I keep meaning to post some of our pets' antics on here, but I keep forgetting. I didn't, for example, get around to telling you about how Luna used to push my hand away with her paw and give an annoyed squeak if I tried to pet her, but would stick her paw through the bars of her cage to get Kelly's attention so he could pet her and lean her head in to his hand while she was being petted and scratched. Or how Cara would end up chewing on her own back paws and tail because she'd seen them move and grabbed them. So, I thought I'd post to tell you about some recent pet antics.
Our degu boys are all from the same litter, so they share a cage. It's a large one with three levels and a sort of look-out ledge. They also have two bowls, because they have a habit of sitting in the bowl and making it difficult for the others to get at the food, so having the two bowls means they actually stand a chance of all getting at the food. The bowls go on the top level, because it's easier for me to access them without the degus escaping when I'm grabbing the bowls (not that this is fool-proof, since degus are rather bright rodents, but it's harder for them to escape out of the top opening than out of the doors on the front). The thing is though, they move their stuff around, so although I put the bowls away from the opening leading to the ramp down to the next level, the bowls don't stay away from that opening. Anyway, the other day one of the degus was sat on the edge of one of the bowls near the opening at the top of the ramp. He must have shifted his weight wrongly or something, because the next thing we knew the bowl had flipped over. The bowl tumbled down the ramp, and the degu was just quick enough to grab the edge of the opening and swing himself back up on to the top level, where he stood looking down in confusion at the bowl below him, obviously puzzled about what had happened.
We heard a bit of a squeaking argument going on near the degu wheel and looked over to see what was going on. It turned out that one degu was trying to run while another tried to use the wheel as a grinding stone for his teeth. The one trying to run was getting really annoyed with the one trying to grind his teeth, because it was making it very difficult for him to run.
When we brought the gerbils home and put their cage near the degus' cage, the degus ignored them at first. But then, a few hours later, one of the degus was in the sand bath when he caught sight of movement from the gerbil cage. He sat in the sand bath staring for a moment, raced up the ramp to tell one of his brothers and try and get him to come see (he wouldn't come) and then raced back down the ramp and dove in to the sand bath to resume staring at the gerbil cage. Then he started trying to dig through the side of the sand bath to get to the gerbil cage. It didn't take too long before he figured out he was getting nowhere though, so he gave up and lost interest.
Our gerbils share a cage too, since they're both from the same litter. They have a cage with a large bottom area for digging and tunneling in, then two other levels with ramps to access them. They're happy to share a bowl, but they have two houses because gerbils like having lots of places to hide. Bilbo was in one of the houses arranging things, since he loves to do that, and Baggins was looking for him. When he poked his head out to see what was happening outside, Baggins spotted him and leaped on him, knocking him backwards.
Another time, we gave the gerbils a cardboard tube to play with. We put it on the top level of their cage, and Bilbo patiently rolled it down both ramps to the bottom where he could chew it up for nesting materials. Much to his annoyance, Baggins decided it had been put in the cage for him to run through, so poor Bilbo had to keep stopping to let Baggins run through it as he couldn't carry or roll it with his brother inside it.
When we put some hay in the gerbil cage the other day, Baggins dove in to the hay pile like a child would do with a pile of leaves.
Bilbo obviously got fed up of running up and down the ramp with his cheek pouches full of food, because he decided to try and take the whole bowl of food down with him. Never mind the fact the bowl is big enough for him to climb in, or the fact it's actually attached to the side of the cage. Needless to say, it didn't work very well, and the bowl stayed put.
Kero wants to be friends with everyone, and tries to say "hi" to the degus and gerbils. When they actually come over to the bars of their cages to see him, he's so happy you'd swear he'd just been given the best gift in the universe.
When we give Kero a treat, he often puts it aside for later. Then he forgets where he put it. When he found a treat left on his bed the other day he started throwing it up in the air and catching it again, tail wagging frantically. He was the one who'd put it there a little while before, but from the way he was acting you'd swear we did it secretly while he was out in the yard or something.