I knew I would have a farm one day – just assumed it would be when I owned my own house, not rented! :)
I’ve always loved animals, every possible kind. I would cry before I would kill a wasp or spider, and I was fascinated with snakes. This led to a very premature graying of my mother’s hair and fostered a sometimes maniacal need in me to always be surrounded by animals.
I always had rabbits, cats, dogs, etc. and even a few guinea pigs growing up. I would rescue baby squirrels, possums, birds (that “accidentally” fell from the tree :o) although my track record with them was not very good. I unfortunately grew up without the privilege of internet to look up all the available information for good pet parenting.
When I was 17, I joined the Navy and that cut short my ability to have pets. I was in for almost 10 years, and I must say, those were some of the loneliest years of my life. Just as I had a profound new respect for soft toilet paper, hot showers, and bathtubs when I got out, I also knew I would never again be without a pet of some sort. Mr. Dingles, my first adopted cat, made the trip with me back from San Diego, to start our life over, and this is where my story really begins…
I got home and realized I didn't have a cage, so with it being late, I went to Wal-Mart and got a very sorry excuse for a rabbit cage. I knew that had to be temporary, so I looked online for cages I could buy.
I came across the cavycages.com website, and thought, hmmmmm, rabbits and guinea pigs get along, right? I went to a pet store (I know, I know) and obtained Elvira. It was love at first sight. In my ignorance, she and Angus lived together in a much larger, albeit way too small cage.
Off to the city to find her a friend. Still unaware of the evils of pet stores (and I had done a search on Petfinder to see if there was anything local - nothing to be had in Oklahoma at this point), I went to a vet/pet store and saw Big Mama. I loved her face, and since that was the only thing peeking out of the pigloo, I decided she would do. Since she was older, she was very cheap, and when the guy lifted up the pigloo, my eyes almost poked out of my head! She was huge! I asked if she was pregnant and he said he didn't know. I have to admit, I got very excited at this point. When you've gone over the edge of sanity, more is not a bad thing! He asked if I wanted a black guinea pig, and since she was older and cheaper too, I thought why not? So, I got Miss Piggy too.
So, the story continues. Chico was kind of lonely, but he had Angus. He mounted Angus' head a few times, and I think that made him feel better. During this time I got some advice and talked to a lady who used to show them. At one point, she had over 100 guinea pigs! I told her about Elvira, and how I found it odd that she would chase the other girls around the cage and make the boy noises at them. She told me that ONLY boys make boy noises. Uh oh! So, Elvira, now Elvis, moved in with Chico.
It's amazing how most of the stories on this thread start with mis-sexed piggies, isn't it? I knew since at least Big Mama, and probably Miss Piggy were already knocked up, there wasn't too much damage. Well, as the days went on, I figured out that this "expert" on guinea pigs was so wrong. Miss Piggy started purring and strutting around too! It was especially hard to see Elvis/Elvira's parts because of her long hair and black skin, but I finally figured out (with help from the sexing pics here, thank you very much!), that Elvis was indeed Elvira again, and she was probably pregnant too at this point. I felt horrible, because she is much older, and after reading all the horrors on here about pregnancy and birth, I couldn't imagine losing my beautiful girl!
So, Elvira moved back in with the girls, and I'm not sure how or why it happened, but she never got pregnant. Maybe she was too old and had already gone through piggy menopause?
So, Elvira was not pregnant, but she did pass away. I had a thread on it somewhere... My beautiful girl died in my arms.
Well, not only was Big Mama prego, but Miss Piggy as well. So, technically, they both gave birth on the same day, and I honestly couldn't tell whose babies were whose. Originally I thought Big Mama had all 6 of them, but Miss Piggy was also nursing the babies. I believe the four outside ones belong to Big Mama and the two curly haired ones were Miss Piggy's.
From left to right they are: Jack, Jill, Bo, Peep, Usher (Ursher) and Tyrese.
Gracious, you sound like me back in my married, parrot-breeding days!Rescued dogs, bred and showed dogs, kept reptiles, exotics, bred and hand-raised parrots, spawned fancy goldfish, (oh yes and the occassional kitten/cat) and I could never get enough!
Funny that it took me so long to discover piggies. Ha ha now I 'specialize' in shelter pigs.
More please. Write more .
ps I am Cathy!
This same time I was helping Brooke build C&C cages and get set up at her house. We were expanding to her guest bedroom! Unfortunately, my piggies suffered for it. I was gone all day for class and school, and her house all evening. Long story short, I missed the signs and Spike passed. I was devastated. I loved my little blue and white lover. The only real signs must have been weight loss. So I vowed from them on to be much more consistent in my weighing and looking for signs of sickness.
This was the time Elvira became sick. I didn't notice her sneezing or crusting, but more of her losing her voice. She also would huddle in the corner. I immediately started her on Baytril, which made her stop eating. I took her to the vet and they ran bloodwork, but said it just looked like an infection and nothing to worry about. She switched her to Doxy and gave me some Critical Care. She loved the Critical Care and slurped it down, so I was beginning to think she would pull through. She didn't. I was so heartbroken. Elvira was old and crabby, but she was the first of my pigs and I really loved her.
I believe she got the infection from being in the same room with Spike, their cages were next to each other. This reinforced my decision never to buy another guinea pig.