Unfortunately, we've had a little setback in our relationship with the Lotion Hand Lady.
The names I've been calling her, as of late, have not been fit to print.
Let's just say there was a temporary SNAFU involving multiple vet visits, medication, a @#%*&!! DIET and daily weigh ins. What is this INSANE obsession with scales?
At any rate, we've worked out our differences. She has been acceptably contrite and conciliatory. I'm just not cutting her any slack these days.
At any rate, back to the story:
We soon learned that the largest Big Hands was not a food bearer.
He would come into the kitchen and stand near the refrigerator and make some horrible grinding, crunching sound. We couldn't wheek loud enough to be heard over that noise.
When he did open the refrigerator, we could hear him rustling plastic bags, but everything he took out would go into the microwave. He would look at us if we wheeked at him, but he never brought us food.
We decided to call him "Russell".
It took longer to come up with a name for the Lotion Hand Lady.
She was the one who took care of us. She prepared the food, even the snacks Treat and Tidbit brought us. She'd clean the cage and fill the pellet dish and water bottles.
She really had an obsession with the cage. When she was home, she would spot clean it several times a day.
She had a funny routine. She would announce she was going to clean. Then she would open the cage. She would reassure us it was ok, that she was just going to pick up the "poopoos". Then as she picked up the poops, she would chant "poopoos, poopoos" almost like she was singing.
I've never seen anyone so happy to clean a cage. ( At the time, we didn't realise where that obsession with poops was going to lead us. More about THAT later.)
We very nearly called her "Pupus".
After we'd been there a week, she decided to do a big cleaning. She set up a pen in the kitchen and put us in it. This pen was HUGE. I counted the grids- it was 3 by 5.
We didn't like it at all. Unlike our cage, which is against a wall, this thing was out in the open. There was no top and we felt really exposed. She had moved our pigloo and tunnels into it, but it just didn't feel safe to us. We both crowded into the pigloo and watched her as she cleaned.
She had taken everything out of the cage and was scrubbing it with vinegar. We decided that we weren't in that much of a hurry to go back. We were hoping she wasn't going to put us back in until that SMELL went away.
Whew! When she finished scrubbing, she looked like she was in no hurry to put things back in.
Instead, she came over to the pen and put out a salad for us.
Of course, she put the salad out at the far end of the pen. We had no choice but to leave the pigloo.
After munching our salad, we decided we might as well explore the pen. Treat and Tidbit were in school, so it was really quiet and we had the kitchen to ourselves.
We noticed that, with the exception of a litter pan under the hay rack, the entire pen had fleece as flooring. It was a fairly thin layer, and not that comfortable, but it was a novel sensation for our feet.
We had fun playing and exploring the pen. There were some unexpected treats hidden among the tunnels and some hay stashes here and there. We decided the pen wasn't so bad after all.
But after a few hours, we were ready to go home to our cage. It was a relief to see her putting things back in.
But what was she putting into it? She seemed to be layering all kinds of stuff. First some white stuff, then towels, then more towels, then some fleece, that pretty green kind.
She finally started replacing the water bottles and hay racks. She took out the pigloo and the tunnels from the pen. We had taken refuge in the litter box, so she took it and us, as well, back to the cage.
We looked out onto a sea of green fleece. The only shavings in the cage were in the litter box. We stepped out gingerly.
And discovered bliss.
That fleece was unbelievably soft. All those layers of towels cushioned the fleece to perfection. You just wanted to collapse and snuggle yourself into it. Ahh!!
We decided then and there on a name for the Lotion Hand Lady.