We live with a menagerie of animals – a dog, a horse, chooks, fish and two fat guinea pigs named Pandora and Delta. When we travel for any extended period of time we always have to make sure they’re all looked after. A few months ago we went to Central Australia and Pandora and Delta were babysat by a friend who operates a guinea pig shelter. Should’ve known that meant trouble!
For those who are not familiar with guinea pigs, let me tell you they may be small but they have BIG personalities. They speak. Okay, they may not have full conversations but they squeak, and I swear they know when it’s dinner time. When the fridge door opens they squeal in anticipation of freshly cut up vegies. When they’re excited they run, jump and leap around. Sometimes they crawl like turtles, slink around and stalk each other. They do loads of funny things. And they’re horny!
But we figured, hey, two girls, no problem. Then, barely three weeks ago my daughter says she’s worried about Pandora who seems to have developed a bit of a paunch around her stomach. “We need to take her to the vet” she said. “No way” I replied. I’ve taken pocket pets to the vet before and they cost a fortune. “Let’s just keep an eye on her” I said.
A week later we woke to find four pairs of baby eyes staring back at us. Yep, we had a good holiday but Pandy it seems had an even better one.
Seems that Columbus the long haired Guinea Pig thought Pandora was pretty cute. As we found out recently the two girl pigs were in their cage in the back seat of L’s car. When she left them for an hour Pandora found a way out and obviously had a good time with Columbus who was roaming free in the back seat. “Looking totally innocent” was L’s comment to us recently when she found him out roaming. What did she think, that he’d be sitting back puffing on a cigarette looking the proud soon-to-be dad?
So here they are – in their first official family portrait. Sadly one of the litter only survived a week but the other three are thriving and squeaking almost as loudly as their mother. We haven’t given them any names yet and if any are boys we’ll probably need to find foster homes for them, much to the dismay of our kids. Moral of the story – don’t leave guinea pigs unchapparoned in the back seat of the car!