Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Cutest Chin-Ups You Ever Will See

In case you haven't noticed from the other cute-gasm videos I've posted, I really, really love adorable exotic animals. Here's one I can actually say I've owned before, though: Chinchillas!!

(found via CubicleBot)

I teared up, guys. I really did.

I can tell you from experience these little cuties are softer than rabbits,

...and that nothing compares with them taking a dust bath:

(The last 30 seconds desperately need some thought bubble captions added. Heh.)

Now prepare for a waltz down memory lane.

['Scuse me, imaginary harpist? I'll need some flashback music here, if you please.]

Many years ago, before we had cats, we had two chins. Cricket:


And Chi-Chi:

"I can see you're trying for a Christmas card photo here. I will assist you by eating this box."

We've always loved to spoil our pets, so John built the girls a really sweet chinchilla house:

It. Was. Awesome.

The floor levels were wire mesh so the droppings fell through to the smaller drawers, which were lined with vinyl and corn cob litter - pretty easy to clean. The very bottom drawer held their food and treats and dust bath.

Inside, the girls had ramps to get between levels:

Plus lots ceramic pots to sleep in and wood toys to chew on. It was so fun watching them bounce around in there! We also let them hop around our house sometimes, although it was always an adventure rounding them up again afterward. Heh.

As amazing as they are, Chinchillas do need a lot of attention and human interaction to stay even relatively tame. So a few years later, when our painting company started keeping us out 12 hours a day, we found a nice new family for the girls. Chins can live up to 25 years, so I like to imagine them still together, munching on raisins and bouncing around the house that John built for them. :)

Now just one more cute video (since I've looked at over a dozen today) and I'm done:

The itty-bitty hands! [swoon]

Yep, I'm done. Cute overload has officially been reached.

So, have any of you ever had exotic pets? Or have some now? 'Cuz if they're cute, I *totally* want pictures. Share 'em in the comments!


  1. You want to talk perfect storm of geekiness?

    The intro of The Sims Medieval has Patrick Stewart saying "dire chinchillas". :)

  2. We have a dog, totally not exotic, but she's a Dandie Dinmont Terrier (the only dog breed named after a fictional character) and they are fairly rare and are considered a heritage breed in the UK.



  3. I used to have pet rats. Not so much exotic, until you consider that one of them was hairless. :)

  4. I have seen that first love video before too, and it also made me tear up. I just loved it!

    Anne, that rocks! I love it!

    Rebecca, I LOVE your dog's name! That's great!

    All we have are pets--we don't have kids. We have three horses, four cats and two dogs. I also love freshwater fish and used to be a master at maintaining fish tanks.

    We tried mice (Guenivere and Ophelia), snakes (Tangle, Twister and Salazar), and we had an iguana once (Gojira). But overall with my pirate cat* I just can't have exotics for now. I'm even leery to get a fish tank with how destructive he is. I did have pics, but they were lost in the Great Crash during the Homestead Move of '10.

    I do plan to get ducks someday. We live on horse property, and I want a few ducks for the eggs. My husband is allergic to chicken eggs, but for some reason duck eggs don't bother him. I plan for their names to be Flora, Fauna and Merriweather. :)

    We've had three smooth-coat collies, all blue merle color...does that count as exotic? And all of our dogs have had names that start with T. On purpose, except for Bliss, as she was determined to keep that name and we could not change it even when we tried.

    *Note: Never never never never EVER name your cat after a pirate. He WILL live up to it. Ours is Captain Jack Sparrow; BIG mistake. He steals food off the table, talks back, and brings general mayhem and madness to our house. But we love him for it.

  5. I owned a hedgehog and a brazilian short-tailed opossum, simultaneously. The possum was fluffy and hyper and loved everyone, but he didn't have much in the character or brain power departments. The hedgehog was cantankerous, huffy, ticked if you woke him up before 10 PM, and oh yeah, covered in spines (that I was actually allergic to, oh joy of joys). And he was my favorite thing in the world - he loved me and nobody else. Totally perfect.

  6. And rodents do have the best "hands", don't they? I LOVE watching rodents pick up and manipulate things with their hands.

  7. Dude- now I need to get one!

    We are planning on getting our 14 yr old a hedgehog. He's wanted since he was 4 or5.

