||Nine years old|
my chinchilla has been living with me for nearly seven years. I named
her Plume (Feather) because she is as soft as a baby goose. When I was
little, I always wanted to have a dog. My family being allergic (to dogs
as well as to cats), I was obviously never able to get my wish. The only
animals that I was allowed to have were fish. While I find these creatures
to be splendid, (what being isn't?), I always wanted to have a real
connection with an animal. My aunt had me walk her dog for two years. My
summers with Melody were really fun. I taught her to do a number of
tricks, like putting a treat on her nose and waiting for my signal to eat
it, or like playing dead. Training has always been one of my strong suits,
even later with my chinchilla.
One day, my father was annoyed to see me depressed about the death of
another betta fish. (Unfortunately, they only live to be one and a half or two years
old. I also taught three betta to jump out of the water. You are going to say
that it's impossible, but I swear to you that it can be done and that it
is even pretty easy. I even have several eye witnesses of this feat. A
co-worker of my mother wanted to get rid of her chinchilla. She had found
it outside in the middle of winter. The poor thing was freezing and even
lost almost all of her little "fingers." She only has three left on her two
little paws ... But I assure you, she gets along just as well as all the
other animals of her species. It was not a carefully considered decision,
but rather one imposed on the little family who adopted the young
chinchilla. According to them, Plume must not have been very old because
she grew a bit since their first encounter. After two years, the family
realized they needed to find a good home for their survivor. Their
schedules and family changes no longer allowed them to take good care of
the animal and above all, despite all the family's efforts, no taming of
the animal had succeeded. To clean her cage, they had to trap Plume with a
thick work glove to avoid getting badly bitten.
And so, my father decided that a chinchilla could join the family. You
cannot imagine my joy! Finally, a mammal in the house! Once the cage and
everything was set up for her arrival, I spent my entire evening seated in
front of the cage watching her. After a few hours, I took a chance and
extended my hand toward her. She sniffed me and I was even able to pat her
without gloves! I had done what they had not been able to over two years! I
had just achieved a great victory. I spent the following days by her side.
After a week, I opened the gate and sat as usual in front of the cage. She
didn't even go out and was afraid of my every move. Her cage was her sense
of security. Much later, she took a chance and poked her muzzle out. Our
connection, over the course of months became closer and closer.
She is now a domestic chinchilla and no longer a wild ball of fur that
shares my life. She even learned some tricks and rules of behavior. No
more rummaging around under the furniture, no more gnawing on furniture!
She even knows how to escape and return to her cage with the promise of a
little piece of dried banana (unsweetened, of course). In short, our
relationship has flourished and I already fear the day when she will leave
me. She isn't immortal, the little honey bun, she is already around eight
or nine and I expect her to reach fifteen years old. I love her very much.
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