We recently added two new members to our rodent gang.
I'm not sure whether I think it's unfortunate that this happened now, or fortunate. On the one hand it's unfortunate, because there's a part of me that feels guilty for being pleased with new additions to the family when we just lost Bilbo. On the other hand, I think it's fortunate, because it gives us something positive to focus on.
The new additions are a pair of charcoal short haired chinchillas.
Well, I say "a pair" but they're not a proper pair, because they aren't littermates or anything like that... Not like how our pair of rats are a proper pair, because they're littermates, and have been together since birth. No. The chinchillas aren't littermates, and they've only been together for a few weeks. They bonded quickly though.
Mollie is three months older than Maizie; Mollie is almost seven months old, and Maizie is almost four months old. But they were put together shortly before we got them, because Mollie was becoming depressed being by herself. That's part of the reason why, even though they've officialy been ours since early April, it took until the last Tuesday in April before we finally brought them home.
It was me who named them though. They're just names I like (Mollie, especially, I've liked since I was a child). For the benifit of those who - like me - are interested in the origins and meanings of names, however, here are the details for each name:
Mollie (like the original spelling, Molly) developed as a pet form of the name Mary, although today both Mollie and Molly are independently given names in their own right. The name can mean "beloved" or "bitter" depending on the origin you go with (baby name sites disagree on the true origin of the name).
Maizie is a phonetically spelt version of the name Maisy, which means "light's creation" or "child of light" depending on whether you go with the Latin or Persian origin.
Mollie is still suffering with some issues from her depression, but she's doing better than she was; between attention from us, and Maizie's companionship, she's improving nicely.
Anyway, here's their cage all set up:
I took two shots, one more to one side than the other, and the other more to the other side, to make sure everything was included in at least one of the photos. Just in case you're wondering why there are two photos of the cage.
Since the photos for this post were taken, however, we've removed the ladder - or ramp, if you prefer - between the second and third levels. Well, actually, Maizie removed it, and we decided not to bother with putting it back any more. Apparently Maizie felt it was in the way of where she wanted to stretch out on the second level, so she kept shoving at it until the hooks holding it came loose (no matter how well we anchored it) and, after putting it back a few times, and realizing Maizie was most likely going to keep doing it... In fact, she seemed to figure it out quicker each time... We decided it would be better to have them need to jump between levels, than to risk Maizie doing that when Mollie is in the way of the falling ladder. Besides, chinchillas are good climbers and jumpers, so it's a really easy jump for them. We had a similar issue with ladders with the degus, and never even bothered to attempt putting ladders in the degu cage when they moved in to the cage they currently have (which they've now been in for close to two years).
Here's a photo I managed to get of them just after we got them home:
Only one of them is facing the camera, but at least they're both in the shot.
And here's one taken really early in the morning a couple of days later:
Mollie is slightly lighter in colour than Maizie. They're both considered charcoal, like I said, but Maizie is such a dark charcoal she's almost dark enough to be considered ebony instead. With that in mind, you might be wondering why I didn't name them the other way around. Sure, it would have made sense. But... Well... For one thing, I didn't know about the difference in colour shading when I picked the names (I knew Mollie was charcoal, but didn't know at that point what colour Maizie was). For another thing, I think Maizie's name fits because she was a ray of light that came in to Mollie's life to help with her depression. Plus, Maizie has such a cheerful and outgoing personality, that it just felt right to name them this way around.
This one is Maizie:
And this one is Mollie:
There would have been more photos, but Mollie tends to hide after a while, and Maizie isn't always good at staying still for long.
So, there you go. Now you've met the two newest members of the family. You'll get to hear and see more of them in the near future, when we take more photos, and they get their turns at doing posts.