The Pet Chinchilla


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family, Family Pet, Pet | Posted on 01-03-2013

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We had a pet chinchilla, for oh, about 48 seconds.

My son and I had a dream. A dream of owning a super cuddly, small-but-not-too-small furry animal. One that would eat sunflower seeds from our hands. One we could nurture and cuddle with.

A chinchilla.

Bigger than a hamster. More exotic than a guinea pig. Containable in a cage. The softest fur.

The perfect pet.

My high school buddy had owned a pet chinchilla. It was the cutest rabbit-ish and squirrel-ish critter.

So, my son and I traipsed to PetSmart to buy two 40 lbs. bags of dog food and then eagerly headed to the pet aisle to peer into the chinchilla cage. There he was! Our beautiful, grey pet-to-be!

I hailed over a sales associate and asked if she could please get the chinchilla out so that we could hold it.

“Are you considering getting a chinchilla?” she asked. (Duh.)

I glanced over at my son and answered excitedly for the both of us. “Yes! We’d like to hold one!”

“Well, chinchillas don’t really like to be held,” she answered. (Debbie Downer.) “But I’ll get him out for you and you can pet him gently. But be careful. He has to get used to you.”

Our excitement dimmed. They don’t like to be petted? They don’t like to snuggle? Or play dress up?

Whatever. He’ll change! He’ll learn to love us! It’ll be so awesome!

The sales associate grabbed ahold of him, lost her grip, and he scurried away to hide into his house. She tried again. We looked on wearily, getting disappointed by the second.

Finally, she had that chinchilla in a firm grip, close to her chest, so he wouldn’t scratch her to death. And we reached out to pet that sweet little head.

And the little sucker flinched and then became paralyzed in fear.

That’s all it took to reinforce that a chinchilla was not the pet for us. We turned on our heels and bolted. As we hauled the jumbo dog food bags into the car and headed home, we realized, duh, we already have the best pets.


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Comments (2)

I actually DID own a chinchilla (my ex boyfriend bought it and then LEFT it at my house when we broke up–not even joking). His name was “Chili” and he hated people, hated to be held and his teeth were razor sharp so when he bit you it felt like a nail going straight to the bone. When he would get out of the cage he would hide for hours or days until I could catch him which was a terrifying ordeal since he bit. I ended up giving him to a chinchilla breeder who lived on a large farm.

That sounds like a perfect ex-boyfriend thing to do! You crack me up. I hope Chili lived out his good ol’ biting days on that farm.


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