  8. Among other things, (mainly cats) we have a Guinea Pig. I would say that G.P.s are prety everyday, but the fact that she has to be taken to an "exotics vet", I guess she counts. She was deserted in the rhubarb field of a farm we happened to stop in and visit on a road trip. She is HUGE and we named her Rhubarb. We like to think that she parachuted from Peru and that is how she came to be in that field. (I like that theory better than some family ditching her at the side of the road.) Of course, about 3 hours after we agreed to take her, especially since we still had everything from my old Guinea Pig, Puddle(glum), we remembered that my husband is rather allergic to Guinea Pigs! But we still have Rhubard to this day, and she is a lovely socialable composter! (She will eat anything!


    This photo is from when she was little.

    C:\Documents and Settings\Owner.MSHOME\Local Settings\Temp\188273_4943062756_540982756_48298_2591_n-1.jpg

    Puddleglum, my Teddy Bear Guinea Pig

  9. I totally love this. The Lord of the Rings Online server that I play on has unofficially dubbed the Chinchilla as it's mascot, with the saying "Behold the Chinchillas, for they ride to war!".

    This isn't exactly exotic, but I used to have 3 roborovski hamsters, which are the tiniest (at around 2-3 inches long) and fastest hammies around. I can't get to my personal pics, but they were pretty much identical to this:


  10. When I was in college I had a hedgehog. It was really sweet, and her underside was soft and fuzzy compared to the pokey parts. She made this weird revving sound that was vaguely similar to a motorcycle, which is why I named her Harley.

  11. I had a flemish giant during my undergrad in college. if I knew how to attach a picture I would but he was a delightful 18 lbs. He was potty trained and had full run of our apartment except for the roommate's room. He loved headscratches and sweets and had a particularly bad addiction to yogurt drops, he'd come running if you shook the box and if he got a hold of the box he would take off running with it to hide so you couldn't take it back. I had him fixed at four months by an exotics vet. He was a great pet I miss him a lot he passed away a little over 4 years old.

  12. I have friends who keep rats (white rats, not sewer rats!) and often describe themselves as foster parents. I guess there are a lot of people in DC who buy them and then say 'eh, screw it', and my friends are part of a rat owners group. They foster rats several times a year, til new owners can be found.

  13. I have a chinchilla named Tribble. :)
    I desperately need a cage like that...any DIY tips or know anyone that makes and sells them? I am currently disabled with a shoulder injury and desperately need a cage with a pan that's easier to change without downgrading the size of her cage.

  14. I have two extremely mad yet extremely friendly rats called Molly and Maddie. Kinda exotic as they have to go to a vets which specialises in exotic pets. Maddie has her own Facebook page (search for Maddie Rat) though she tends to run off with the keys off my laptop.

    Shows you how much I love them though, Maddie just had a £130 op to remove two tumours.

  15. Define cute: I have a blue tongued skink. I think he's kind of cute, but reptiles don't float everyone's boats.

  16. We have an Albino African Hedgehog named Spike Lee (our cat is named Stan Lee but he is just a mean little devil spawn even if he only acts like that when we are alone, when we have guests he is the perfect cat).
    We've had Spike for a little over 4 hours and he is a great pet, he is so grumpy all the time that we can't help but love him for it. He loves taking baths in the sink.


  17. i have a ferret named annabell who is impossibly hard to take pictures of since ferrets are like toddlers on a sugar rush and don't know how to sit still. she's got an awesome cage with a slide in it that i'm totally jealous of, and has full run of my apartment for a few hours each night. her favorite trick is to hide my slippers and steal toys from the cat and hide them is places that only she can get to. here is one pic from when she was feeling particularly cuddly and some videos of her playing

    annabell picture

    annabell playing

    annabell and kylie

  18. Oh the animals that we've had. Growing up we've had bunnies (flemish giant and mini rex), cats, love birds, turtles, an iguana, a ferret, tarantulas, scorpions, snakes of various species, fish, AND..... chinchillas.

    Actually, my sister used to breed chinchillas as a hobby and partial income (the other color variations sell for a lot of money, they were sold as pets of course). I think at one point we had....*counting*... 20(?) chinchillas. But she had to sell them all when she went off to college in another state.

