J is for Joshua – an #atozchallenge post

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Hello, Bertie here.

I’m very excited because today I’ve got an interview with our friend JOSHUA.

We thought of this ages ago when we first decided to do the A to Z Challenge once a week, so I haven’t had to think of any more words beginning with J.  I don’t think we know any piggies beginning with J, although we have several Auntie JULIEs, and I’m sending love to each of you from each of us.

JOSHUA is a degu, and we told you about them for the letter D.

degu joshua 6th birthday

Hello Joshua and welcome to George’s Guinea Pig World.

First of all, please tell us – who are your companions and what are their favourite things?

There are the human caretakers.  The Mummy human mostly hangs out with us, or does reading or writing.  She does messy craft projects and cooks yummy smelling foods too.  The Daddy human mostly does things on his computer thingy, watches TV, or cleans up the Mummy human’s messes.  He cleans up our messes too.

I used to have three brothers: Jacob, Jasper, and Jenks.  Yep, all four of us had “J” names.  We looked a lot alike too.  But they went across the rainbow bridge a couple of years ago.  Now it’s just me in my cage. 

  • Jacob used to love watching TV and rearranging the things in our cage. 
  • Jasper’s favourite thing used to be food, and cuddle time with the Mummy human.
  •  Jenks used to love to wrestle, and sometimes got a bit rough, especially with Jasper, who he said was a big baby.  Jacob sometimes had to separate them.  A couple of times he even had to squeal for the human caretakers to come do it.  Of course, five minutes later they’d be cuddled up together, perfectly happy, which is why the human caretakers never separated us.


  • In the cage beside mine is my chinchilla sister, Mollie (it used to be Maizie too, but she went across the rainbow bridge earlier this year).  Mollie loves playing in her sand bath, and watching TV.  Her favourite show is NCIS.   It’s a lot quieter with just Mollie next to me; Maizie was a lot more bouncy than Mollie, so there’s not so much noise coming from the cage next door these days.
  • There’s the little white Lilie dog too.  The human caretakers say she’s the kind of dog called a West Highland White Terrier, or “Westie” for short.  Her favourite thing to do is play ball.  You should see her racing around after it! She loves going walkies too, which is my favourite thing for her to do, because then Mollie and I can watch our shows in peace.  We like the Lilie dog, but she can be a bit noisy at times.

As for me, my favourite thing is to watch TV – I especially enjoy crime shows, superhero movies, and nature shows – or play with the toys the human caretakers provide (my favourite toys are my wheel, my coconut shells, and when they give me empty cardboard tubes to shred).

I’ve known lots of furry friends who have crossed the rainbow bridge, including another degu named Luna, a pair of rats named Star and Skye, and a pair of gerbils named Bilbo and Baggins.  I miss them all, though I miss my actual brothers most.

Aw, that’s sad. I don’t miss my brother, but then he lives above me and I have to see him every day.Why did your Mummy human decide to have degus?  Is she going to have any more?

The Daddy human came home from the pet shop place one day, having seen a pair of degus who had been returned to them.  He told the Mummy human about them, because he was sad about it, especially since one had been returned with an injured tail.  She didn’t know what a degu was, so looked it up.  Then they decided they’d go adopt those two degus.  Except someone else already did while they were researching degus and deciding if they should have them.  The Mummy human was half sad, because she didn’t get them, and half glad they found someone.  But she didn’t stay sad long, because the Daddy human spotted me and my brothers when he went back to the pet store place, and brought us home with him.  He was only going to bring two of us, but we were all cuddled in a degu pile, and seemed pretty attached to each other, so he just brought us all home.

Will they get more? Well, they say they probably won’t, but I know they’ve enjoyed having us, so we’ll see.  If they do, I don’t think it will be in my lifetime though, since I’m six years old (I turned six in early March).  I mean, degus can live to be seven or eight.  In rare cases they might even make it to nine or ten.  But six is definitely getting up there in years.

The human caretakers have been talking about getting a little brother for the Lilie dog, but I’m pretty sure they don’t mean another degu, or another chinchilla either, since they tell her she’ll be able to play with him, and they don’t let her play with me or Mollie.

It sounds very complicated.  I don’t think I want to play with a dog, although I don’t think I’ve ever met one.  What’s your favourite thing your Mummy human does?

I love when she gives me great nibbles, and fun things to play with and chew on.  I have these coconut shells I like to spin, which were part of a toy she gave me, and she often gives me empty cardboard tubes, and bits of wood, which I can chew on and play with.

Also, when I’m feeling sad or scared, she lets me cuddle her finger.  I’m too small to cuddle much more than that, but it’s enough, and makes me feel better.  I don’t need to do it often, but sometimes I miss my brothers, or something scares me, and I need some comfort.  She’ll even get up in the night to let me cuddle her finger if I squeal for her.

