Since rainy Mondays are pretty depressing things, I’m posting about my chinchilla today, who is cute enough to cheer up just about anybody. I’ve only been a chinchilla owner for about four months (I’m normally a cat owner), but I definitely enjoy getting to know this little critter. Her name is Dasha (of course I named her a Russian name!) and her favorite things in the world are chewing on everything, bouncing off of solid surfaces, trying to dig out of her cage, falling asleep curled up in my hoodie, and hard rock guitar solos. She’s especially fond of AC/DC, Guns ‘N’ Roses, and Led Zeppelin.
Here she is with her “salad bowl” – which is made of woven grass and is therefore edible for her. Her current favorite toy is an inclined cat scratcher that my oldest sister gave me. For Dasha, it constitutes a ramp for jumping off of, a hiding place to nap under, a chew toy, and something fun to roll around on. She has her own toddler xylophone keyboard, but as soon as she figured out how to play it, she stopped being interested in it (except when she’s in trouble for chewing things she isn’t supposed to, when she plays it to get praise and attention back).
Her natural habitat is the Andes, so she likes the cold and can’t tolerate much over 72 degrees, and she also can’t get her fur wet (she’s secretly a Gremlin). She takes dust baths in volcanic ash, which she gets everywhere unless well contained while she’s bathing. She’s mainly nocturnal, although she wakes up periodically during the day and is most active at dusk and dawn (when she begs for treats incessantly). Her favorite treats are raisins and craisins, although she will get bored with any treat if she gets it multiple days in a row (no, no, she isn’t spoiled, I swear!) She also likes dandelion treats, dried papaya, rosemary, plain oats, and puffed rice.
And that’s Dasha in a nutshell!