Rue, the moomin who came to live with us only a few months ago, seems to have FINALLY settled down enough with her new life to not spend all of her time hiding and shivering.
Though she still feels safer pretending to be a turtle
It's been an exhausting few months for me, and the pigs apparently.
(Susie's Annie sleeping on the grass after a hard day of eating)
Sometimes I have become frustrated with not knowing what the future will bring and when and I have wanted to just hide with some of life's edible comforts.
(Scribble in the grass-collection tin guarding the best bits with his bum)
Some days I've felt that I have so much going on that even the simplest thing has felt like a challenge.
(Meribel and Maisie trying to navigate the steps)
And I almost stopped enjoying the simpler things in life. I stopped making room for the things I really enjoy.
(Meribel hogging an apple)
Friends have been great at supporting me and reminding me to prioritise what I have to do and to DO that thing until another thing becomes more pressing.
And each evening I can come home to lessons from the cat who likes to lead by example: Chill out and good things like dinner will be announced.
(Lolly partially off screen, Scribble (neutered boar), Rue (black pig at the back), Meribel leading the wheek and Annie)
I want to inform all of you computer-using pigs out there that when your person does the following to you and your herd:
NOTHING good will follow. At first we thought owner was trying to build up the anticipation of freshly-picked grass time. But soon it was clear that in order to get our lunch we had to go through one of the toughest days in a Guinea Pigs Calendar.
Grooming day is worse than nail snippng day. It's worse than lap times disguising a health check. It's worse than accompanying a herd member to the vet because...
All of the equipments is used on a Grooming Day!
But don't you worry, my sweet readers. I made my case against grooming days in the best way that a guinea pig can.
She tried to settle the score of abusing our dignity by giving each pig a handful of grass to munch on before she came to torture us with the drying device. But I made a point of proving exactly how much grass I deserved by getting my own!
Soon we had all been bathed (in one way or another, Rue does not get baths) and had our toes trimmed and were given treats while we dried.
Fizz was exhausted by her session and had to go and lay on the couch.
Scribble: Hey! HEY! I was exhausted too!
There is only one good lesson to learn from this. Beware the partition and the rumbling of taps in the background.
- Supporter in '13
Love the photo of Fizz and Scribble zoned out on the couch. All the pigs must be looking extra spiffy after their spa session.
GP_mum - it is the same after time in the garden! I am setting up the pen, gardening, supervising and glowering at neighbour cats but it's the PIGS who collapse in a puddle of digestion at the end of the day. I'd rather they waited until I'd left the pig room before going into a grass coma!
I wanted to talk about how the pigs were settling in together; about long walks in the parks and how I'd found the perfect nook in the kitchen to find them. I couldn't find the inspiration.
I wanted to tell you about how Rue the skinny pig was being hassled or hassling the other pigs. I wanted to share with you that I'd divided my small group, that everyone was stable and seemed quieter in their groups. About my friend who visited with a heat pad and how Meribel and Rue would lay down flat upon the heat mat and sleep together. I never brought out my camera.
Then one evening in February? I can't remember. Every pig was delighted by their 5pm veggies and chose their favourite parts to chew on before their companion could steal it from them. Later on the evening I found Rue lying just off of her heat pad, her body bloated and her legs straining from her round body.
I cried out and then began the ritual of 'Dealing with the Dead Friend', a routine I normally do in auto-pilot. I'm not sure why I speak to the cold body of my friends, but I do. I apologised to Rue for not noticing she was unwell and reached out to collect her unusually bloated form and pack it neatly into the shoe-box coffin I'd lined with tissue paper.
Then I screamed.
As soon as my hands touched her body she arched her back in response and gasped. I did a lot at once turning two arms into those of an octopus: wrapping her in a towel, putting on the kettle, throwing on a housecoat and wrapping Rue's body against mine beneath it. Warming slowly I spoke to my vet and described Rue's condition, we brainstormed and then came my vet's advice to keeping her comfortable. She passed well formed poos and a healthy volume of urine. I couldn't understand what had happened.
She passed away shortly after.
Since then more guinea pigs have passed away.
Cow, Meribel's only son who was rehomed to live with a dear and experienced guinea pig owning friend passed away after a battle that began with his teeth needing done.
Lollypop (who featured here as the boarish Sow) suffered from kidney failure and was put to sleep.
I've just not felt inspired to tell stories about the guinea pigs I look after recently, which is quite sad as I realised I'm missing out on documenting months of memories.
I am also sorry for the loss. You put so much love into them.