    Recently, however, she got a call from a shelter that said they had one of her chinchillas (there was a tag on the ear). We had found out that one of the people that had taken in some of her chinchillas ha neglected the animals and when the animal control came to investigate they had found that the person had a lot of chinchillas but had neglected them to the point where the majority had died. It was very sad. Only one of my sister's had survived and the chinchilla had ate all of her fur because they didn't have any food to eat in so long. It was all very sad. My sister is very upset about it.

    The chinchilla that survived though, her name is Lilac, is doing very well now. She's a lot better with people than she was. The shelter gave my sister another chinchilla that they had rescued from somewhere else to keep with Lilac too, her name is Holly. They had said that Lilac would go weird if she was alone in a cage because at the house they rescued her from her cage mate had died. But they said she could have Holly to keep with her as a companion because Holly wasn't adoptable anyway (doesn't like people).

    So we have 2 chinchillas again.

  19. I wish I had pictures because this story would be so much better if it was illustrated.

    In the 5th grade, I decided I wanted a hedgehog. My mom was substitute teaching at a preschool and one little boy would not sleep so she was talking to him about my desire to have an awesome pet. He apparently couldn't sleep because mommy had just had a new baby... and so she wanted to get rid of his pet hedgehog. So mom talked to the boy's mother, who offered her the hedgehog (code named Pumba). So the next day, she picked me up from school with a cardboard box in the back seat and when I opened it, there was a precious hedgehog.
    Since we didn't have a cage (yet), I put him in my bed and he decided that he needed to sleep there. I'd put him in his cage while I was at school or when I thought he needed to eat or use the facilities but mostly he chilled in my waterbed with me.
    He had green bedding that he loved to roll around in and get stuck in his quills. He'd then slam his water bottle into the wall of the cage so water would come out and splash the bedding in his quills, causing the green to leech out and 'dye' him.
    So yes, I was the coolest nerd kid on the block. I had a green hedgehog named Sprout to keep me company while I played Sonic. :D

    It's a shame I didn't have a camera because he was soooo cute.

  20. http://ladyviktoria.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d37ar3y My kitteeh. And a vengeful last surviving Wood Elf from his Warhammer squad... (Teh kitteeh stomp massacre was indeed dreadful!)

    http://ladyviktoria.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=24#/d2f0xc9 Clonked Kitteeh! XD

    WV: Ankebu. Pronounced the same way as my native Swedish would say "duck nest". :P

  21. I have a three-toed box turtle named Phoebe. I got her in college after my goldfish (Falcor) died. She arrived in a damp tube sock packed in a box marked "live crickets" after going missing from the USPS tracking system for 12 hours. She is the crankiest turtle I have ever met and hisses irritably if you go near her terrarium. Unless you are bringing her a worm. Then she hisses irritably and does her "give me my worm, Lady" dance. It scares the liver out of my dogs.

  22. I have a chinchilla: Rocko. He has by far been the love of my life for the past 2.5 years. I 'rescued' him through a friend of a friend who couldn't take care of him anymore. Best decision ever made.

    I have some photos here:

  23. Aw, I loved this post! That chinchilla house Jon built is AMAZING!
    I have a chinchilla named Mochi. I had trouble catching her when she was running around too, until I worked out a system where I'd put out her dust bath, and once she hopped inside, put the whole bath into her cage.
    Chinchillas are crafty lil' buggers too! She figured out how to open her own cage, so I had to put a lock on it. I took a video of her letting herself out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqVUmnPLnBA

  24. I haven't had an exotic pet (unless you count the iguanas that run around in our yard sometimes - we live in GTMO) but my husband used to have a sugar glider before we met. They are the cutest things!! I would totally want one if I didn't think our cat would see it as a chew toy.

  25. omgosh they are so cute. I've never seen chinchillas in Australia, but if there here I want one.

    I've got a not so exotic Dogue de bordeaux.

  26. WOW baby chinchillas are so freakin cute!
    We had 2 ferrets when we lived in Oregon: Frick and Frack. The silliest, most mischievous, and destructive little critters I have ever had. They could brighten up the worst day within 10 minutes of watching their antics!
    Now I have a VERY spoiled lop-eared rabbit Ollie for whom I make special trips to the store to get his gourmet greens ;-)
    Jen: that hutch that John made is AWESOME! Ollie would love something like that. Does John still have the plans/design for it? It looks like he used kitchen/bathroom cupboards, yes? John is so talented!

