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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Small Pet Problems & Care

I am that rare person that loves cats and dogs equally, but I have yet to find a smaller pet come even close to comparison.  As a child, my sister and I had parakeets.  Their life spans were very short, and since they were our first pets, I cried every time.  They were named Chi Chi, Cookie, Coco and Candy. Cookie, a blue and white bird, was my favorite, because I was around 8 and he was a gift to me.  Next we adopted Coco and Candy, a pair of yellow and green parakeets together, and were our last pet birds. It was hard to connect with them; they were loud, messy and so mean that we could rarely pet them without getting pecked.

Then my sister adopted a white gerbil with red eyes.  He reminded me of Bunnicula, a story I read as a child.  This gerbil also broke out of the cage from time to time, and he ended up staying in our living room.  One time, he started drinking from our dog's water bowl, and one time he simply got out and sat on top of his cage.  The time he was sitting on the top of the cage, I was the last one awake in the house, and when I turned off the TV to go to bed, I simply saw red eyes staring at me.  It startled me, but I put him back in his cage.

None of the pictures on this page are of the pets in my post, but each are very similar to what they looked like.
White Gerbil with Red eyesGreen Frog

My dad created a small pond in our old backyard and put a turtle in it.  The turtle literally walked away one day. There were rumors for years after that people saw him in the much larger development pond, and I choose to believe he is there to this day.  My sister tried getting a frog next.  It ate crickets, and the crickets would escape from the cage, so she started keeping the frog's cage in our bathroom.  As a teenager, I was not at all happy with this arrangement.

Sulcata Tortoise
This Sulcata looks a lot like Morty.
Chris has a sulcata tortoise that's probably about a decade old now.  I have no idea as to what gender he is, but I named him Morty.  Morty is mildly entertaining.  Kita thinks he is a ton of fun and of course tries to play with him despite Morty's disinterest.  The cats stare at him, but don't get very close.  With Pearl's hunting instincts, we keep him well away from her.  On sunny days, we let him out in our fenced backyard and he strolls around for hours eating grass.  He alerts us that he wants to go out by bumping his shell into the wood side of his cage.  The sound is louder than you would think, so he typically gets his way.  Apparently, this species lives very long and gets very large, but we'll deal with that much later in life.  I wish our dogs and cats would live so long!

I have also had some experience with raising bunnies, but I will write about that soon.  Chris and I are pretty big animal lovers, and even though smaller pets aren't my favorite, I have had mostly positive experiences with them.  While I am definitely not an expert, feel free to ask me questions and I can probably point you towards more helpful information.  If you are looking for an animal that will love you back, I think cats and dogs are the way to go, but frankly, I'm quite biased, so don't take my word for it.