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From The Editor - Critters USA

By Marylou Zarbock

Small, furry and cute – that sums up a lot of the pets we cover in Critters USA. Cuteness, like beauty, seems to be in the eye of the beholder. Recently I was amazed to see someone react with a bit of dread when they saw a pet hamster. I don’t understand such a reaction, but I respect it. Everyone has his or her own preferences. Me, I think all these animals are super cute!

Could I choose which pet is the cutest? I really don’t think so. They each have their own charm. Even the small short-tailed opossum can lay claim to being ugly-cute in my book. But what do you think? I hope you’ll log onto our new website and vote for the animal you consider the cutest. Just go to There’s a lot to see on the new website, go to Page 95 for a peek at the fun waiting for you.

I hope you’ll also stop by our forums,, and let us know what it means to you to have your pet. I recently took on the responsibility of two wonderful little Winter White hamsters named Boris and Yuri. It’s been a fun and happy experience. Stressed out? Watch a hamster. Now I know what people mean when they refer to “hamster business.” These little guys can get so busy rearranging things in the cage. One day Yuri poked and sniffed and shuffled around in the bedding for several minutes. He finally picked up a piece to take to the nest box/igloo. That piece of bedding looked just like any other to me, but for Yuri it held some mysterious allure that made it better than the other bedding. Only a hamster could understand.

We humans try, though, and this magazine is part of that. You’re holding a wealth of small animal information in your hands. I hope you enjoy reading about guinea pig myths, how hamsters communicate, enrichment for mice and the many other articles in these pages. Our children’s section begins on Page 76 and offers tips for interacting with pets, then follows with a fun maze activity for children, and a seek & find game.

With this issue we begin featuring milestone anniversaries. The House Rabbit Society celebrates 20 years of saving rabbits in 2008. Is your small-animal organization, club or company marking an anniversary of 10, 15, 20, 25 or more years? Please send us information about it! Contact us at e-mail or on the website at

I hope this issue helps you understand and enjoy your small pet even more. Now, go get a cuteness fix from your small pet, and be sure to fill out our survey on Page 96!

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