  27. When I was 15 I wanted a chinchilla so bad that I emptied my long standing savings account of the total £50 and got myself a cutie called him Flint, my mom said I was not allowed one under any circumstances but I got him anyway LOL I hid him in my bedroom during the day then moved him into the guest room at night, it took her 2 months to notice ROFL! He developed teeth problems 4 years ago and had to have an operation, on recovering from the operation he decided to chew and bit himself in the old manly parts, unfortunately we lost him to on going teeth problems 3 years ago. I am forever known as the lady with the pervert chinchilla that liked to give himself a blowie! He loved to perform that party trick when visitors came over and oooh'd and aaah'd at his cage, try explaining that to young children!

  28. @ Katrina - John built the cabinet from scratch, but I'd guess you could mod an existing cabinet without *too* much trouble. He never uses plans: just a quick somewhat to-scale sketch to figure out how much wood he'll need, and then he figures out the rest in his head. I think it must be some form of freak genetic mutation that lets him do that. ;)

  29. My friend had a chinchilla, he was so soft and cute and so much fun to play with!

    The only exotic pets I have are 2 sugar gliders. They're cute too but since they sleep all day and are up at night they're not much fun to watch or play with.

  30. Um, SO cute. No exotic pets for me, but we did see a couple of wild chinchillas at Machu Picchu in Peru last year, and about died from the cute.

  31. P.S. LOVE all the geekily wonderful pet names! Our cat was Mythril, and our dog is Caspian. ;)

  32. I've wanted one of these so long. I had to settle for helping one of my 3rd grade students understand how soft they can be, which led to them pestering their mom until she caved and bought one. My husband and I are considering getting a hedgehog (he wasn't as keen on my chinchilla idea).

  33. My sister was a manger at a pet store in the Detroit area. For some reason when people found injured or baby animals they thought bringing them to the pet store was the best option.

    We ended up with a barn owl for a few months before we could find a falconer to take him. He used to sit on our canopy bed and hunt the ferrets. Despite the fact that they were twice his size and he couldn't fly yet.

    Squeaker was a baby squirrel someone dropped off. He was hairless and about the size of oreo cookie when we got him. He lived in the house for about a year. We then modified the outdoor rabbit cage to accommodate him. He got the second story to himself and we added a little itty bitty doggie door so he could come and go as he pleased. He was always tame and would run up your leg and sit on your shoulder if you were out in the yard- he also liked to sneak in open windows. He liked tumbling around with the other squirrels too-so he got the best of both worlds.

    Our actual pets growing up were our ferrets though- we each had one. Mine was Togo- the cutest ferret ever! I also adopted a needy little guy Marvin. I only had him for a few years though.

    Now I have a dog and two parrots. Beautiful Indian ringnecks- they're kind of exotic...Unless you live in India...or Britain.

  34. I have a Senegal Parrot named Apollo. At first you would call him pretty. Then, after watching him snuggle up to your cheek asking for kisses, or lay on his back in the crook of your arm in hopes of being rocked, or walk to the door of his cage and say "come 'ere" then put his head down to be scratched you would definetely call him cute.

  35. We have two chinchillas. Momo and Roku and they're such fun little fluff balls! I'm way jealous of your chins awesome cage...I wonder if I can make my fiance make something like that...hmmm

  36. http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll98/rbetzhold/easter_chin_002_8x8.jpg

  37. I have sugar gliders but they rarely allow me to photograph them. They are rescues and are pretty much scared of the world. I have a chinchilla, too. And they really are the cutest creatures on the planet...

  38. I had an iguana. I wanted one for years and thought they were so beautiful! I could never tame her. She'd get out of her cage and race around the house like I was trying to kill her. I'd finally manage to throw a towel over her that she'd bite ferociously until I got her back in the cage. I found her a new home after a few months.

    I'm surprised no one's mentioned goats. I have some mini angora goats that are the cutest thing ever and super sweet. About 30 lbs and super fluffy. I love them.

  39. Thanks for the cuteness attack Jen! It just got rid of my downer from getting lost on my way home earlier this afternoon. I am now plotting ways to talk my boyfriend into getting me a chinchilla...

