Romeo Sweet Romeo, A Capybara Who Really Wants to Please Part 1

The Perfect Capybara

Majestic Romeo walks tall and proud.  He is the Master of the Manor.

Very loving and affectionate.   A very conscientious and extremely well behaved capybara.

Romeo and Tuff'n

Romeo and Tuff’n

Romeo’s herd consists of Elizabeth, Marvin and Tuff’n…. and maybe Yellow Cat.

He ‘adores’ Elizabeth and Marvin. His relationship is slightly different with each of them.   Many animals do distinguish between male and female humans and often act differently towards each.   It may well be that Romeo believes Elizabeth is his mother. Watching Elizabeth and Romeo together you can feel the love and energy Elizabeth puts into her relationship with Romeo.  Romeo basks in this love, his hair goes all pouffy and and a huge smile spreads over his face when he is with her.

You can see the love betweem Romeo and Elizabeth in this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_FXGypszYQ

Each weekday morning when Elizabeth goes to work Romeo becomes sad; he misses her.   Marvin takes Romeo in his arms and comforts him, saying “She’ll be back, she’s coming back, it’ll be okay baby”.

Each weekday evening Romeo and Tuff’n wait by the front door at the time Elizabeth is due back from work;  you can feel their eager anticipation of her arrival.   They then all snuggle down together on the beanbag.   As Elizabeth says, what better way to shake off the tensions and frustrations of a long day in the office then to relax in the company of your two loving capybaras.

Sometimes, much to Romeo’s annoyance, Tuff’n comes along and squeezes between Elizabeth and him. Then with his tiny little legs he tries to push Romeo out of the way. Romeo is very long-suffering, his extremely expressive face shows exactly how he feels about Tuff’n’s behaviour, but he realises he just has to put up with this. It will be interesting to see how their relationship develops as Tuff’n grows bigger.

Tuff'n would like to push Romeo out of the way!

Tuff’n would like to push Romeo out of the way!

Marvin is number one in the male hierarchy, and Romeo would do almost anything to please Marvin. Sometimes he even goes against his true capybara nature so great is his desire for Marvin’s approval. For example, it is quite natural for the number 2 in the capybara hierarchy to try to ‘steal’ the food of number 3. It happens all the time at Nagasaki Bio Park, at watermelon time, when the most senior ranking female capybaras push those of lower rank away from the food troughs to stake their claim to the juiciest bits of watermelon. Fights sometimes break out.  These high ranking capybara eat the most watermelon, and suffer the most health problems as a result!

Marvin and Romeo

Marvin and Romeo

It is testament to Romeo’s sweet and conscientious nature that quite often he makes no attempt to rush over and drink Tuff’n’s milk, because he knows that is how Marvin wants him to behave.

There is an assumption on the part of all capybaras that the other capybara’s food is tastier than their own.

You can get a flavour of Romeo’s upbringing from this video: Training and Playing with Cute Pet Capybara ペットカピバラを訓練

http://youtu.be/2PvGXygdZwQ

Romeo likes to have his head covered when he snuggles down for a nap

Romeo likes to have his head covered when he snuggles down for a nap

Romeo is a very emotional capybara, something he has inherited from his mother, Nibbles.  He is a master of the sulk, and can spend long periods of time brooding.

Romeo used to accompany Marvin everywhere, sitting in his lap, helping him to drive and navigate. Whenever Marvin visited anyone on business Romeo would accompany him and of course he became the much loved centre of attention. As you can imagine Romeo made many new friends on these visits, and Marvin’s business prospered.

So Proud of Each Other

So Proud of Each Other

Romeo’s acceptance of Tuff’n is testament to the strength of his relationship with Elizabeth and Marvin.   His capybara nature would have been to attack Tuff’n.  The expectation amongst people who know capybaras was that Romeo would not tolerate Tuff’n at all.   However Romeo knew that Marvin and Elizabeth expected him to become friends with Tuff’n, and Romeo tries his hardest to please when it is really important.

Nap Time

Nap Time

Over time Romeo came to view Tuff’n as a friend and as a source of comfort on those occasions when he felt particularly anxious.  In the early days of my visit it took Romeo a little while to accept that when Marvin left him in my care, Marvin would return. Sometimes he turned to Tuff’n, calling plaintively and rubbing noses with him.   Tuff’n’s presence and support seemed to reassure him. Tuff’n really appreciated his role as support and confidante to Romeo and their friendship blossomed.

