This is Chilli. I know, real original huh? I didn't name him, I am his third owner and have been for 7 years now. The first family to have him broke one of his legs. The mother decided the young kids didn't need a chinchilla and sold him to his second owners. They put his home out in the back yard and fed him vegies and fruits off their table. They didn't know what chinchilla dust was. Some might think this is a good life, but if you think about it, chinchillas are a native to (where else?) Chille, South America. Their diet in the wild consists of roots, fruits, leaves, bark, and tubers. In captivity alfalfa, pellets, and hay are their staples (as well as their favorite snack, raisins). So you can see where a diet of just fruit and vegies might not be the best. Chinchillas do not get wet in the wild and because their fur is so dense, if they do get wet it is more likely to kill them than clean them. They are from a naturally arid area so they dont take 'baths' as most animals do. Chilli now lives in my living room with the rest of us and although he is nocturnal, it works out OK. If you have never touched a chinchilla, make a point to go to the nearest pet store, it is a treat :)
Do you remember the Budweiser commercials with the two chameleons, Frank and Louie? This cat's name is Louie, note the spare toes on his front feet. Louie has opposing thumbs. He also has claws between his multiple toes that don't retract. His 'thumbs' don't do much other than help him keep his balance, but it is novel. Louie's mother has twenty seven toes and claws to match, when she decides to jump on your lap, a cringe comes to your face and you hope you have enough clothes on to keep you from being flayed.
This is Jasper. And Zip of course :)
When Jasper came to me he was not in very good shape. His name then was "Jerry Garcia" (ugh), he was skinny, had bald spots on his face and collicked three times within the first week of his life with me. The first time was from drinking too much water at once; when I had picked him up, there was no water bucket/trough anything in his pen. I can't imagine what he drank. Not much of anything obviously. The people that had him at the time had been turned in multiple times for animal abuse but no one ever tried to stop them from getting more animals. Anyway, I had to sell Jasper a few years ago, he was just too much for me in the sadle. On the ground he was the most willing of students and he was so friendly, if I walked through the paddock and stopped suddenly he would run into my back. But in the saddle he had too much energy for me to manage. He went to a young cowboy who fell as deeply in love with Jasper as I had AND he worked hard enough that Jasper didn't have all that extra pent up energy. I miss Jas but I know he is well cared for and is content with his life and a cow rangler.
Here are some pictures I just want to share...