundhog in my backyard went up against a 4-foot black snake that was trying to make the hogs burrow its new home. It was an epic battle of carnivore versus vegetarian. The snake made it out of the hole alive, but died within a few feet from mortal wounds.Groundhogs are giant ground squirrels - just like monkeys evolved out of the trees, squirrels are evolving out of the tree - upright walking groundhog is next.
posted by stbalbach at 6:29 AM on September 1, 2006


Then they'll start using tools with their free paws. Soon they'll be challenging us for mastery of the planet. Let me know if a black monolith suddenly appears in your back yard.
posted by lordrunningclam at 6:42 AM on September 1, 2006

One of the strangest things about hedgehogs is, they self annoint.
If they smell something strange, or think they are near danger, they will foam at the mouth and twist all wierd to sling the foamy spit all over their backs.
I had one who would do this every time she got near a strange new flower.
Disgustingly cute.
posted by Balisong at 6:49 AM on September 1, 2006

Stupid PA and their stupid hedgies-are-illegal-and-will-eat-the-state-oh-god.

(I love hedgehogs, and compensate by collecting stuffed-animal hedgies. Love!)
posted by kalimac at 7:02 AM on September 1, 2006

Two AM, rolling into the back lot of an empty supermarket building and what do I see... a full grown skunk shuffling about with a Kwik Shop cup over its face, just past his eyes, banging his head up and down onto the asphalt trying to get this thing off! I watched him for about a minute with blank confusion, I wasn't quite sure this was happening. Then I felt really bad for him, went out and removed the cup gingerly, dashing away so as to not catch an angry spray.

So, good on them for considering the misguided hedgehogs. What about the other animals, though? What would an average tolerance be on lid openings that would cover the most species in a given region? Pressing questions, my friends.
posted by prostyle at 7:18 AM on September 1, 2006

My father was bit by a hedgehog once.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:40 AM on September 1, 2006

You think rabbits multiply, try buying a pregnant hedgehog. There is nothing like the sound made while crunching the carapace of meal worms. On the plus side it makes a great bar pet.
posted by Rancid Badger at 7:46 AM on September 1, 2006

I didn't think that Americans knew what Hedgehogs are because on Bob the Builder, an english animated cartoon, that they redub with American voices (which in and of itself is weird if you ask me) they are building a tunnel so some 'porcupines' can get through, but they are definitely hedgehogs (not having porcupines in the UK) so I figured they changed it because they thought Hedgehogs would just be tooo freakily unknown.
posted by zeoslap at 7:47 AM on September 1, 2006

Don't you think it's kind of unfair that McDonald's is making the opening on these McFlurry lids smaller, so the little hedgehogs can't get their heads in at all, rather than bigger, so they could get in, lick up the tasty stuff and then get their heads out again?
If it was up to me, that's what I would have done.
posted by Flashman at 7:59 AM on September 1, 2006

the first link is fantastic:

"As many years passes, Sonic undoubtedly established himself as Robotnik's enemy #1. Constantly assaulting, and ultimately thwarting his evil plans. The tables had turned, however, when Robotnik had put on a sham that was the death of Princess Sally."

who says there's no connection between video games and a decline in literacy. End derail.
posted by the theory of revolution at 7:59 AM on September 1, 2006

We had gorgeous pet African hedgehogs when i was a kid. (They'd been bred illegally, ended up at the humane society where my stepdad worked, unreleasable to the wild so we got them). Astonishingly affectionate little buggers. Hildegaarde liked having her chin scratched.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:04 AM on September 1, 2006

Did you guys know Robin Day had a hedgehog named "Frank"?
posted by zorro astor at 8:07 AM on September 1, 2006

The Hedgehog signed my underpants.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:19 AM on September 1, 2006

Not everyone likes them. They have been feeding on the eggs of ground nesting birds, including the immensely annoying (but rather rare) corncrake.
posted by Shave at 8:33 AM on September 1, 2006

posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:07 AM on September 1, 2006

Although hedgehogs are illegal here in CA (as were ferrets until only recently), there are some people who smuggle them in and write about it on the internet. Also, one of the most famous internet hedgehogs was Spree, of Jennicam fame. More hedgehog pet pictures can be found here.

At the Snoopy Theme Park in the Mall of America, there is a petting zoo with a hedgehog, but I think they only bring him out on Wednesdays or something.

I want a hedgehog so bad, you guys, you don't even know. I am allergic to everything else!! Damn this stupid state. rawr!
posted by sarahnade at 9:08 AM on September 1, 2006


The feasting on eggs of ground nesting birds is why armadillos are so loathed in Kansas. Kansas was not originally part of their natural range, but in the past 20 years or so, they've been moving north, which puts them directly into quail and pheasant territories that are sacred to the Kansas hunter.

