Hellooo everyone! This is Maizie the chinchilla.
I absolutely love to play! My chinchilla sister, Mollie, plays some too. But she seems to enjoy watching me more than actually joining in. It's a shame, but luckily the human caretakers in this place have provided me with plenty of things I can play with by myself, including a wheel, and a bell.
Actually, I've had two different wheels. The Mummy human said we should have one like the degus have, but the lady at the petstore insisted otherwise. The human caretakers gave in, and got us a solid plastic wheel... You may have noticed it in some of our photos? Anyway, it would have been a perfect wheel for us if we were hamsters or something. But we aren't hamsters, and chinchillas are heavy enough that our weight as we move on the wheel while running is enough to make the wheel tip. I think you can guess where I'm going with this. You guessed it... Every time I tried to run on it, the wheel tipped. If I did anything other than just use it as a seat, it tipped. So, the human caretakers got us a metal one with tight mesh like the degus have after all, and it works much better; I can run on it now!
Here I am standing on the new wheel:
The human caretakers were trying to get a shot of me running on it. But every time I realized they were pointing the flashy thing in my direction, I refused to run, and sometimes even got off the wheel and went to play with something else. The moment they lowered the flashy thing, or turned it off all together, I was back on the wheel. I was having a great time teasing the human caretakers. Luckily, they also found it funny.
The human caretakers have also provided Mollie and me with lots of options for things to chew on, since we chinchillas just adore chewing on things. We've got an actual gnawing block, a constant supply of cardboard tubes, and a selection of wooden things to chew on. The wooden things are our favourites. Luckily, the human caretakers seem to realize this, because they keep us supplied with wooden things to gnaw on, including a wooden ring, willow sticks, a hanging toy made up of bits of wood, and these really cool wooden dinosaurs:
Of course, none of the wooden things stays in one piece for long in our cage... The human caretakers say we're worse than our degu brothers for chewing up our toys quickly. But, hey, we have to keep our teeth from getting too long, don't we?
From what we can tell, the other rodents in this place have similar toys. Although, with a few minor adjustments because of availability of certain toys when our stuff needs replacing, differences in our sizes, and our preferences.
Plus, I happen to think that simply jumping and climbing all over the place in general is great fun too, and spend a lot of time just doing that... Because I can!
Oh, yeah... I almost forgot... Like our degu brothers, we chinchillas also have our sandbath, which we both love. Our ratty sisters were offered one, but wouldn't go in it, and got upset whenever the human caretakers tried to make them do so, and so the human caretakers stopped bothering with one for them. Our gerbil brother doesn't have one either, but spends a lot of time digging in the really deep layer of sawdust he has instead. We chinchillas, and our degu brothers, think our sandbaths are awesome though! We make a lot of mess when we go in the sandbath... Sand goes everywhere... But we don't care. Having someone to clean up after us is one of the reasons we have human caretakers, after all, isn't it?