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Octodon degus

The Octodon deugs, or degu, is a diurnal, hystricomorph rodent from Chile, at 30 degrees south latitude. It is a social animal, related to the guinea pig and the chinchilla.

That's the little introduction I give when I present at conferences.

So, I have two degus. I have a boy, Fezzik, and a girl, Popper. I had another one before names Inigo Montoya, but he had some sort of neurological disease and I put him down. Fez and Inigo are castrates (sorry, guys!) and I originally had just the two of them. Then I brought Popper home and later Inigo "passed on". Popper used to belong to my friend but then she moved and didn't want to take her with her. She had been living with Amy since she was a pup because her mom tried to eat her. So she's very tame.

I like that she's tame, so I'm training Fez, who is tame for a degu, but still kind of crazy. I let them run around on my couch or coffee table and they don't jump off, but now Fez keeps trying to escape. He and Inigo escaped once before by knocking their wheel off the holder thing and using it as a ladder to knock the lids off the habittrail holes. My roommate came home and saw Fez sitting on top of the cage, chewing on the stereo cord. She called me to see if I had the other one. Being at the stylist, I did not. She caught them and I taped hockey pucks to the holes and always tried to keep the wheel running. So they stopped.

But now Fez tries to escape again. I guess he likes the taste of freedom he gets when I let him run around. So I'll be sitting on the couch and I'll hear a noise and I'll look up and he'll be hanging from the roof of the cage. He gets on the food dish and jumps and then clings on. It's rather amusing, rather. I know he won't go anywhere, because he apparently doesn't like to jump pff tables. So I just look at him, question what he's doing, and he stops.

cheryl - Thursday, 11 September 2003 - 1:04 PM

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Comments (1)

gravatar katie - September 11, 2003 - 1:28 PM -

We have indoor cats, but one of them got out once. He was terrified, yet ever since then he's had a taste for the outside.

We also have birds. The birdcage is hanging from a hook by the window, so that the cats can't reach it. However, last night I heard a clang, some serious flapping, and shortly thereafter a plaintive whimpering. My cat (the smallest and lightest) had managed to make a flying leap through the air and latch her claws into the bars on the cage. While this did achieve her short-term goal (to reach the cage), she was unable to fulfill her medium-term goal (actually eating the birds) because she would have to let go to do that. Also, her long-term goal (getting down) was also unatainable because her claws were stuck. Hence the whimper.

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