I’m wondering what’s gotten into us.

What has gotten into us?

Actually, I know. I’d just rather not admit it.

We fell for Instagram Cuteness Syndrome.

Someone posted a video of a hedgehog getting a warm little bath, and it was only a matter of time.

We have a natural instinct for rescues, including all three of our dogs. We have an unknown number of outlaw cats who call our alley their home. Squirrels are drawn to our yard like there’s a scene from a Disney movie shooting out there. Chickens from two houses down routinely wander our way. We’ve entertained the thought of goats, and we’ve even named our resident bat “Jose”. So when a free hedgie needing a new home popped up on Next Door, we couldn’t look up aspen shavings fast enough.

I respect wildlife, and resist efforts to anthropomorphize every animal’s slightest tic to fit our behavioral templates. I’ve also done enough TV segments with guests from the zoo to know that hedgehogs only look cute. They can be educational, entertaining, fascinating peeks into an ancient species, and a great way to practice caring and responsible stewardship. But they also carry those spines for a reason, and a surly or mishandled hedgie isn’t afraid to use them. And they have wee sharp little teeth, too. They’re not toys, and will remind you of that if you forget.

But darn it, they are adorable.

Honestly, when I think of God, I wonder what kind of mind could come up with things like giraffes. Spend some time around a huffing little pin cushion with a pink tummy and itty bitty feet, and tell me I’m wrong.

We named ours Hamish, for no reasons other than it’s different and alliterates well. Hedgies are exceptionally tidy little beasts, and easily kept — although I can see me building an upgrade to his quarters in the near future. Any critter this mesmerizing deserves more entertaining accommodations.

My old friend Jack Heinritz even coined an appropriate carol.

Hamish, the Christmas hedgehog
Had some really spiky hair…

Of course, I had to finish it.

Hamish, the Christmas hedgehog
Has some really spiky hair
Before you ever sit down
You would want to check your chair.

All of the other hedgehogs
Had a place to run and play
But Hamish, the Christmas hedgehog
Needed a new place to stay.

Then one morning on Next Door
His ad was on our app
Now, I can tell you don’t wear shorts
When a hedgehog’s in your lap.

Now the whole family loves him
Even though sometimes he snores
Hamish, the Christmas hedgehog
Found a home for ever more.