About April of 2002 my mom started asking me what I wanted for my birthday. I told her I wanted a ferret. She said no way to the ferret. We went through a list of animals, because that's what I wanted. We went from dogs, to kittens, to fish. My mom finally asked me if I could settle for a Guinea Pig. I had no idea what that was, but sure, it sounded good.
So we went to Fins and Feathers, a mom and pop petstore. When I finally saw a Guinea Pig, I fell in love. They were just too cute.
I, of course, wanted the biggest one. The guy (thank god) told us that she was pregnant. There was only one male there, Backup. He's an American Self (I think anyway, he's got short hair and is a dark brown color all over)
We gathered up the things we would need: a petstore cage, some food, a dish, some shavings and a water bottle oh and my mom bought him one of those bounceback toys. One of the guys handed me a bottle of Multi Vitamin drops and told me we'd need these. Needless to say, I got an animal that I knew absolutely nothing about.
I think about week later, my grandpa bought a roll around ball for Backup. We put him in it, and viola, he did absolutely nothing.
A few weeks later, my older sister was holding him, and like the curious, know-all being she is, she found lice on Backup. My mom called the petstore and bitched, so they gave us free "treatment" for his problem. It was a dust bath. I really feel sorry for the poor guy. I'm not even fully sure they covered his eyes.
Then, for some reason (I think it was from reading on the internet) I started giving Backup "floor time" which was a small corner of my bedroom blocked off by a mirror that should have been on my dresser but my uncle doesn't know how to put screws in and a crappy coffee table blocked off the other side. Every day I would put him in his area, with his cage and then put a wooden chess board over the door so it made a ramp.
Also, somewhere down the line I learned Backup needed hay. I bought some of that Kaytee stuff from Wal-Mart and gave it to him in a bowl.
and that's how Backup lived. I would clean out his cage once a week, vacuum up his crap every week, and change his water bottle when needed and add more drops to it as well and gave him more food and hay as needed. I didn't handle him that much and became completely bored of him. I mean, he didn't do anything and didn't like to be held anyway.
Well, he lived like that until the kitten came along. Gizmo wasn't even old enough to be weaned when my sister's dad's neighbor found him next door in his neighbor's yard about to be eaten by Pitbulls. He promptly saved him and then showed my sister a brown paper sack when she came over to visit her dad. She refused at first thinking there was a snake in there or something. When she looked inside there was a small, baby kitten. So small, he fit in the bottom of her purse when we sneaked him into the house.
I had to hand feed the little guy because my sister went on vacation to California days later. I tried to corral him to a specific area of my room, but he soon got loose and hid under the bed, but atleast he used his litterbox right away! As is with all animals, the kitten grew. He got so big it was easy for him to jump over into Backup's enclosure. He got in there atleast twice before he tipped over the bird's cage. I finally had to kick him out of my room. Gizmo now has run of the house and lies lazily on the furniture while plotting ways to get into my room while my back's turned.
With a little more internet research, I learned that Guinea Pigs need friends. So, two days before my birthday (May 15th 2003) my aunt and her family brought over Baby (she couldn't resist) He is a mut (I assume the petstore changed breeders because he came from the same place Backup did) He has a dark brown rump, a white neck band with a brown nose and a light brown streak down his rump. He also has one pink ear with a black dot on it and one black ear.
Baby came to me in a little box after being tormented by my cousins. You can imagine how happy he was to be handled. My cousins (being stupid brats) ran downstairs with Baby and threw him in the cage with Backup. I knew that they might fight, but there was nothing to be done about it. Backup and Baby met. There was a little bit of rumbling from Backup, and Baby was generally scared out of his wits. For some reason, they have got along great and are making a perfect pair even without proper introductions.
For the next few days, they got floor time together all day and stayed in their petstore cage at night. Baby tried to sit in the hay bowl a lot.
Well, my older sister shares a room with me and completely hates the idea of poop. She wanted them to stay off the floor and in the cage. For that, we needed a bigger cage which she was willing to pay for.
So, I got on the net, found the ferretstore, hung out on their Guinea Pig boards for awhile, and then some great person who I would love to kiss told everyone on the board about great cheap cages. That's how I found cavy cages.
We went the next day and bought the cubes. I was so tired of seeing my guys cramped in their petstore cage, that I made out an area with the cubes on the floor and let the piggies run around in it. I put their petstore bottom at one end and put shavings in it (which they didn't go in!)
It took my sister a couple weeks to get the coroplast, but she finally did. So my boys got a 2x5 C&C cage complete with it's own cube stand.
Then, from cavy cages, I found cavy spirit read up on Hollister and learned that there are great pigs in need of homes. From those sites, I found Guinea Lynx.
Here, I have learned what it truly means to be a cavy slave. I got a job for my little buggers. They have since got veggies every day, aspen shavings and their Ivermectin. I also love them to death and Baby thinks I'm a crazy lunatic. Backup just deals with my human ways and let's me pet him. Now I really know what it means to be a cavy slave.
I so wanted Doodles and Neo (I still do! punkDE you better watch it. You may end up a few pigs short one of these days.) but instead I found Ozzie and Woolly. With some insisting from Susie, I got a 2x4 C&C cage for them and set it up in my little sister's room (who I had to nearly choke to get it in there for three weeks "But three weeks is sooo long")
Then my brother and I went to the humane society, my brother filled out the papers while I played with the most adorable kitten (he's only like three weeks old and is so playful! He was running around in circles and kept falling over himself to play with my hand. Too bad I now know those little claws start to hurt when they get full grown!)
My brother held Ozzie (with his dirty white bum) and I got to hold Woolly (then called Clyde) where I found out Woolly had long bum hair. They were so cute, but very scared! We took them and stood around for nearly ten minutes while the lady filled out the whole forms to print off and then realized there was no printer on that computer -.-
When they got home I threw out a cover over my sister's bed and set them on it. They were very scared. I clipped their toe nails (as best I could. Ozzie would not sit still) got them under some water to try and clean off their bums (which didn't help but I didn't have any shampoo) Then I let them dry, weighed them, dosed them with Ivermectin and set them free into their new C&C. They promptly took residence under their cardboard house and refused to move.
Ozzie and Woolly make great companions. They must have been through a lot together. When one gets scared he goes over and hides his head under the other. They are never even really that far apart. They are usually hiding under the same cardboard box when I come in the room.
So now I have four males (I hope) who live in C&C cages, get veggies every day, have Oxbow on the way and will have some of KM's hay as soon as I can poke my mom enough to get her to send a check out there.
And my mom has so fallen in love with Woolly. She is trying to get me to dump Ozzie in with my boys and let her keep Woolly in her room. I said nup! Where Woolly goes, Ozzie goes. She's starting to live with it.
Though, she is making a great co-slave. She already wants to get a child's gate so we can hook it up in the kitchen doorway and give them floortime. I'm still considering that one. The kitten crawled up a hole in the cabinets though and got stuck. So I may have to tell her no for that too. Atleast she tried!