So, we have guinea pigs now.
My son, my little man, as I often call him, has been dying for a pet. We’d talked about a dog, gone to a shelter and looked and found none that would work in our home. My son left crying when I had to explain to him it wouldn’t work. I felt terrible, but I’m not going to be a bad pet parent and adopt an animal we can’t care for properly.
And honestly, I really didn’t want the responsibility of another dog. The hubby and son talk about wanting animals, but dogs are a lot of work. Our current dog adores me because I take care of her, walk her, feed her, etc.
When we’re all piled on the couch, my son fights with the dog for the spot up against me. The dog climbs under the covers to be near me, and the cat will sleep on her.
Come to think of it, maybe it’s not because I feed and take care of them, maybe I’m just warm and always on the couch…
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I was more on board with getting a kitten. Our big, fat ass cat, Mocha, doesn’t do well with other cats. He regularly tried to rape our female cat, who has since passed away. Our big, gentle tom was a sweety,(also deceased) and tolerated him and would defend their lady friend. A new, adult cat likely wouldn’t tolerate antics of Mr. Mocha.
So adopting an older cat was out of the question, though I know they need homes the most. A kitten would have been great, but the adoption fees around here for a kitten are outrageous. We went by a vet advertising kittens, I took my son in, thinking we’d have a $50 adoption fee. It was nearly $300. My son left crying again and I felt like a terrible parent.
Since I’m not totally clueless or heartless, I knew we had to find a solution to the issue. Out of the blue, my friend tells me she’s got a rabbit cage she needs to get rid of. I had lunch with her, picked up the cage, went home to get my kiddo, and then took him straight to PetSmart.
After chatting up the sales person, we decided on a guinea pig. I’d owned them before. My family has raised and even bred a number farm and exotic animals. Pygmy goats, pot bellied pigs, a variety of poultry, horses, rabbits, cows, pigs, and so on, are well within my range of experience. So a guinea pig isn’t much a stretch for me.
I’m not a huge fan of rabbits, though I handled them extensively in FFA. They bite and scratch and their teeth freak me out a bit. Guinea pigs fit in the same category of animals with teeth that keep growing and are freaky to me, but they don’t kick and bite as aggressively.
Long story short, the cage was too big for hamsters or mice, and this store didn’t have any rats. I wasn’t going to get a rabbit, so we came home with the only guinea pig they had that day.
He is a hansom cavy, and my son named him Blocks. Because Minecraft. ‘Nuff said.
Since getting this little critter, we’ve been working to learn all there is to know about cavies because that’s what obsessive, Autistic-type folks do. We picked up books at the library, looked up stuff online, and started watching videos on youtube. Anything we could find about guinea pigs to watch, read and digest, we did.
Soon, we realized that our little boy Blocks really should have a friend and a larger cage. So we went to Craigslist and I quickly found another young, male guinea pig that needed a home and came with a fabulous, much larger cage.
This was after convincing my boy that no, we didn’t need a girl guinea pig or to breed them, as much as he wanted to have guinea pig pups. It would be irresponsible. Especially since getting a guinea pig neutered costs a good amount of money. After fielding, or rather, avoiding discussions of how guinea pigs do their ‘special hug’ we decided to get the male guinea pig who needed a home.
Jockey is the new piggy’s name (named after the spider jockeys on Minecraft). He’s a wee bit bigger than Blocks totally mellow and sweet. It was love at first sight, at least for Blocks. Blocks is quite determined to show Jockey his affection.
Jockey is a little less interested, but fairly tolerant. The haven’t quite figured out where they are in their relationship, but it’s amusing to watch. And it forced me to explain the ‘special hug’ thing all over again. Young, male guinea pigs are quite intent on humping one another because hormones. Or maybe Blocks is just particularly frisky. Not entirely sure.
Their sexual exploits are reminding my husband to watch what he says. We’ve already had to deal with my kiddo asking, “What do you mean by chocolate starfish?” Because my hubby loves making the animals talk, but he doesn’t always have them say child appropriate things. Commenting that Jockey’s chocolate starfish is sore is not the sort of thing I need my kiddo repeating at school.
Oh, the joys of pets and how they force you to stop being a prude and teach your child about the facts of life.
My son is the happiest he’s been in quite some time. Blocks is his best friend. My boy sleeps in his bed no problem now, knowing that Blocks, and now Jockey are their cages in the same room with him. He looks forward to coming home from school to see them, feed them and hold them.
I’m loving the little guys too. Even with their charming habit of dragging their butts to mark the ground when they walk around and the fact that Blocks has peed down my back. They’re super cuddly little critters, and thankfully, quieter than I remembered.
Guinea pigs definitely equal a parenting win.