Meet Chinnu, the cheeky gerbil who loves to cuddle

Chinnu means the world to 13-year-old Sharanya Nair.

Chinnu originally belonged to the grandfather of 13-year-old Sharanya Nair. However, when he left for a long holiday overseas, he entrusted the care of his little pet gerbil to her.

Sharanya was understandably excited at the prospect of keeping a soft and fuzzy pet but remembers Chinnu, which incidentally means “sweet tiny fellow” in Malayalam, as being rather standoffish at first.

A tad proud, or maybe just a little scared, Chinnu bit the fingers of almost everyone in the family who tried to pat his little head.

Chinnu loves to chomp on carrots, cucumbers, apples, biscuits and grains.

Eventually however, Sharanya won him over with her love, patience and affection, positive vibes from her that he likely picked up on.

A cheeky, two-year-old today, Chinnu is the exact opposite of who he was when he first scurried into the Nair household. Today he thrives on cuddles and kisses and loves the warmth of being held gently.

He has a voracious appetite and loves to chomp on carrots, cucumbers, apples, biscuits and grains. However, he has a firm dislike for cabbage and no amount of persuasion will get him to try it.

Sharanya flashing a big smile while gently holding her pet gerbil, Chinnu.

While Chinnu does not know conventional tricks like “sit”, “stay” or “fetch”, he prides himself on his great physical agility.

It is therefore common to see him climbing effortlessly all over his cage and hanging precariously from the bars when he fancies viewing the world outside down. The last he checked, no dog could do that!

He’s also a bit of an escape artist, having painstakingly orchestrated his great escape once when Sharanya was busy cleaning his cage.

The household was in chaos, with everyone pitching in to look for him. Eventually he was found sneakily hiding beneath the laundry cupboard outside.

While in his cage, Chinnu likes to show off his physical agility by climbing the bars and sometimes hanging precariously from it.

Phew… that was a close call and everyone was relieved Chinnu could be placed safe and sound back in his cage where he sleeps every night.

Dear Chinnu, please remember that you are loved by everyone, especially Sharanya – so stop the disappearing acts!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PET: FMT Lifestyle readers are invited to send in pictures (landscape format) and a short video (if any) of their furry, scaly or feathery friends to [email protected]. Don’t forget to include details like your pet’s name, age, breed and a short story about them.