Hi humans, rodent types, and anyone else reading this.
This is Jenks the degu.
I've heard humans say that they sometimes struggle to understand what the furries in their lives want. But, you know what? We have trouble understanding what humans want sometimes too. Especially when you humans stand there talking away to us, using words we haven't learned to make sense of.
Like you humans, we learn to understand some stuff after a while, just from observing your behaviour. However, I still often find myself turning to my brothers and asking them, "do you have any idea what they just said?" I get asked the same by them too, and our gerbil brothers and ratty sisters have the same problem.
As I said though, the beahaviour of our humans teaches us some word meanings, so we've learned to recognize certain words based on what happens after the human caretakers use them.
Here are some of our favourite words:
Nibbles - this word means something tasty is coming our way, and is our most favourite word out of all the words we know. Sometimes it will apply to the four words I'll be mentioning next, but other times it will mean our regular food, or some other kind of edible item. Either way, when we hear the word "nibbles" we all give the humans our attention immediately.
Cheerios - a favourite nibble of all of ours. I hear it's popular among humans too.
Oatmeal - another favourite nibble of all of ours, which is sometimes given to us by hand, and sometimes added to our food bowls.
Pasta - a hard treat we degus love, but which our ratty sisters and gerbil brother aren't too keen on.
Cheese - our ratty sisters' favourite nibble, but something we degus aren't allowed. When our ratty sisters and gerbil brother get the cheese stuff, we degus get pasta instead.
Sand bath - a metal tub filled with special sand stuff, where we degus get our dry bath... Fun to play in, as well as useful to get the oils out of our fur. Our ratty sisters and gerbil brothers don't play in one; the gerbils get extra sawdust to dig in instead, and the rats showed no interest when offered oppertunities to play in a sand bath, so the humans stopped bothering. We degus never could understand the rats' lack of interest... Sand baths are fun!
We do also recognize other words, like "TV" and "radio" for example. We also recognize our names, and the name of our species. Plus, the word "buddy" which is what the humans use - especially the Mummy human - when they aren't too sure which of us is trying to get their attention (this is especially used for us degus, since my degu brothers and I are tricky to tell apart unless you can get a good look at the markings on our noses). But the words listed above are our six favourite human words.