OTTAWA – If you have a pet rodent – like a hamster, ferret, or even a rat – a Barrhaven woman can make them feel comfortable and at home in a handcrafted living space.
Christine Sauvé has a pet chinchilla named Smokey.
“They’re much less maintenance-friendly than a cat or a dog, and it’s just as rewarding,” she told CTV News Ottawa.
She wanted to make Smokey a little more comfortable so she made a chill spot for the chinchilla.
“I ended up making some shelves and I like small living spaces for him.”
In the end, she liked it so much that she made it a sideline.
Sauvé’s idea was to create habitats for other pet rodents. What started as a smart project during the pandemic is now selling everywhere.
“Now I am selling these on Etsy, and I am selling all over Canada, all the states, and I even sent a few things to Europe.”
Etsy is an e-commerce website for handmade or vintage items. Sauvé’s shop front is called “Spike Smokey Creations”.
Spike was Smokey’s brother and he died in late April.
So I wanted to do something special for Smokey, like freshening up his cage, ”she explains.
She makes the habitats themselves out of wood from the ground up and for various pets.
“It can be for rats, degus and ferrets – as for any small creature you have at home that can be in a cage. It is simply attached to the cage bars. “
It’s a convenient place to relax or have a snack. From a small ledge to a bed lined with fleece that looks like a hammock to a complete shelter that offers privacy.
Sauvé’s mother helps sew the fleece hammocks, and her father helped with some of the woodworking tools.
Animal owners appreciate the handcrafted products from the region.
“They like to hide and stay there most of the day,” says Christine Solomon, who has chinchillas named Olaf and Sven. She bought a complete setup for her.
“We went with the wooden strips, the little living spaces she created, little balconies; they really like it. “
Prices range from $ 5 for individual items to over $ 100 for larger packages. According to Sauvé, the $ 50 is the average purchase price.
“The most rewarding thing is the reviews and pictures of pets who enjoy everything – it’s really fun,” Sauvé says.
Here you can see Sauvé’s homemade creations.