By Sophie Norris
Two pint-sized petrolheads have been caught on camera nonchalantly driving their owners’ toy cars donning miniature hats and sunglasses in a hilarious video.
Guinea pig brothers Bingo and Buster joined the Cristofaro family in 2016 and regularly hop in and drive around in a toy fire engine, cars and even a motorbike and sidecar.
The 18-month-old pair are part of a family of 14 pets who live with owner Melissa Cristofaro, 36, husband Dean Cristofaro and their two children Ella Cristofaro, 8, and Chase Cristofaro, 5, who go by the name of Furballs Inc.
The pets include one piglet named Betsy, two chinchillas called Bello and Ben, Jude the pug and Gemma the bulldog, five chickens and two ducks – Chicaletta, Donald, Quack, Ryder Jr, Palm and Goldie, and of course Bingo and Buster the guinea pigs.
Melissa and her children captured the moment the ‘sweet little guys’ took the vehicles out for a test drive and shared it on social media – racking up more than 11,000 views in just two days.
Melissa, from Montreal, Canada, said: “Bingo and Buster are part of our family of 18.
“We have seven chickens and ducks, a bulldog, a pug, a piglet, two chinchillas and two guinea pigs.
“The guinea pigs are so chilled out and they enjoy riding around in the toy cars and scooters. We’ve been playing with them since they were small so they’re very tame.
“In the video where they are driving around in the fire truck – the truck was my son’s birthday present and the hat was from my Ella’s doll wardrobe.
“Surprisingly, working with Bingo and Buster is easy and pretty quick. We usually get the videos in one take.
“I’ll edit them down and then Ella and Chase will help me pick out the music, it’s not a long process.”
Melissa introduced her children to the animals from a young age and claims they have ‘blossomed’ by having their pets around the house.
Each weekend the entire family, pets included, travel to their country house to be reunited with the chickens and ducks they keep there.
The furniture company owner claims that working with the animals on the videos and sharing them on social media enables the family to spend time together and enjoy social media in a safe way.
Melissa said: “We do everything together as a family – making the videos, playing with the toys.
“We use all the kids’ toys and costumes. My son loves cars and my daughter loves her dolls, so we use his cars or scooters and Ella’s dolls as part of the videos.
“It’s better to do it together and keep them safe. it helps their creativity and is a great way to share time together as a family.
“We have a lot of new content coming up and have been using friends’ and cousins’ things too.
“I have no dining room because that is the pet room. We have the guinea pigs and the piglet in there.
“I love animals myself and think it’s important for the kids to grow up around them. Our family wouldn’t be the same without them.
“It teaches children empathy, responsibility and a lot of other important skills.”
Along with the clan at home, Melissa regularly visits animal sanctuaries and reserves to promote animal conservation.
While she vows not to welcome any new pets to the household in the near future, Melissa admits she is always too soft when it comes to rescuing animals.
Melissa said: “For now we are good with our 14 pets but I can’t say we won’t adopt more.
“I said we were happy with 13 pets but someone called me about a six-year-old rescue chinchilla and we couldn’t say no.
“Maybe a hedgehog would be our next pet.”