Toenail Torture

I don’t think this is a good idea. We should get out of here.

Yesterday was Friday the 13th. Like all capybaras, I’m not superstitious, but I still should have known something bad would happen on that day. I never would have guessed just how bad it would be.

The morning started out normally enough. I got my usual 7:00 am yogurt. Delicious, as always. Afterward, I went to my bed in the dinning room (my owner calls this area “Caplin’s Corner.”) Through my sleepy ears, I listened to my owner’s normal morning routine: take a shower, feed the horses, get her stuff and go out to the car.

I heard her car pull out of the garage but it didn’t drive off. Instead, my owner got out and came back in the house. She got my harness and leash and came after me! She dragged me out to the car and off we went.

A few minutes later we stopped in a strip mall. Sheldon met us there and he got me out of the car. We went into a building that was vaguely familiar. I weighed in at 98.7 lbs. Then they took me to a little room. There was a bench in the room and I jumped up on that and sat with my owner while we waited for something to happen.

Me with my owner…waiting.
Me with Sheldon…still waiting.
Sheldon is wearing a capybara shirt from
It’s a drawing of him holding me last time we were at the vet.
The irony was not lost.

Eventually the vet and her helper came in. The vet checked my eyes and ears and listened to my heart and my breathing. Then came the bad part. She tried to grab my feet! My owner held me really tightly while the vet grabbed my hind paw and used some weird instrument on it. I squirmed and struggled and jerked my foot until I got away. My little heart pounded in my chest and–I’m embarrassed to say this–I urinated all over the floor. They wiped it up with towels and then got me a clean blanket to stand on.

The torture begins.
After a while, they tried again. The noise hurt my sensitive little ears. I could feel my foot vibrating. I kept imagining a serrated electric knife or a chain saw hacking away at my toenail, with only a matter of time until it reached my toe and then my foot! I eeped as loudly as I could but my owner only hugged me tighter. Finally I managed to struggle free. I stood panting on the blanket thinking the worst was over.They even put this blanket over me to lull me into a false sense of security.

But it wasn’t! A few minutes later, the vet came back! This time she tried to cut off my toenails–or was it my toes? I broke free again and at least got them to give up on the clipper. One small error and there goes my toe! But did they care?

After that, Sheldon held me down and the vet worked on my toenails with the mechanical grinder. Sheldon is strong and I couldn’t get away but I sure made it hard for the vet to use that “instrument” on me.
It looks like Sheldon is hugging me but really he’s restraining me for torture.
This photo isn’t for the weak-hearted.

Finally, they let me go. I was exhausted. I just wanted to get out of there. Sheldon led me outside where I soon collected a group of admirers. After a few minutes, my owner came out and the three of us went to lunch. The ordeal ended with an uneventful trip home. What a relief.

I do have to admit that my toenails do look nicer now. And they were getting a bit in my way with how long they were. Still, I’m never going back!

(You can find a video of this event at

Toenail Torture

I get my toenails trimmed at the vet’s. The vet tries two methods, grinding and clipping. Clipping doesn’t work so grinding it is, but the vet’s tool is too small for efficient use on a capybara so it takes a long time. I hate the entire experience.

YouTube Preview Image

Introducing Caplin Rous

Hi! Welcome to my blog. This is my first entry so let me tell you a little bit about myself.

I am not new to the internet. When I was a baby, my owner wrote a weekly column for the San Marcos Daily Press. She posted her articles on blogger under the username Typpy. They’re still there so if you want to see some of her early reflections on what it’s like to keep a capybara, you can look at her blog.

I’ve been on MySpace since I was just a capy-kitten. About six months ago, I joined FaceBook. And now I even have a store featuring me on CafePress. But my biggest internet footprint is on YouTube ( My owner has been putting videos of me up there since day one.

Day one was actually day eleven for me. That’s how old I was when my owner got me. But that brings me to my “25 Fascinating Facts About Me!” I wrote this for my MySpace blog but it seems like a good place to start here. Just a little background information.

1. I was one of five capy-kittens but by the time my owner came to claim me, all my siblings were gone. I think maybe I was the runt of the litter.

2. I have four toes on my front feet but only three on my back. They are all webbed except the little one on my front feet. And they have big claws that look like incipient hooves. Those claws really hurt if I step on you, which I have no compunction about doing.