  40. My cousin has my exotic pet of choice- a sugar glider. I had thoroughly researched them but never was in the position to own any, but I became her source of glider knowledge and at least now I get to visit hers! They're crazy cute. (though illegal to own in some states, I believe)

  41. I've got three chinchillas right now (Anyone want a baby?) A breeding pair and a baby we'll need to rehome shortly. He's only about a month old so there's still time. They're such sweet animals, and so fun to have around.

  42. I have a dog called Conall who is half Parson's terrier (like a Jack Russell) and half Shih Tzu.

    Gorgeous but starting to shed like mad as the temperature heats up! Think that his lovely silky coat is going to have to go over the summer... but it grows so fast he'll be fine!

  43. We have a pet hedgie named Cornelia Marie. She's moody, gets her own way, and DOESNOTUNDERANYCIRCUMSTANCES like to be woken up. Hmm, I wonder who she sounds like? And we love her anyway.

  44. My hubby had piranhas for years and years. We haven't had any for about 5 years now, but he has had many of them over the years. He has been bitten before while cleaning the tank. And a few of them them grew larger than his hand. Not cute, but definitely exotic.

  45. I had a pet goose and pet chicken a long time ago before college. I got them from a flea market both babies. It was so cute though because the little chick would sleep on the back of the goose. Unfortunately when I went to college my friend got rid of them.
    I've also had two rats name Pixie and Luna. Pixie was fat and scared and Luna could jump a full 3 feet but loved to lick. Sadly they passed away last year. I still miss those two girls.

  46. Animals named for Narnia characters make me smile (Puddleglum and Caspian).:-)
    I've had two guinea pigs, but they both died this year (one in January and the other last week). They each lived six and a half years. Five to seven years is average. Nutmeg and Buttercup were cute and precious.
    I'm not ready for a new pet right now, but I've always liked chinchillas and the little hedgehogs. Had ducks as a kid. They're nice, but they make a mess.

  47. I'm a long time rat-lover... they're really the best of the "pocket pets"... friendly, smart.. they're pretty much puppydogs you can keep in a cage!

    Currently have a rescue hedgie named Thistle...
    who has a cute face
    and is often an adorableball of spikes.... but other than hide under her towel and run in her wheel? she doesn't do much. I'm glad i took her in and gave her a home, but I wont be looking for another hedgie after this... back to rats for me!

  48. Oh Lord, I am so stupid.
    Not only did I misspell John's name (my sincerest apologies), but I put the wrong link. This is the video of my chinchilla escaping from her cage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM1MWHzdvmk
    I just had to correct those two points, because otherwise it would have nagged on my mind...

  49. I had a wonderful starling living with me, I raised her from a 5 day old baby. She was my best friend, ever! So loving and kind, she loved to cuddle.

    She could say over 5,000 words and phrases, and she knew what she was saying! She died tragically at 4 years, it still makes me cry.

  50. I had a cute white chinchilla named Wisp. Absolute softest animal in the whole world. The grandkids loved feeding Wisp raisins just so they could watch him hold them with his tiny hands and nibble. I had to re-home him when I moved, and I still miss him.

  51. I NEED a chinchilla now!! SO cute!

    When I tried playing the last video, it acted like I clicked on the picture of Chi-Chi, and was just a white screen with that picture blown up..

  52. I had a chinchilla, they are totally fascinating creatures. I had a harness and leash for him and took him outside (when it was warm, of course). The neighborhood kids loved him. Every spring, before the dandalions budded, I would dig them up, wash them, and give them to him. He LOVED his dandalion greens. lol.

    All I have now is a Chinese Crested dog named Topaz. He is my pride and joy. He is like my child. Here are pics of my baby Topaz. ;)


  53. Loved todays post, reminded me of my past chinchillas. I now have a Gambian Pouched rat, called Bracken heres 2 pictures of her as a baby, she is now much bigger and quite a handfull http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=6049921&l=5ee3285722&id=509665263

    My first Gambian Pouched rat Gnizama (Amazing backwards) sadly passed away from a mysterious illness, heres a pic of him

    I also have 2 Bearded Dragons, one called Temeraire and the other called Llama (Spanish for flame)

    I'v also had regualr rats which I named after Lord of the rings characters :-D

  54. My dad built a similar two story cage for our rabbits when I was a kid. he called it the bunny condo ha ha.

  55. My wife's parents used to have 2 cockatoos. Not little cockatiels, mind you (though they had those too) but the big white birds. Cockatoos live for 60+ years so buying one isn't just a life-long pet purchase, but could very well be a "hand it down to your kids" pet purchase.

