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Old 09-13-2014, 02:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A quill story; with pix.

Sophie punctures my exercise-ball office chair. For the second time! I got some pretty good pictures that show quill structure pretty well, so thought it a story worth telling.

The setup:
I operate from a home office and switch between two chairs for health reasons. I have pretty good office chair (a larger 'executive' style, but on the small side for that type chair). I also use a 75 cm exercise ball as an office chair. Switching between the two has been hugely helpful at protecting blood flow in my legs. Thrombosis and blood circulation issues can be serious problems for people that spend many hours a day at a desk, and I do have a known susceptibility to this condition(s).

I use a weighted ball (it has a couple of pounds of sand inside). Weighted balls don't go running off when you stand up. I actually use the ball chair for about three-quarters of my total day. It's awesome.

The problem:
She rarely drops quills, though I am always on the lookout. Typically I find zero in a month. In the last month I have found four; which is a lot for her. I found two during her mini-baths, which is the likeliest place because she gets her quills brushed three days a week. I found one quill on her cage floor, and one in the deflating exercise-ball chair. Grrr. in almost three years, this is the second time. Both times I tried to patch / glue / otherwise-repair the hole and it didn't work out at all. On the plus side, I had certainly gotten a full lifespan of use from each ball given the number of hours a day I work, so can't be overly disappointed.


Every few months I have to pump up the ball a bit; no big deal. Air loss is extremely gradual, so it was a big surprise the other day when the ball didn’t ‘feel’ right. Fortunately, the quill was still stuck in the ball so it was easy to discover what was wrong. (It would be about impossible to find otherwise; the hole is literally just a pin prick. Exactly the same thing happened the first time. The quill was easy to find; still stuck about halfway into the ball.

Unbelievable! She hardly ever drops quills, I check her 'areas' every single day and approximately never find a quill. I think the only two quills that I've ever not found have both wound up puncturing my ball. What are the odds? Winning the lottery is more likely.

.................................................. ..

Noooo!
http://serenebreezes.com/Sophie-pix/ball-chair-c.jpg

.................................................. ..

Seriously? She hardly every drops quills and the one quill she drops in the office area winds up in the ball?
Close-up:
http://serenebreezes.com/Sophie-pix/ball-chair-c-cr.jpg

.................................................. ..

Alternate close-up. You get a good look at the quill structure here. The ‘ball joint’ is clearly visible. The ‘ball joint’ is the part that would be under her skin. You can also see the ‘angling’ near the end of the quill. All quills have this ‘angling’ section. It helps the quills lay flat when not ‘in use’. The shaft of the quill is thicker and you can see a bit of the brown banding where the quill is penetrating the ball.
http://serenebreezes.com/Sophie-pix/ball-chair-d.jpg

.................................................. ..


Here is the quill removed from the ball. It’s a short quill, so probably a ‘body quill’. The ‘visor quills’; two big bundles on her head (her brow) are longer quills ) about twice as long).
http://serenebreezes.com/Sophie-pix/ball-chair-e.jpg

.................................................. ..

They say that quills are less sharp as hedgehogs get older. This may technically be true - I don’t know - but I think it more likely that people just get used to handling their hedgehogs (and the hedgehogs get used to being handled) so people just think that the quills aren’t as sharp as ever.
Close-up:
http://serenebreezes.com/Sophie-pix/ball-chair-e-cr.jpg

.................................................. ..

Penny for scale and a ‘pointer’ for the hole location. If the quill weren’t still stuck in it, it would have been about impossible to find.
http://serenebreezes.com/Sophie-pix/ball-chair-f.jpg

.................................................. ..

Close-up with ‘penny for scale’. Also another good look at the ‘ball joint’; the ‘angling’ of shaft; the wider ‘main portion’ of the shaft / quill; the banding (light brown in Sophie’s case and especially light in this particular quill); and the still needle-sharp point of the quill.
http://serenebreezes.com/Sophie-pix/ball-chair-f-2.jpg

.................................................. ..

Close-up of quill only.
http://serenebreezes.com/Sophie-pix/ball-chair-f-3.jpg

.................................................. ..

Alternate view of ‘penny for scale’.
http://serenebreezes.com/Sophie-pix/ball-chair-g.jpg

.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Lulz.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, it could have been a bare foot, or your butt That chair looks awesome.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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CoffeeKat, I love your phrase "Real men have pets who can stab them"!!!! So cute & clever!
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree...I stole it from a tee shirt
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh goodness. I've been meaning to get one of these, but my hedgie shed a bunch of quills around July and I still find them poking out of the carpet. :S
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