I’m pleased to see that the guinea is thriving in our rather chilly garage, despite pipes having frozen and leaving the washing machine out of action. He seems to be managing under the big pile of hay I’ve put in a corner for him, with the occasional foray out into the garden when he feels like it. I’m all the more pleased because we are not very lucky with small pets, anything smaller than a Labrador is at risk in our place.
It started with a dwarf rabbit for my daughter’s birthday. It had never been particularly cuddly and swiftly went bananas. My children couldn’t put their hands anywhere near the cage without being attacked in a way that resembled the killer rabbit scene from Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail.
So we decided to get a guinea pig, the logic being it would keep the rabbit company without repopulating the garden at the same time. I took my son with me to choose it, he picked out the most repulsive, rat-like creature in the shop, even the assistant flinched when she had to pick it up. However Squeaky went on to prove that you shouldn’t judge a rodent by its beady red eye (the other one was brown) and got on well with everyone, dog, cat and even father-in-law. Everyone except for the rabbit, who started trying to eat him, Squeaky had to move into his own cage when I noticed his lacerated ears.
We well, I decided to liberate the killer rabbit in the local woods, the promise of a fluffy guinea ( to keep Squeaky company) was all it took for my daughter to come with me and free Tiger (very appropriate name) next to a nearby pond, where he’s still living happily with all the other wild rabbits, honestly. Fluffy joined our ranks, and Squeaky, in a fit of typical older sibling jealousy kept attacking the poor thing, so they had to go in separate cages, can you see a theme here yet?
I’ll gloss over the incidents of the friend’s dog playing relay with one in the garden and the couple more we bought as I can’t even remember why or what we called them. Moving on to last spring, when I got so sick of them escaping every time I put the cage in the garden, that I left them under the woodpile they had chosen and just served their dinner outside. The younger of the two decided to go off on a long adventure and has found another home with poor sad children who didn’t have any pets until he arrived, and that's why he hasn't come home, yet.
This means we have one left, a very happy independent rodent that doesn’t need cleaning out, and pops into the living room to remind you if he’s peckish. Like the children really.