It is said that money cannot buy happiness, but for Ballito interior designer Jeanine Theron it did.
With only four registered breeders of Persian Chinchillas in South Africa, Jeanine has spent over R6 000 a pop to get her hands on two bundles of fluff which she says are absolutely worth every penny.
Owner of Augustine and Bella, Jeanine says each of her cats had undergone months’ of training before she received them.
Although potty trained, it begs the questions that at this price, do they make you coffee in the morning?
While that may be impossible, they definitely will not scratch your furniture.
What they will do is demand attention and copious amounts of love, says Jeanine.
“They love to always be with you and do not like being alone so it is recommended to always have a baby-sitter around if you are away.”
High maintenance is also a need, with Persian Chinchillas requiring to often be brushed and groomed, preventing their hair from falling out or knotting.
Dietary requirements are also a must, needing fresh water at a constant supply with only the best food loaded with vitamins being recommended.
Asked whether she would opt for a normal household cat over that of a Persian Chinchilla, Jeanine says that this species is not comparable to normal cats but rather to small dog breeds which you can carry around, ‘love and squeeze and kiss’.
“They bring me so much joy when I get home and greet me at the door each time.
“You are forced to love and cuddle them which is a guaranteed smile every time.
“They do the silliest things like lie on your face, which is the best therapy anyone can ever ask for,” says Jeanine.
She adds that every time someone visits, they leave wanting a Persian Chinchilla of their own.
But like all investments, Jeanine says Persian Chinchillas come with a 15 year commitment on average.
Jeanine recommends should you be in the market for such a cat, that you join the ‘Chinchilla South Africa’ Facebook page for more information, and be prepared to wait on average 10 weeks before receiving your fully-trained kitten.