Saturday morning (pre-race) started out like this.
Richard: “Where are the chinchillas?”
Heather: “They’re probably sleeping in their blue thing.”
Richard: “…I don’t see them… and the door is open.”
Maybe I should mention that we had recently been putting the chinchillas on the deck, which meant they could have run onto our neighbors’ decks, or even into our neighbors’ apartments. I ran to wake up Mark, and we put some food out in the hopes they would come back. Mark then drove us to the race and when he got back, Frederick had returned and was sitting in his cage like a good pet. Frederick and Theodore never really “clicked” and we surmised that Frederick may have lured him out of the cage and then left him. But that’s kind of manipulative for a small rodent…
Over the course of Saturday and Sunday we kept putting food out and trying to catch a glimpse of Theodore on someone else’s deck (creepy, I know). The food kept disappearing so we knew he was somewhere close (our decks aren’t on the ground floor, so the only place Theodore could roam was the connected balcony of our apartment building).
Sunday evening rolled around and still no Theodore. We had been gone most of the day and as we approached our apartment, our neighbor came out and said, “Hey, do you guys by any chance have a pet chinchilla?” Theodore had apparently been hiding out in her apartment on and off for the last two days, and our poor neighbor didn’t even know what he was when she first saw him. We helped her catch him and took him home after profusely thanking her for her help.
We feel pretty lucky that we got both of them back! We wondered if Frederick was disappointed when we brought Theodore back. We were pretty sure Theodore at least had been homesick: our neighbor said Theodore cried at night! Poor little guy. That should teach him not to follow Frederick anymore.