It was a pretty big deal in naturalist circles, back in the early 90s, when a roadkill armadillo was found in Lawrence, very far north in the state.
posted by JeremyT at 9:10 AM on September 1, 2006

Kansas was not originally part of their natural range

Odd, considering Kansas is not part of the natural range of either the pheasant or the quail (unless you mean the bobwhite).

Regarding hedgehogs, reminds me of this poem, by Philip Larkin: The Mower.
posted by squink at 9:24 AM on September 1, 2006

Every hedgehog I've known seemed to like running around with a toilet paper roll on it's head. I always thought it was really strange behavior and I was going to use this thread as an opportunity to point it out.

Then I followed the Numo link and I can see that my work has been done for me.
posted by quin at 9:38 AM on September 1, 2006

Did someone call for a google image search?
posted by elr at 10:32 AM on September 1, 2006

AND, grilled, they're delicious with mustard and vinegar.
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:41 AM on September 1, 2006

The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
Beatrix Potter
©1905 by Frederick Warne & Co.

posted by cenoxo at 11:31 AM on September 1, 2006


posted by djeo at 11:46 AM on September 1, 2006

Hey djeo, thanks, that's exactly what I was trying to do, right now (but don't know how!).
That picture could end wars, warm the coldest heart.
posted by Flashman at 11:57 AM on September 1, 2006

I'm bloody sick of hedgehogs. My dog is obsessed with them and keeps bringing them into the house as his little playthings.

He tries, somewhat unsuccessfully, to play with them - except he ends up pricked a million times in the face and mouth by the flea-ridden 'hog, and gets all confused because he can't understand why the hedgehog is 'attacking' him - that's usually just before he goes batshit mad and tries to kill the hedgehog.

Usually it's about this time that I discover the dog and hedgehog in a stand-off, with the dog covered in blood, and the hedgehog craftily curled into a ball. I then spend the next hour or so picking the spines out of the dog, and calming him down.

Bloody hedgehogs. Nothing but a nuisance!
posted by metaxa at 12:13 PM on September 1, 2006

I guess you either love hedgehogs, or you hate them.
posted by Flashman at 12:47 PM on September 1, 2006

I guess you either love hedgehogs, or you eat them.
posted by Balisong at 1:05 PM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]

metaxa - just as an aside I heard today that hedgehog fleas are "host specific" and as such won't infest your dog. Or you!
posted by snailer at 1:43 PM on September 1, 2006

I had a pair of hedgehogs for several years. I loved them, and the self-anointing is so fucking weird at parties.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:10 PM on September 1, 2006

As a kid, I caught a hedgehog in the orchard that was adjacent to my grandparents' property in Iran. I played with it for a few hours before letting it go, and it was very cute, but it reeked of urine. Apparently, they also "self annoint" in their own urine (see Balisong's comment).
posted by Devils Slide at 6:15 PM on September 1, 2006

metaxa: We would love you forever if you took some photos of the hedgehog. Forget the damn dog, we wanna see the hedgehog! :)
posted by drstein at 6:38 PM on September 1, 2006

"People say they love a hedgehog, but you try getting real funding for any hedgehog research." Where have all the hedgehogs gone?
posted by Tufa at 8:17 PM on September 1, 2006

Although hedgehogs are illegal here in CA (as were ferrets until only recently)

Sadly, ferrets are still illegal here in California. There was a legalization bill introduced earlier this year, but it failed. My understanding is that the bill would have set aside some money for a scientific study of the environmental effects of them being legal.

Normally I dislike lobbyists on principal, but the ferret lobby is one that I can totally support! I'd love to have a ferret as a pet though the risk of buying one on the black market is too much for me. (Imagine if I got caught and had my pet taken away from me and destroyed. I don't think I could bear it.)

You'll know when ferrets are legal in CA because I'll be the first one in my area lining up to buy one!

posted by kosher_jenny at 10:10 PM on September 1, 2006

I then spend the next hour or so picking the spines out of the dog, and calming him down.

Are you sure these are hedgehogs? Hedgehogs don't generally shed their spines (except for when they're babies and are growing in their adult spines), and their spines aren't barbed, so they don't really tend to stick in and stay in like porcupine spines do. Could these be baby porcupines, perhaps?
posted by biscotti at 9:02 AM on September 3, 2006

They also shed when dying of old age. It's so sad to see a hedgehog losing her spines and shriveling up. Ah this brings back shitty memories.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:12 AM on September 5, 2006

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