I keep forgetting you’re very very small compared with us.  You’re about the same size as a hamster, really.  We’re about five times that size.

What are your favourite memories of your companions (including those no longer with us)

I’ve got loads of memories of my brothers, like cuddling with them in our nesting box at night, playing with them on the wheel or in the sand bath, and all 

Those times we took it in turns to distract the Mummy human while one of us tried to escape from the giant sand-less sand bath the humans use when we were gathered in there so she could try and keep track of all four of us while the Daddy human was cleaning our cage.  There were also the times we took advantage of the Mummy human having broken eyes to get extra nibbles by running around so much she couldn’t keep track of us, and putting our nibbles out of sight so we could show her our empty paws.

I also remember how Jacob used to sit in a particular spot in our cage, where he had a good view of the gerbil cage, and chat for ages with Bilbo.  I do something similar with Mollie sometimes, especially now it’s just the two of us.  But Jacob and Bilbo used to do it for a while every single day.

Oh, and there was a tiny kitten called Cara who lived with us for a while, and we used to enjoy watching her play with Luna.  They were pals, who played through the bars of Luna’s cage, and one day Luna got out of her cage, and they played together all over the living room.  Luna got really cross when the Mummy human said the game wasn’t safe, and made Luna go back in her cage.  Jasper and Jenks used to love throwing things out of the cage for Cara to chase.  It was funny watching her.  I tried the same game with the Lilie dog when she was really tiny.  It’s not as fun with a dog as with a cat though.

I also have fond memories of the Kero dog, who used to let us climb all over him.  The Daddy human says the reason he was so much calmer, and safe to do that with, than the Lilie dog, is that he was older.  But the Mummy human disagrees.  She says it’s all in the personality of the dog, and has a photo of the Kero dog with a hamster beside him on the bed when he was about the age the Lilie dog is now to prove it.

Tell us a secret that we promise not share with anyone except readers of the blog

The Mummy human plans to write another degu book.

Ooh! exciting!

She already has four degu stories:

“The Great Degu Round-Up” and “A Very Degu Christmas” – the two books in the “Degu Days Duo” – are about me and my brothers, told from Jenks’ point of view.

“Degu’s Day Out” is based on a time when Jasper went exploring, though isn’t exactly about us.

Then there’s “How To Trust Your Human” which is the story I tell under the name of Buddy, about how I learned to trust her again after my brothers went across the rainbow bridge (which I blamed the human caretakers for at first).  Buddy is the name the Mummy human always used for us when she wasn’t too sure which of us it was, which we all learned to answer to, along with our actual names.  I also answer to Joshy-Buddy.

Anyway, we appear in some of the poems in a couple of her pet themed poetry collections too.

But she’s planning on writing a story about Luna.  She’s not sure exactly when it will happen though, since it’s only a vague idea at the moment.  That’s why she hasn’t been talking about it on the computer thingy yet.  She told me she plans to do it though.

While you wait for that one, you could always go read her other books.  She’s got lots of them.

Thank you ever so much for all that information, Joshua, or can I call you Josh-buddy?  I don’t have nearly as many friends as you do.  But then you are older than me!


Joshua the degu lives by himself in a cage he used to share with his three brothers, in a building on the South-East coast of England.  He has a pair of human caretakers, who he shares with a chinchilla named Mollie, and a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie.  Joshua shares a “Furkid Friday” slot on https://ziglernews.blogspot.com with the other furry family members.  He also sometimes features in other posts on that blog, as well as in various posts on the human caretakers’ social media sites – especially those of the Mummy human.

Find the books mentioned in this post on…

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6/

…Along with a variety of other online retailers, such as ACX, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

I hope you liked the interview with Joshua, and go and read all his Mummy human’s books.

Follow that, Roscoe!

till next time

Bertie xxx

5 thoughts on “J is for Joshua – an #atozchallenge post

  1. Thanks for having me over, Bertie.

    No. You don’t want to play with a dog. It wouldn’t be too bad if you could be sure they’d be gentle like the Kero dog, but most dogs aren’t that good with us littler animals. I’ve met other dogs, and none of them have been. You definitely don’t want to play with the Lilie dog, because she’s much too hyper to be safe with us rodent types. Fun to watch from the safety of my cage though. The human caretakers use a baby gate to shut her out of the room when me or Mollie are out of our cages. “Just in case,” the Mummy human always says.

    I am a little bigger than a hamster, but only by a very little amount, especially if you’re thinking of the larger Syrian hamsters. My chinchilla sister, Mollie, is about guinea pig size though. Of course, our tails make us seem larger than we actually are, since hamsters and guinea pigs don’t have long tails like we do.

    Anyway, thanks again for having me over.

    Squeak soon,

    Liked by 1 person

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