    They're very smart and have strong beaks. They've bitten through metal locks to get out of their cages. You do *NOT* want your fingers anywhere near them if they're upset.

    Sadly, the oldest cockatoo passed away in my wife's hands one night. This canceled a trip we had scheduled to see my grandmother. The next day, our baby (now 7 year old NHL) had a febrile seizure and stopped breathing. Had we gone on the trip, we'd have been in the middle of nowhere on a highway coming home. We like to think that the cockatoo's passing somehow saved our son's life.

    The remaining cockatoo is nice enough, until she decides not to be. She also has a habit of plucking her own feathers so her look veers more towards evil than cute.

  56. Well, we've had cats and dogs and rabbits and hamsters and guinea pigs and mice and rats and snakes and birds and fish.

    My mother tells stories about when they had two skunks. And when they had an octopus.

    My gramma likes to say that her chickens were her best pets, but I had two ducks last summer, and they loved me like no other.

    Right now, I have three sassy grey cats. And, my pride and joy, my Shiba Inu, Zoë. I call her Zoë Umlaut, because, well, she has an umlaut in her name, and umlaut is fun to say. She was a rescue, and I only had her for about a day before she bonded to me completely.

    Zoë on Daddy's lap.

    Zoë, on her favorite perch. Which is an antique buffet with antique lamps...but she matches the shades perfectly!

    As for chinchillas, I've only ever been around one chin, and that was an ex-boyfriend's. Her name was (ironically) Zoey, and she hated me. She bit me. Ex said that she had never bitten anyone before. Sad panda.

  57. We had a ferret when I was in highschool. He was hilarious! He loved to climb up on my shoulders while I was sitting and reading, and then he would wind through my hair and lay across my shoulders like some kind of living mink stole. His favorite treat was froot loops, and he would bounce across the floor like Peppy Le Pew. He also liked to take shoes and hide them under my sister's bed, so we spent a lot of time looking for missing shoes before we found his hiding place! Ah, good times!

  58. Not exactly a pet but he lives in my garden. They are Sand Lizards. I don't know how many live in my rockery but I love seeing them. I don't feed them but they get used to me and don't run away anymore.

    The father (or mother) and one of his/her childs (born in 2007).

  59. I used to raise and breed rats and mice. My favorite was Valith. He was a black and white mouse with a mohawk. He would lick his little hands and push his hair up into the mohawk. The story of how I got him was wild. I went to a local pet store to get a mouse. I put my hand in the tank and said "Who wants to come home with me?" All the mice ran into one of the corners, then out came this little Black and White guy. He sniffed my hand, climbed up on it and sat down. I was amazed. Just to test out I put him down, stirred up the mice by making them run then put my hand back down. He popped right back up! I knew I would get him, but I wanted to see just how far this could go. So my I left for about 30 mintues, came back and you guessed it. He hopped right back into my hand. He was a smart little guy. Knew his name, the word oatmeal and yogs (yogert drops). I miss that silly thing. I only have one pic of him and it is a print not digital.

  60. I forgot to add that my first rat was named Cyrano De Bergerat. He was a rescue.

  61. When I was around ten I had a mini rabbit that was white and her name was Daisy. She was most probably a Mini-Rex, but I don't know for sure. She was litter box trained and slept on the pillow next to me at night. I still miss her.

    Now I have a regular tabby (Buttons, named by my son), a bengal cat (Tink) and a big mutt named Jake. The funny thing is that my BF Jack named the dog Jake and it gets confusing sometimes when they both come whatever name you call. :D

  62. Chinchillas are adorable. I had an abyssinian guinea pig growning up- she was between a long hair and short hair. She lived six or so year. She was very sweet and made the cutest squeaking noises.

    I have had birds- they're considered exotics because you have to take them to exotic vets.

