“Prickly as a hedgehog”


Bi came to my life because her old owner wasn’t able to take care of her and I was lonely in Hanoi. Frankly, I was in love with her at first sight. All I could think was “I want her. I want her”. That is to prove that I was not too desperately lonely to randomly pick up a pet although I was not actually prepared to let her into my life. But I meant we were destined. :)) (Please don’t tell me I’m a dreamer :v).

Bi was 1 year old when we first met. She was especially sensitive to noise and loudness and easily stressed because of too much stimulation from the environment. Bi was specifically more active at night – a night mammal. Neither was she scary nor cute as her appearance. She was just her genuinely – a capricious nature. It was admittedly tricky sometimes to understand her behaviour but I learnt or attempted to learn about her patiently. She hissed and shook when I just took her from her old owner. Therefore I was scared to touch her, let alone giving her a bath. T_T I had watched her through a transparent box for 2 weeks while still providing her enough food as she needed except no intention or excitement of holding her as I imaged at the beginning. She was completely irritable and unapproachable. I would say through her look that she wanted to shout into my face: “Thanks for feeding me but leave me alone!”. We were looking at each other and had fenced out like that FOR 2 WEEKS. But the desire of being her friend and curiosity about her made me overcome my own fear. She oppositely has a mouse heart (or it’s the fact?), vulnerable snout with those little tiny legs under the cover of long and stiff spines. :)) If you gave Bi the feeling of your warm and caring heart (and of course it physically meant comforting her by your palm and your gentle touch :)) I used to wish I could tell her how much I felt about her), she would stay calm and wouldn’t hurt you by rolling into a bristling pincushion. It was not easy to curl her up on your two palms from the get go but I managed to do it ultimately…after several baths in the lavabo in my bathroom. :))

During the process of “getting her to accept my existence in her life from now on”, we hurt each other a couple times :|. She bit me once (or maybe twice) when I tried to dry her with my hair dryer. I remembered that I yelped immensely when she bit me on my index finger. The only way to get your finger our of her tiny sharp teeth was staying still for her to bite. She would let go gradually later. Otherwise, your finger will be kept between her teeth hopelessly. After that I soon realized she didn’t like the noise from it so I had to figure out another way, for instance: rolling her into a towel several times. :v I leaving her in the lavabo in my bathroom and letting her swim there with a clear message: “Until you stop bristling those spines against me, I will get you out of there”. Surprisingly, she suddenly became another version of herself, a softer and gentler one when she was swimming in the lavabo. Perhaps it was because she was busy waving her 4 legs to swim so not bothered about me being around her any more. :)) It was so much fun with her to be honest. I enjoyed watching her swimming, which melt my heart every single time. (I’m not creepy :|)


In February that year, I was really busy for the paperwork of my internship so I didn’t take a good care of her. That became my regret and could haunt me for the rest of my life. On that destined day, I went to school and didn’t prepare enough food for her when I left my room. She was hungry and tried to pull down the food package which I put on top into her aquarium. Her leg was twisted several rounds by the handle of the package which prevented the blood circulation in her leg. I didn’t notice that and just continuously fed her everyday before and after the school. If I had given her a bath twice a week as scheduled, this would have never happened. I didn’t have time to check up on her or let her go outside to play (I was staying with my roommates one of who owned a cat. Bi and that cat didn’t get along well unexpectedly). After one week, when I found out, her leg had been in caseous necrosis. My friend had to help me cut her leg off to protect her thigh because I couldn’t do it by myself. I cried a lot but I knew those stupid drops would have never given any help in any circumstances but made everything more miserably messy.

One week later, she recovered from the injury, still being happy every time I let her out, running into every corners in my room and being comfortable in her own skin like nothing ever happened. I used to look at her and feel alive but after that accidence due to my ignorance and negligence, it torn my heart apart every time I looked at her. I wouldn’t have known if she had blamed me or she just hadn’t cared or she had known being alive mattered after all. One month later, before I left Hanoi for my 3-month internship, she decided to leave without saying good bye (this month 3 years ago). It might be unrealistic to think that she’s still alive now somewhere but I just hope everything wouldn’t be to hard on her out there… (I can’t be optimistic about this)

Since then, I’ve never wanted to have any pet at least until I’m fully capable of taking care of him/her, taking the responsibility for other’s life.

With her, I learnt, I reflected myself. It didn’t go well as I expected and sometimes at night, I missed her so much. I missed those moments of talking to her like we had known for a long time. In her, I saw me…


I’m not sure Bi felt comfortable in playing with the toilet paper roll like that but I think she found it interesting and enjoyed the whole process… 🙂 It used to be my joy in watching her playing around …





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