Degupdate: Candy Mistaking Herself for a Cat

Apparently degus and cats share a tendency to climb up things they then have problems getting down again… I’ll have to take some measures to prevent them from breaking their neck, as Estelle managed to get into the “storage” compartment on top of Degustan and then fall most of the way down…

In the first video you can see Candy trying to jump onto the side track of Degustan where the food is kept.

In the second video she managed to get onto it, and up the side of Degustan. We quickly needed to make that top “degusafe” after that.

Here’s a triumphant Candy with a well deserved stolen treat…

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©Giliell, all rights reserved

They’re also trying hard to gnaw their way out of the enclosure. They’ll find out I have more hinges than that…

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And finally, our “latest degu”: Sugar, a giant crochet degu. There’s a distinctive lack of degu plushies on the market, but thankfully somebody on etsy sold a crochet pattern, so I made one for the little one’s birthday (Happy birthday my love!). While this is meant for small amigurumi projects, that wool was just too amazing.

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Degupdate: A New Sand Bath

We decided to get them a different sand bath on our recent trip to Ikea, because the big round plate was less than ideal. I hoped that a higher rim would prevent “spills” but it merely slightly reduces them. Anyway, the degus really like it. They need sand baths to keep clean and prevent/get rid of parasites and they obviously also quite enjoy them. They also like digging a lot.

I decided to shoot a short video, because it’s just over-cute.

Here’s some more pics. Estelle almost dares to take treats from me, and she is now ok with putting her front paws against my leg. She will come out more quickly, at least as long as the rest of the room is quiet.

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Estelle, being unsure, deciding to wait for Candy to take the treats and bury them. Given that Estelle is the larger of the two, I’m pretty sure she gets her share of treats.

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Estelle, trying the bath

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Candy, stealing all the treats.

Degupdate: They Do Run Run Run, They Do Run, Run, Run

The new degu run is set up now and Candy just loves getting out. When we come to Degustan she’ll go downstairs and wait for the door to be opened. then she takes a longer or shorter stroll before returning. By now she has deemed me fully safe. The degus love to run, and in doing so, they slow me down, as I spend some time sitting quietly.

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We tied a few old T-shirts against the door to close the gap so no degu gets hurt falling down. Of course they#re also playthings and the string is a highly sought plaything.

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Looks like a leaf but isn’t edible! Cheating!

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Hi friends!

Estelle is coming around. Candy does actively encourage her to go outside and today she even sniffed my hand. We’re getting there.

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The obvious advantage is that it’s much easier to take pics of careful Estelle than of whirlwind Candy.

But talking about “sitting down”: As I sat crosslegged today for 45 minutes, barely moving, I managed to cut off circulation in my feet to the extend that when I got up, I fell flat on my ass again. Thankfully the degus were inside by then and all I suffered was a laughing attack at my own stupidity and a headache.

Degupdate: Snugglebeasties and DIY

Slowly, the reality of having degus is getting us. No matter how much you read, it’s never going to come close. First of all, the two remaining degus have completely different characters. Candy will come to my hand as soon as I open the door and see if there’s a treat for her. I think before long she’ll ride on our shoulders.

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As a result, Estelle is often missing out on the best treats. She still vanishes either inside the house or behind it and will not move any closer to us. Best we managed so far is that she no longer whistles in panic all the time. I try to place the treat near her while Candy is nibbling hers so she can get her nut as well.

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©Giliell, all rights reserved

It’s not like I’m worried about her. She’s obviously growing and in good shape, her fur is shiny and silky, and when I sit down and just watch from a distance, she is active and interacting with Candy.

©Giliell, all rights reserved The picture quality is sadly very bad as there wasn’t much light.

I love watching them. I just sit in an armchair for 15 minutes and watch them “talk” to each other, take a sand bath, or try to destroy Degustan. It’s so relaxing. It also makes me think of Caine a lot and her ratitude.

But talking about the reality: The People Who Tell You About Degus insisted that you can let them run in your room for an hour every day. After the two escapes by Estelle and the one by Candy it’s become clear that this is not an option. The room has way too many places where a degu can vanish and even possibly hurt herself. Also capturing them before they’re totally tame would always mean extreme amounts of stress for the degus, not to mention the risk of being savaged by degu teeth. But there’s also useful ideas on the internet and one lady just built a barrier to give them a bigger run but also protect the room.

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It’s foldable and can be put away when not needed, but I’ll need to do something about the light.

Oh,a nd since the temperatures are getting lower, I bought them a “snuggle safe” heating pad. It gets heated in the microwave and then keeps the warmth for several hours. I much prefer that to a heating lamp, especially over night or when we’re not home. The degus absolutely love it and I can only recommend it if your pet could do with a how water bottle occasionally.

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A Painful and Exhausted Degupdate

Last night I lost it. The last two weeks were bad, bad, with both my parents having some major health issues, my aunt being an asshole and the Katja dying and right now I’m really, really  protective of the other two degus, so when last night Estelle escaped and was nowhere to be found, I really found the end of my tether. I did something I haven’t done in 21 years of relationship: I called Mr home (poor guy had just left a couple of hours before because he had to take the kid to a medical appointment). Find yourself a guy who’ll take a 200km round trip to give you a hug.

Finally I found Estelle in the Little One’s wardrobe, under the socks drawer. How she got in there? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Estelle is also generally very shy and quiet. She doesn’t yet take treats from us and cusses me out whenever I try to offer her some. And she’ll just sit motionlessly in a corner when there’s something she doesn’t like, so while the Little One came downstairs for my help, she somehow got into that wardrobe and stayed very still. After we finally found her, we had to get her back. In the end I caught her and she very much did not agree with me.

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Degu teeth are sharp. If something like a thumb piercing existed I could have inserted one, because the teeth met in the middle of my thumb. At least it bled nicely, as you can see, so there’s little risk of infection.

Today we had the big cage cleaning and both degus don’t agree with being confined to the small left side, so Estelle used the opportunity so simply jump over my head, run down my back and escape again. This time I caught her with a towel and banished her to an old wine box for the time of cleaning. Candy simply stayed inside, but we cleaned like the devil was on our tail and by the end of it I was covered in sweat and litter.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Estelle, looking very suspicious at my hand. At this point she hadn’t found out how tasty I apparently am.

 

A Very Sad Degupdate

Our sweet Katja didn’t make it. After I was ever so carefully hopeful last night, she died this morning. Apparently her intestine had been too damaged already and she died this morning in the little one’s hands. Yesterday the vet said that there was probably something wrong with her apart from the infection, because she was the runt of the litter and the difference between her and her litter mate Estelle had become ever more apparent.

In the end it was probably double bad luck: Having a birth defect and a very inexperienced Degu owner who didn’t notice her problems soon enough. We did our best. I don’t know if somebody else’s best would have been good enough, ours wasn’t.

Farewell, my sweet girl.

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I also have the sweetest kid in the world. When she cried in my arms this morning she asked me why I wasn’t crying. I told her it was because I was comforting her. She went back to cry, but stopped after a minute or so to tell me “it’s ok, mummy, you can cry now and I’ll comfort you”, at which point all floodgates were opened.