3. My parents were carnies. Their owners take them around to small fairs and carnivals where they are book as “The World’s Largest Rats!” I am proud of my carnie heritage but capybaras are NOT rats (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

4. I don’t like walking on slick, hard surfaces. When I do, I curl my toes just like I would in the swamp, only instead of making it easier, it just makes me slide around.

5. My favorite food is yogurt, specifically blueberry yogurt. When I eat it I get it all over my nose and chin and then it drips on the floor. My owner always tries to clean my face with a sponge but I don’t like that so I resist and try to run away.

6. I like to sleep under the covers. But I wake up hungry around 4:00 am and then I pester my owner and/or Rick by eeping and pushing my nose in their faces trying to get them to give me treats. I really want yogurt but for some reason they don’t want to give it to me at that time.

7. I like to take a warm bath when the weather is cold. In the morning, I take one while my owner gets ready for work. She has a TV in the bathroom so she can watch the news while I soak. When she leaves the bathroom, I leave too, and it’s always too soon. I could stay in the bath for hours!

8. I always poop in the water. My owner has a water bowl set up for me next to the toilet in the little bathroom. The bowl is kind-of small for me now, I barely fit in, so sometimes I miss a little.

9. Coral and Carl are staying with us now and I like to chase them down the hall. It’s not that I don’t like them, but they never spend any time with me. They don’t pet me or feed me treats or scratch my stomach. And they use my bathroom, which I don’t like sharing.

10. Coral and Carl have a guinea pig named Neptune and he is my new best friend. I still miss The Rabbit a lot but Neptune helps fill the void.

11. I have my own store at My owner is its best customer.

12. I mostly swim underwater. Unlike humans, I can close my ears and my nose when I swim so I don’t get water in them. I swim with my eyes open. Experts say capybaras can hold their breath for five minutes. I never go more than about 30 seconds.

13. I like to lie on the table in my pool and have people feed me grass one blade at a time. That is the life for a capybara.

14. When we go out, people often mistake me for other animals. The most common misidentifications are: wombat, tapir, potbelly pig and javelina. One person asked if I was a guinea pig who had been exposed to radiation. Yet even a toddler barely able to talk called me a “giant mouse.” I don’t know how he even knew I was a rodent.

15. When my owner leaves for work, I run down to the corner of the yard and eep for her pitifully. Usually she stops the car and gives me a little treat. But she still leaves, which is wrong of her.

16. I am a picky eater. Some of my favorite foods that I will no longer eat are: yogurt drops, corn-on-the-cob, lettuce, frosted mini-wheats and craizens. Soon there won’t be anything for my owner to feed me.

17. I like to eat ice but only after it has been seeped in Diet Coke. Whenever I see my owner drinking a Diet Coke in a glass, I jump up and put my paws on her lap and beg for the ice. She has taken to drinking her cokes with ice just to please me.

18. I have a small tuft of long hairs right between my ears. I think it makes me unique except I’m not sure that all capybaras don’t have that.

19. My owner wrote a book about a cat and a capybara. She got a literary agent but the book hasn’t sold to a publisher yet. She is thinking of self-publishing so that it will be out in time for my Animal Planet appearance. The capybara in the book is a girl and its name is Caplynn Rous.

20. When I was a baby, my owner thought I was a girl. She didn’t find out until I was about four months old that I am a boy.

21. I like to go on long walks on the property. By long I mean time not distance. I am not a fast animal. When we go on walks my owner lets me choose the speed and direction. I wish the drought would end so there would be more interesting things to eat while we’re walking. And maybe I could swim in the creek again. That would be heaven.

22. One time when we were walking I almost stepped on a coachwhip snake. My owner says I’m afraid of snakes but that snake didn’t scare me. I don’t know why.

23. I like to go for rides in the car, especially now that we have a new red car that I look really good in. I stick my nose out the window when I can but my owner mostly keeps it rolled up because she’s afraid I’ll jump.

24. There are only two people in the world that I hate: Carol and Philip. Philip is my owner’s son. One day he stomped his feet at me and this brought out my territorial instincts. I can’t seem to get over that. I don’t know why I hate Carol.

25. I bit my owner once but I would NEVER do that again. Probably. I mean, you’re never supposed to say never, right?