Saturday, July 3, 2010

Things a chinchilla can eat without immediately dying.

In the years that we have had a chinchilla roommate, we have been keeping track of all the times that he hasn’t died. I, especially, have been keeping an anticipated eye on his mortality and have identified the following patterns in his remaining-alive-against-the-odds behavior: 1). Every occasion that he has not perished when perishing seems to be the only logical way forward, has followed his eating something that is not food or reasonably consumable without immediate chinchilla death. Like the cement incident. 2). On a scale of “probably won’t eat it” to “has eaten 3 of them today,” the likelihood that on object will become Martin food increases drastically with its removal from food-like substances and its expensiveness/impossible to replace-ness. Like computer chargers which cost roughly one million dollars.

Tomorrow my chinchilla is taking his first big-boy steps and moving away to San Francisco, to spread his little chinchilla wings and find his fortunes in the big city. Like most parents do at these milestone moments in their children's lives, I have been putting on a brave face and excitedly preparing him for his embarkation into adulthood, but sometimes when he's not around I pull out his baby photos and think how it seems like just yesterday that I was chasing him around the house at 3am because he had escaped from his cage and was rapidly consuming everything in his path.

And so since concrete, electricity, chocolate* and the wood glue and paint of his own house have not killed him, I have great confidence that the terror of a city that is far, far from home will not kill him either. It might change him a bit and he’ll learn some of those words that I have I have done so well to shelter him from. Most likely though, he’ll just make funny noises and birthday toast for his new roommates (and fourth of July granola, and St Patrick’s day pudding. WHO IS GOING TO FEED ME FESTIVELY WHEN YOU ARE GONE MARTIN???)** and charm the pants off of "San Fransisco."

I, like a proud momma, will wait for my chinchilla’s visits home and secretly harbor a grudge against the big stupid city.

*"Chocolate isn't good for dogs, but you can have the rest of my milk." Dogs: lesser mammals.
** Okay. Fine. By chinchilla I mean Cassie Wamboldt. YOU CAUGHT ME OKAY.