 Romeo Sweet Romeo

Romeo Sweet Romeo

Romeo also looked to Tuff’n for moral support on that fateful occasion when he needed to do a pooh while still in the neighbour’s garden.   He went over to Tuff’n and spent a long time rubbing noses with him, consulting him and discussing the problem.

Young capybaras tend to take the most direct route, even if it means clambering across another capybara’s face, rather than politely walking round a sleeping capybara, or as transpires in this video:   Soft Landing Sweet Romeo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XClqZY214Z8

On other occasions Romeo behaves towards Tuff’n as an older brother who finds his younger brother a trifle annoying. Romeo does not like sharing the plastic tub, filled with warm water in the garden, with Tuff’n.   Tuff’n knows this. He comes over to the tub and looks in longingly, then he goes away and does a little dance of frustration. He tries to distract himself by nibbling on grass but is drawn back to Romeo and the tub of hot water. He vacillates “should I get in and be rejected, or do I forego my pleasure at being in the warm water with Romeo?”. Eventually he clambers in and immediately Romeo gets out.   Tuff’n looks forlornly after the departing Romeo. He rolls over a few times in the water, and then he jumps out and follows Romeo, nuzzling up against Romeo’s bottom.

Tuff'n Nibbles Romeo's Bottom

Tuff’n Nibbles Romeo’s Bottom

Similarly at bath time in the evening. Romeo and Tuff’n have their evening bath with Elizabeth or Marvin ministering to them. Elizabeth pampers Romeo and pours hot water over his head which he loves. He rolls over blissfully, a huge smile spreading over his face. Romeo is in heaven. After about 15 minutes Romeo sits up indicating it’s time to leave the bath tub, except that he just sits there making no attempt to get out of the bath. What he actually means is that it’s time for Tuff’n to leave the bath, so that he, Romeo, can spend quality time with Elizabeth being pampered and scratched and loved. Romeo remembers that he used to be the centre of attention before Tuff’n arrived. It’s very important that he still feels that he is the most loved, most important capybara in the world.

As time passes his love for Tuff’n grows.

Early on in his life Romeo’s favourite place at night on the bed was between the two pillows. One day Yellow Cat decided he wanted this favoured position. In the middle of the night Marvin awoke to the sounds of a restless Romeo moving around discontentedly. This was followed by a frantic scuffle, after which Romeo resumed his favourite position between the two pillows. The next day Marvin noticed a bite on Yellow Cat’s ear.   Romeo had obviously spent some time plotting and strategising his attack.  He had been very careful with his bite, given his razor sharp teeth he could easily have bitten Yellow Cat’s ear off.   Instead he just wanted to teach Yellow Cat a lesson.   Ever since Yellow Cat has treated Romeo with great respect and given him a wide berth!

All So Very Happy

All So Very Happy

Romeo is very supportive and caring. One time when Elizabeth was ill in bed he spent the entire day on the bed cuddled up beside her keeping her company and giving her moral support. On another occasion when Marvin had hurt his back, and was lying on the floor in some pain, Romeo came over and sat on his chest and nuzzled him, trying to make him feel better. Which of course he succeeded in doing. The presence of any capybara is a healing force.

It is very important that a pet capybara feels secure and loved in his home environment.   This Romeo most certainly does.   Romeo has been beautifully brought up by his loving family, Elizabeth and Marvin.. He tries so very hard to do the right thing most of the time.

Romeo brings so much joy and happiness to those around him.

Links To Videos:

You can see the love betweem Romeo and Elizabeth in this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_FXGypszYQ

You can get a flavour of Romeo’s upbringing from this video: Training and Playing with Cute Pet Capybara ペットカピバラを訓練:  http://youtu.be/2PvGXygdZwQ

Young capybaras tend to take the most direct route, even if it means clambering across another capybara’s face, rather than politely walking round a sleeping capybara, or as transpires in this video:  Soft Landing Sweet Romeo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XClqZY214Z8

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2 thoughts on “Romeo Sweet Romeo, A Capybara Who Really Wants to Please Part 1

  1. wow, Liz – “As Elizabeth says, what better way to shake off the tensions and frustrations of a long day in the office then to relax in the company of your two loving capybaras.” This post is so descriptive and delightful, it gives the reader an in-depth experience of what it must be like to live with these two sweet capybaras and their humans. (And Yellow Cat!) Thank you! fondly, Jennah

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