This week I got introduced to the most amazing creature I have ever seen. Luckily for me, he is also my new roommate. He is a gray chinchilla and his name is Rafiki. One of my roommates has a plethora of creatures as pets and she finally brought her fuzzy little friend back for our last semester of classes.
Growing up, for some reason I had never had any friends that had guinea pigs or hamsters or any animals like them. So for me, seeing this chinchilla just blew my mind. First off, he has a refrigerator-sized cage with multiple levels to explore. Seeing him scamper up and down the staircases and fly along the cage walls when he gets excited is so funny. He has many quirks that make him unique. Most of the time, he sits on his little slab of marble to cool himself, and he surveys the room while doing it. He loves to have his chin and chest scratched. When you do, he stands up on his back legs and stretches his front legs out all while squinting his eyes shut. Watching him eat is also a sight to behold. They don’t seem long enough but somehow he uses his little t-rex arms to handle his food and eat. Quite oddly he gets along with the house cat that we have and they both enjoy each other’s company. She will climb up onto her cat tower and then get on top of the chinchilla’s cage. She hasn’t ever tried to eat him, which I don’t quite understand. To put it simply, everything about this creature has me perplexed.
I would be lying if I said that veterinary school is easy. Many times I have wondered why I am doing this and if it will all be worth it. But then I meet amazing creatures like Rafiki and I remember why I am here. Animals are amazing and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.