    I've had two Quaker Parrots- a blue one and a green one. Quakers are illegal in a lot of states because they live in colonies and can be disastrous to crops. The blues are a mutation. Sadly, the green, named Yoda, only lived a year and a half and the blue, Picasso (or Pico), lived only two months- Quakers typically live 20 plus years.

    Now I have a lovebird named Twinkie. He's a peach-faced olive mutation- meaning he has a green tail instead of the usual light blue. He's silly and funny and is sitting near me as I type this :)

  63. I had a chinchilla for a couple of months. He was super cute and sweet, but I developed an allergy to him and couldn't play with him anymore. Luckily, though, one of the nurses my dad works with has a chinchilla, so she adopted my chinchilla to be friends with her chinchilla (after a few meetings to make sure they got along, of course). I miss him and his cute little fuzz-butt, but I am glad that he has a good home now where he has a cuddle buddy and plenty of human attention.
    Now I have a needy basset hound, but he is markedly lazier than a chinchilla, and he doesn't make me sneeze.

  64. I have two chinchillas. Their names are Frankie and William. Or Strong Frankie and Crybaby William. I was really into Judy B. Jones at the time I got them.

  65. Dear Jen,

    I didn't think I could love your blog anymore, but now I do. My husband and I used to have two chinchillas, but when our house unexpectedly came with a cat, and the remodeling began, we had to give them to a new family. Thanks for the trip down furry memory lane.

    Fun fact: We had a photo of our chinchillas in a gussied up basket made into the stamps we used to mail our save the date cards. Their names were Rio and Blue.

  66. Here are some pics of my degus (related to chinchillas), along with the less interesting bunnies, guinea pigs, rats and cats.


  67. I have three ferrets right now. I had five before, then lost Elvis to surgery complications, and Bella, Inky, and Waffle to cancer. Pedro is still going strong. Then we adopted Jaxom and The Stig. Pedro has finally warmed up to them and they're a happy, fuzzy family. Here are some pictures!

    Elvis and Pedro
    The Stig

  68. My best friend has a sugar glider and has a friend that breeds them. They're SOOO cute, seriously.


    Also, she's got a ferret. They're not quite as cute and snuggly, but hers is quite dumb and amusing.

  69. Besides a cat (Hocus Pocus) and a fish (Alpha the Beta), I found a Sulcata Tortoise abandoned at the gas station when I visited my parents. I shipped her back to my house and Gamera has been with us for almost a year now.


    My husband calls her Gammy since he's more into Godzilla...

  70. I have a cat. She's an F2 Savannah, though. Her grandfather is an African Serval. That's about as exotic as we get. :)


    We also have german shepherds. Sooooo not exotic, but one is all black and the other all white, so they are a little more unusual.

  71. We've had everything from dogs, cats, snakes, fish and a massive turtle, but our fav "exotic" was our Anole lizards.

    They were loose in the house pets. We have a really old house and often get bugs coming in so we wanted to try a natural way.

    They were hilarious. And very friendly.

  72. Sweet vids and pics! We had a couple of chinchillas in the reptile store I worked in (the owner liked all kinds of exotics, not just scales; we also had a skunk for a while). They were darling until one day they both got out. It took three of us hours to corner them. I don't think we had them too much longer after that...

  73. I have Indian Runner Ducks...heh...an abundance of them! They are great egg layers, and are fun to watch. Three of them eat from my hands. Each has their own personality and are fantastic.

  74. Another teacher and I used to co-own a hedgehog named "Bud." He was the exact polar opposite of the cute, sweet, furriness. He was cranky and a biter. We used him in conjunction with children's literature that featured hedghogs, mostly by Jan Brett. No cool pictures anymore. Bud died about 10 years ago. Hedgehogs only live for 3-5 years in captivity. But he was pretty cool when he would pull his 'eyebrows' down over his head and become a pin cushion when he detected a threat. He also made a sort of hissing/snuffling sound to 'scare' away enemies, like me bringing him mealworms.

    Shelley in Southern Illinois

    WV: toker. I don't think I need to explain any wv for the word toker. It is just funny. And isn't it in a song somewhere?

