April 14th, 2003


Apparently, I am really mean.

I felt horrible today at lunch. I have a friend I've been working with who is about a hairs length away from being the nicest person in the world. She is the friendliest person in the world. And she just got into Tufts Vet school, so she is also about a hairs length away from being the smartest person in my social circle. (Actually, all my friends are pretty smart. I've been enjoying their company as often as possible before they inevitably realize that I practice mathamatics at the fourth grade level and often have trouble spelling my name.)

But this friend was talking about animals, which she loves. She loves dogs and cats. Sheep, cows, rabbits, birds-- not ferrets for some reason, but pretty much everything else. She is ridiculously nice. And she tells me about an animal that was brought in to the clinic the other day that she felt horrible for.
It was a hedgehog, she says. And it was leaning.

So I, horrible, disinterested animal owner that I am, laughed.
I was practically choking on my lunch, laughing, pictuing this hedgehog with this leaning problem. (It leaned to the right, in case you were wondering.) And she kept looking at me-- not angry, because she doesn't get angry-- but genuinely hurt that I found this hedgehog's problem so amusing.

Am I a bad seed? Does anyone know anything about hedgehogs? To what extent must they lean before it qualifies as a medical problem? And of course she was looking at me earnestly, trying to find out what was funny about this tragic, tragic hedgehog situation.

And I am thinking that these people must really love their hedgehog a lot because there is no way that my mother would pay a veterinarian hard earned money to perform surgery on a leaning hedgehog to correct a neurological disorder.

So I, aside from being completely unfit to become a veterinarian, am somewhat of a lousy friend. I like animals a lot and could probably learn to like hedgehogs if the right one came along. But no matter how fond of them I become, I will never be able to suppress my laughter when they lean. Even if it is a neurological disorder.

I am sorry in advance to all the hedgehogs I will ever meet.