A Canadian mum with two kids and a lot of pets has become a viral sensation by sharing the family playing together where the animals take centre stage in the fun.
The Cristofaro family of Quebec have become an online sensation with their “Furballs” account that includes ducks, guinea pigs, pigs and many other animals alongside the other family members.
Like most families, the kids play with the pets, but the difference with mum Mum Melissa Cristofaro Trihey and her children, and other families, is that they film the fun, and share it with an army of followers.
Melissa, 40, said that it was just fun until one of their videos went viral and since then their army of followers has simply kept on growing.
She said the account, despite the fact that it is bringing in an income, is not about making anybody rich, it’s about showing people that allowing children to have animals can teach compassion, kindness and responsibility.
Melissa actually has entirely separate business interests in her day job, owning a home goods import business where she sells to many chains stores in Canada.
She said: “I also do the rentals and tenants management for my family’s real-estate portfolio.”
In an interview with Newsflash the mum from Montreal, in Quebec, said: “I grew up with having lots of pets (not as many as I have now haha) but when I had children of my own I really realized the importance raising children with a strong connection to nature and animals.
“I have always made sure my children were physically learning in nature. When they were babies, I would take them to the farm twice a week. I encouraged them to get their hands and feet dirty in the earth. I know that having my kids grow up with our unique, furball family, has helped them flourish into the empathetic, patient and responsible members of society, they have grown to be!”
She said that having 14 animals can be challenging at times from trying to feed everybody on time, to bath time through to the animal’s peculiar habits such as the pig eating the children’s homework.
But she added that at the end of the day she sees every minute of time spent with her extended family as being worth it.
Asked about the videos where the guinea pigs drive around in vehicles, she said it was a natural extension of the fact that the kids and the guinea pigs were playing together anyway.
She said: “Furballsinc & the guinea pigs’ rise to stardom driving around in motorized vehicles started when my children, Ella and Chase, were snapping pictures of them posed in Chase’s (my son’s) toy cars.
“I instantly realized this was something we must share with people! Together, as a family, we began a joint Instagram account to share our funny, staged pictures and skits of our many pets with Bingo & Buster being the main attraction in their motorized vehicles.
Melissa’s guinea pig, a member of her family in Montreal, Canada. Melissa Cristofaro Trihey, 40, with her goose, a member of her family in Montreal, Canada.
“Post after post, the account grew in popularity organically. Until, one video of Bingo & Buster driving around in scooters blew up – turning the Furballs Inc. account into a viral sensation since 2016!”
The guinea pigs adventure almost never happened though as her daughter Ella had been asking for months to get a hamster for her birthday
Melissa said: “So when it came along, we went to the pet shop and there were no hamsters but low and behold Bingo & Buster caught her eye!
“We couldn’t separate them, so they both came home with us, along with a carload full of toys!
“They are the sweetest little guys, they sing when I open the fridge, hoping they will get some fresh veggies and love hanging with the kids while they play!”
She said that there was no question that the guinea pigs didn’t enjoy playing with the kids, saying: “Bingo loves being the star of the show, he loves posing for pictures and videos and Buster comes along for the ride, as long as he has Bingo by his side! They are very adventurous guinea pigs, they get to see a lot and have a pretty extensive car, boat and sports collection!”
And although it looks like competitive stuff, at the end of the day it’s mainly about having fun.
She said: “Everyone is a winner in my house and no one competes against each other, it’s all for fun! So no matter who wins the race, they both get something delicious :).”
Melissa’s guinea pigs ride scooters in Canada. Melissa shows her monkey in Canada.
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Story By: Arian Movileanu, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash
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