  75. He's not really exotic, but I have a Giant Schnauzer dog named Max. It's kinda a rare breed in the States, but I hear they are more common in Germany and other parts of Europe. If I could figure out how to attach a picture I would because he is really is my heart. He's 9 months old, and is the craziest, sweetest and most onry puppy I've ever met.
    If you want more "time killing activities", look up giant schnauzer videos on youtube, especially the puppy ones! (Unfortunately, my beast baby doesn't have any videos up yet but I'll put some up soon)

  76. Penguin in a walking boot. So adorable.

    Local news coverage of Lucky

  77. I have three rats, which you may consider weird, but they are ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!!!!!! :) They're Pepper (the chewer and nipper), Butterscotch (the crazy one), and Cream (the fat calm old lady rat). Curiosity( the crazy old lady rat) is dead: she ate butter (not the rat) and then died of what was probably a stroke. :( <3

  78. Me thinks hedgies are still considered exotic, aren't they?

    Well, I has one! Mine is a 6 yo female named Pimienta ('cause... y'know, her quills look like Salt & PEPPER in color)


  79. I have two chinchillas as well, hopefully by Tomorrow I will be all finished building their new cage, since mine seem to like to make a mess everywhere.

    That's an awesome chinchilla cage that you have for your chins by the way ! :D

  80. I own six ferrets. Yes, six. It's a lot of weasel.

    Tirion: http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad136/Runepup/DSC_0003.jpg

    Uther: http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad136/Runepup/Weasels/DSC_0017.jpg

    Jaina: http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad136/Runepup/Weasels/DSC_0082.jpg

    Arthas: http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad136/Runepup/Weasels/Arthas.jpg

    Link: http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad136/Runepup/Weasels/DSC_0081.jpg

    Sausage: http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad136/Runepup/Weasels/DSC_0083.jpg

  81. I have a potbelly pig. And I am absolutely , without questin , in LOVE with her. She is 4 years old and was adopted through the Pig Placement Network. There is this big trend right now with "micro mini" and "teacup" pigs ....but the truth is, they just DON"T exist. And once the owners realize that this new addition that was supposed to be no more than 20lbs is approaching 50 and is NOT what they signed up for, many pigs are abndondened near farms or even slaughterhouses ,or taken to shelters that don't know how to care for a pig and then after a short housing/adoption period have to put them down, just for lack of know how in terms of thir care. Pig Placement Network tries to rescue and rehome as many of these little sweeties as possible. A daunting task.

    There ARE Mini-pigs, smaller potbellies, but even these grow to 50 to 75lbs, as a farm pot will be 125 to 150. The micro pigs you see in youtube videos are babies bred from juviniles so they can show the "mom and dad" and have them appear to be small ,as potbellies take up to 4 years to reach full size.... then breeders insist you buy specialized food, NOT mini-pig or potbelly food for your new pet. The dirty secret is the protien levels in the breeder food so low that the piggies don't grow properly, limiting a lifespan from over 20 years to no more than 6 to 8. Although the body growth IS stunted keeping them small, the organs keep growing and the pig eventually succumbs. This is another reason so many pigs end up in shelters; the specialized food is typically too expensive to keep buying long term , and as such once the piggy is getting the proper nutrition from standard mini-pig feed, it blossoms and grows. It's a sad sad state. And one, as evident by my ramblings, that I am passionate about because I LOVE my pig SO much. She is the most gentle , sweet, intellegent, and hilarious pet I have ever owned.

    This is my Katie , last year at 4 years old...and 54lbs.:


    Just look at that face!!! Love her to Pieces!

  82. I have 2 chinnies and their cage is made of pressed wood shelving that was pre-cut to the sizes I needed for the most part. Wire is rough on chinnie's toes, but pressed wood caging needs scrubbed down pretty often since mine seem to wee everywhere. Though chins are supposed to be hypoallergenic, their urine and the dust they bathe in are both things that make me itchy ALLL over.

    My two chins are Mokona and Kobayashi. There was a 3rd but the other two killed him!!
    Moka is often called Potato because he has the personality of a baked potato expect when he is... ahem... cleaning his boy parts with his mouth.
    Kobe is named in the theme of the boy cats - MacManus and Keyzer Soze are from Usual Suspects.

    I also had 2 ferrets, a snake, and a baby squirrel. (Squirrels are actually pretty awful pets - the boys at least- and bite like crazy.)

    And we have 1 dog and a female cat.


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