Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Degus are Divas

My children have their very own pets. Smelly, poopie, rodent pets. They are "degus" ... that's "day-goos" and not "day-goes" as my mother lovingly refers to them. They are pretty cute, really ... and wicked smart. Here's what they look like:

Kinda cute, right? Well ... I thought so too ... until this past weekend when I learned the ugly truth about Degus ... they are fricken DIVAS!!! DIVUS, if you will.

We have a special mix of food for the little darlings that consists of pellets that do not contain gluten or molasses of any sort (which incidentally is MUCH more expensive than the other) and an assortment of special seeds. We have to "prepare" this mixture as the pet stores do not. Well ... we ran out of seeds at the end of last week. Not pellets, but seeds. Nobody forewarned me, but apparently this was specifically written into their contracts, the little darlins - because the broo-ha-ha that ensued left me wondering what kind of little critters we had in there.

They each have their own dish ... I know what you are thinking ('cause I thought it too when we got them) but they DO know to whom each dish belongs... and just so you are forewarned ... just let the wrong one eat out of one of 'em ... not. pretty. Hubby had cleaned the cage on Friday and filled each dish with pellets, but no seeds. From what I understand this is in direct violation of section 17, subsection 6, paragraph 2 of the "Welcome to Your New Full Time Job - Degus!!" contract.

I realize I am known for my flare for overstating the drama by times ... I can own that. But these three are like having the Gabor sisters in a cage! In fact ... I secretly call them Zsa Zsa, Eva and Magda (although officially their names are: Pinky, Cutie and Furry).

So, I come home this past Friday evening, with my monsters (my children) in tow. It's the end of a trying week. In fact, it was the end of a trying day ... I had stayed late to have a discussion with Narci that was unpleasant to say the very least (more on that another day). I think it's safe to say I was not in the bestest of humour and I had dinner to make and a house to clean and crazy kids to wrangle ... so I wasn't overly chipper. I'm working away in the kitchen and suddenly, I hear this very loud crash ... it's coming from the mud room (which is where the Degus cage lives). I look in the cage and all three of them are sitting there - looking right at me ... daring me (okay, I may have imagined that ... or did I?). I'm looking in the cage to see what might've made the noise and all of a sudden ... SMASH!!! Zsa Zsa had picked up her (ceramic) dish and drifted it across the cage where it hit the bars and flung the pellets out onto the floor. That's when I noticed the contents of the first dish also on the floor and the overturned ceramic dish of Eva's.

"All right, you plague infested poop factories ... WTF???" *laughing like a fool* "Can I assume you don't fancy the pellets?"

Making a mental note to myself to get some seeds ASAP ... before they start lighting fires, I cleaned up the mess and went back to cooking dinner. I didn't bother filling the dishes up again because I figured they'd just fling 'em again, but I had some Timothy Hay (another "must" in the Divu diet) and I put that into a larger ceramic bowl on the top level of their cage (it has 3). Apparently this signals the beginning of WWE - Degu Style. They.Went.Off. There was fighting ... I mean knock 'em down, pound the shit outta each other, hair pulling, face slapping - fighting. They are not generally very vocal ... their noises are normally pretty faint ... not so much with the "war cry".

Holy CARP!!! I had to take it out (the bowl of hay). They mighta killed each other. I should point out that this is a mother and her two daughters ... should really ring true for me, but whoa!! They put us to shame.

Saturday evening, I ran out to the little farty grocery store that is in the teeny little township we live beside. We needed a couple of things and Degu seeds was one of 'em. I brought them home and cut open the bag ... and I felt a shift in the mood of the house. Suddenly, I sensed I may be in some sort of danger ... you know like in horror movies just before the dumb cheerleader gets hacked into bits? Yeah - like that...  'cept I am no cheerleader. I walk around the corner and Zsa Zsa, Eva and Magda are there ... perfectly still, staring me down. I swear, I'm waiting for the whole "I'm watchin' you" signal. I lift the top of the cage and reach in to get a dish... slowly ... as if to not startle the ladies. I sit the first bowl down and reach for the second ... Zsa Zsa approaches ... followed closely by the other two. I try to shoo them away, but my efforts are in vain. I get the second bowl filled and put it down ... and then they started again. I got the hell outta the cage.

After a bit, I realized they were not going to work it out on their own - so I enlisted the assistance of hubby. I tried to distract them while he reached into the bottom level of the cage to get the third bowl that had been flung to the bottom. At this point, my dog - a ninety odd pound Golden Doodle decided he wanted a piece of the action and was pouncing at the cage. He wound up knocking over the water dish and getting one of them wet. Now every time he walks by the cage she screams at him ... it's friggen hilarious. Hubby eventually got the dish filled and then we located the three of them on different levels and the skirmish was over ... for now.

What have we done???


Spot said...

Oh my stars! That's funny/creepy/scary! I've never even heard of these little critters but I think you were very brave to reach into the cage after the big "stare down"! Hahaha and your poor dog!

They sound a bit like squirrels. I have had a squirrel shake it's little rodent fist at me and chatter madly. But no way would I have put my hand anywhere near its vicinity.

The picture is adorable. No doubt they practice the "innocent" look to lure in unsuspecting strangers.

great post,

Danica Dragonfly said...

They are actually very much like squirrels ... in more ways than one. They are very cute, but they bicker like crazy.

Quite tame most of the time with humans - they don't bite. (Well, us anyway)

Eyvi Sprite said...

All rodents are a pain in the ass. 'Specially the pet kind. I would pull up a chair and hunker down with my bowl of popcorn in front of these three though. I do enjoy a good cage fight!

Mark Price said...

Danica, all degus can't be nice. Maybe Narci would like to find some especially nasty ones in his desk next week? Nothing says "happy Monday" like your eyeballs getting ripped from your skull!

Danica Dragonfly said...

Hmmm ... I was thinkin' maybe a couple thousand fire ants.

Mark Price said...

Fire ants thats funny to me because a few of my co-workers were stuck out of town and really bored last summer and decided to see which of them could keep their arm on a hill of fire ants the longest. WOW The welts were horrible.

Spot said...

Hey miss Danica...I tagged you for two blog awards over at my blog! So you've got some blogging to do...