Pet of the Day

March 1, 1999

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Mr. Krinkle, the Pet of the Day
Name: Mr. Krinkle
Age: Four and a half years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Chinchilla
Home: Queens, New York, USA
   Mr. Krinkle is a wonderful pet. We have "chinchilla-proofed" an entire room so that we can let him of his cage to run around for about an hour a night. (As chinchillas will chew on almost anything, this involved taping up all wires, molding and removing anything we didn't want to have teeth marks in it.) He loves to play with us when he gets out of his cage. He especially likes playing "hide and seek" with treats. If I hold a sprig of fresh basil in my mouth, he will eagerly climb up my body to retrieve his treat and sit contentedly on my shoulder while he eats it.

    Chinchillas are very intelligent animals, and Mr. Krinkle quickly learned ways to communicate to us what he wants. When he wants fresh food in his cage, he flips over his food bowl. He knows that when he wants to take a bath, he has to sit patiently on my shoulder before I will open the tank for him to take a dust bath. Mr. Krinkle loves getting treats. We will occasionally give him treats of little pieces of fresh fruit, like apples and oranges. He prefers that we hold the orange while he eats it, as he dislikes getting his paws sticky! He also loves wine, which he discovered after he knocked my wine glass over an began lapping it up off the floor! He gets so excited when he sees a wine glass that he'll drop whatever he's up to and try to climb down my arm to the glass. On the rare occasions when I give him a sip, he'll happily sit gritting his teeth.

    But the best part of having Mr. Krinkle for a pet is the cuddle factor. Chinchillas have remarkably soft fur and nothing beats the sensation of scooping Mr. Krinkle up in my arms for a quick cuddle. Chinchillas are fun, smart and loveable animals, and I highly recommend them for pets!

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