Wednesday, August 3, 2011

POV Wednesday – Chin Proof

She’s not as time-consuming as a dog or finicky as a cat, but she does have a few particular care needs.

With a sensitive digestive system, she can’t have ‘treats’ or incentive food items. On one hand, her diet is nice and simple. On the other hand, training her is next to impossible.

The temperature must remain cool, strictly between certain degrees, and the air dry. Overheating is very dangerous for chinchillas.

Classified as a rodent, a chin’s dental health is of paramount importance, achieved as long as she has massive amounts of things to chew on. But it must be the right types of things –woods, mainly, in the short and specific category of non toxic to chins.

She needs daily exercise. An exercise wheel in her cage is the ideal arrangement, but we can’t afford a chin palace at the moment and her current enclosure is just big enough for her sleeping log, some hopping room and her food/water.

In order for her to get the exercise and attention she needs, we have play time twice a day, a chance for her to get out of her cage and jump around. This must be in a highly controlled environment because of the chewing habit. So, the bathroom is her playground. However, though fewer than in an entire household, certain chin-proofing things must occur to make it safe for her to play.

For instance, she fits through the tiny crack under the door, the very first thing she headed for the first time we tried play time. So, barricade door with 2x4 of non-toxic wood. Check.

Then, baseboards are made of wood. A succulent buffet in the eyes of a chin, but stained and treated thus toxic to her. So, another slab of ‘safe’ wood to protect the sink cabinet edges and lots of towels lining the walls for the baseboards. Oh, and she likes drywall – so a plastic corner secured over the one exposed corner wall piece. Check. Check.

Chins like to JUMP and can like a grasshopper. So, safe obstacles for jumping and climbing. Check.

An exercise wheel. Check.

A dust bath. Check.

We’ve been at this playtime thing for two months now, and let me tell you, I’m STILL finding things I need to chin-proof because Fi keeps finding ways to get in trouble.

See, chins are CURIOUS. She must find out what lies beyond each barrier. She is fearless, part of her Ninja personality, and will try anything available to try. The word ‘no’ makes no difference what-so-ever. It’s in her nature to chew and to leap, and that is what she will do.

When I physically remove her from chewing harmful material that she’s found, she makes her displeasure known by barking or nipping at my hand.

When I provide ‘safe’ things for her to chew, she finds the place to chew where she ought not to chew.

When I provide ‘safe’ places to jump and run, she finds places to jump and run where she ought not jump and run.

This morning, after deterring her one more time from something she’d gotten into, I thought about how God might see us.

Even living as a Christian, this life is not sin-proof. Though God provides everything we need to live a godly lifestyle, we still find ways to push the boundaries. Though He puts up obstacles meant to protect us, we stubbornly plod through and around them to satiate our incessant curiosity and drive for experiencing the unknown simply because it is in our nature, in our flesh, to do so. When He physically removes us from doing that which we ought not, we sometimes bark at Him or nip His hand.

How lovingly He continues to surround us with protection and ‘safe’ options. He’s so faithful not to give up on us, stick us in a cramped cage and ignore our needs. He just keeps giving us chance after chance.

My Ninja chinchilla acts on instincts. She’s an animal. Thus, I will continue to attempt chin-proofing her life so that she will be safe, even knowing I’ll never get a thanks for it.

But the least I can do for God as He and I work together to sin-proof my life is say ‘thanks.’ If I understand an inkling of His love, I’ll do more than that.

(photo by Yours Truly!)


Jenni said...

Thank you for sharing pics of your adorable fuzzy friend! I love the analogy- a good reminder for me today. Thank you for writing it, and sharing it!

Anonymous said...

Fiona is SO CUTE!
You have an amazing gift for finding lessons in ordinary events of everyday life.
I am so glad you are willing to share them.
I look forward to your POV every Wednesday.