Hi humans, rodents, and anyone else reading this.
This is Mollie the chinchilla.
When I first left my fur family, I thought I'd get a forever home right away. I mean, I'm cute, and everyone loves to cuddle up with soft furry creatures, right? But nobody wanted me, and as time went on, I became more and more lonely and extremely depressed. I lost interest in playing, stopped caring about the people walking past my cage, slept most of the time, and only ate and drank what I needed to in order to keep myself alive.
Then Maizie came.
That's obviously us in the above photos... I'm the lighter one (it's always easier to tell which of us is which when you have the other one to compare us with, if you know what I mean).
Anyway, Maizie is three months younger than me, and still full of the enthusiasm and curiosity I was filled with when I first left my fur family. She encouraged me to get up and show an interest in the world around me again, which made me more interested in the people around us, as well as in eating and drinking more than was absolutely essential. I also learned to play again (though I'm not nearly as in to this playing thing as Maizie is; a lot of the time I prefer to just watch her).
Even better, soon after Maizie became my adopted sister, we found ourselves in a real home, with human caretakers of our very own. Well, we have to share them with some other rodents, but they make sure to give us some attention a few times each day, and we've noticed they never give attention or nibbles to one of us without giving to the others. Plus, the nibbles they hand out are really great... Cheerios, Shreddies, and this white stuff called oatmeal, especially!
There are plenty of fun things to chew on in this place too.
I still struggle to find the same enthusiasm and curiosity Maizie has for everything around us. But I kinda like these human caretakers. They're patient with me on days when I don't feel very sociable, and don't yell at me if I'm feeling cross so grumble at them; they even still let me have whatever nibble is on offer afterwards. I do try to be friendly with them though... I've even climbed in to the arms of the female one they call "Mummy human" a couple of times for a cuddle, which she seems to love, and which always earns me another nibble as well as the cuddle time.
Since we got to this new place, the time that was toughest for me was when the human caretakers had to change things around in our cage after they brought us a different wheel (the old one was giving Maizie some problems; she'll explain next week). I REALLY hated having our stuff moved about, and was upset afterwards. Maizie didn't like it at first either, but she got over it quickly, and was soon playing quite happily again. Not me though. It took me a couple of days.
Mostly I'm doing OK though. I just need time and patience, and I'll come around. Depression just isn't something you get over quickly, you know? It's also something that comes back, so it's possible I may never be as outgoing and enthusiastic about life as my adopted sister. But at least now I feel like I have a reason to do something other than sleep.