Friday, April 04, 2014

Of dogs, degus and gerbils (FD)

Kero's being very good about taking his pills. I think he must be as eager as we are to make the scratching stop. He's not scratching much at all now, but I wouldn't be surprised if he starts back up once the pills are done. I mean, skin irritation in Westies is common, and Kero's done well to last this long without problems, so I'm expecting him to keep having problems now that something's triggered them. Hopefully when Serena can get some of that Billy goat soap to us I can keep it under control without pills though.

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We often give the degus and gerbils empty cardboard tubes to chew up. One of the degus decided to put the one we gave them the other day in their nesting box; not unusual in itself, as they usually use them as nesting materials. When he tried to pull it in after him, it wasn't working. So he threw it out, then went after it. Then he tried pushing it in, but he had it at an awkward angle, so again it didn't work. Again he threw it in frustration before going to fetch it. His third attempt was more successful, and he managed to push it in the nesting box, still whole, looking pretty pleased with himself as he arranged it (and the other cardboard and paper pieces) so that they and the hay they have in the nesting box were to his liking.

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When Kelly was feeding the gerbils the other day, Bilbo decided to jump in the bowl for a ride. Until, that is, it got a certain distance from the floor of the cage. All of a sudden he decided the ride wasn't so fun and he wanted out. Luckily, since Kelly only continued to lift the bowl because of Bilbo's apparent eagerness to have a ride, Kelly was watching him closely enough to lower the bowl for him to get out rather than little Bilbo having to jump from the bowl from a height.

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Normally I feed the degus and Kelly feeds the gerbils, but the other day we were late up, so I fed both sets of rodents. Well, eventually. You see, Bilbo has a thing for nipping at me; he's not biting nastily, and it doesn't hurt, so I think it could be an affection thing, but he does it every time my hands are in reach. So, I came in to the living room with the bowl of gerbil breakfast in my hand, then put my hand on the top of the cage, intending to use it to help with distance so I could find the door on the top of the cage more easily. Unfortunately, not only did I put the hand with the bowl there, but I just happened to put my hand right near where Bilbo was. He nipped at my wrist, making me jump so violently that I ended up throwing the contents of the bowl over my shoulder. Oatmeal and gerbil mix went everywhere! Kelly said the horrified look on Bilbo's face when the food went everywhere was priceless. As for me? It took me ages to stop laughing enough to go and fill the bowl again and give the boys their breakfast, and I still keep giggling when I think about it. I still don't know why I jumped so violently though; it's not like Bilbo nipping at my hand is unusual, and it's never made me jump like that when one of the boys - degus and gerbils both - have grabbed at my hand in some shape or form. I feel kind of foolish having jumped so violently from something so tiny, to be honest... It was funny though! And, when I went to feed the gerbils along with the degus yesterday, Bilbo clung to the bowl with his front paws when I went to try and pick it up as if trying to stop me taking it... Maybe he was worried I'd waste his food again? LOL!

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Jacob was half asleep when we were giving the degus some pasta the other day. We waved the piece of pasta in front of his face for almost a minute before the confused look on his face vanished and he snatched it. Up until that point he'd been staring straight ahead in confusion, clearly not awake enough to know what was going on. If it hadn't been a one-off incident, we'd have been concerned. It also helps us that we know he'd just come out of the nesting box; probably wondering why his brothers had left him, since they'd all been asleep in the nesting box not long before.

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We got new gnawing blocks for the degus and gerbils earlier in the week. The degus are, of course, enjoying theirs but fighting over it (they fight over everything). The gerbils share better though, plus Bilbo doesn't know what to make of it. Baggins thinks it's great though, and can often be found sat on top of it licking it and nibbling at it.

4 comments:

Intense Guy said...

Such characters!!

I can envision the flying food - you describe it so well!! Bet it gave the vacuum cleaner a real work out!!

Victoria Zigler said...

Iggy:
Luckily we have a large messy-mat where the cages are, so some of the food went on that and could be easily swept up. Also, luckily gerbils don't need particularly large meals, LOL!

Rita said...

Now I am picturing you with the food flying through the air! I'm glad Kero is doing well. I hope Serena can find that soap and send it to Kero. Rodents can all be squabbly--LOL! ;)

Victoria Zigler said...

Rita:
I keep remembering the food thing too; it still makes me giggle like an idiot, and I'm pretty sure Bilbo still doesn't trust me with the bowl of food, LOL!

Yeah, rodents can be very squabbly; that's why many types are better off kept separate, and the ones that need to socialize with their own kind are best kept in sibling groups so they can bond early.