So, Nice Lady calls me up and asks, "Can you meet The Other Nice Lady to pick up, say...I don't know...4 pigs or so?" Nice Lady is down to one sanctuary pig (the one who's name we cannot mention in front of the children) in her rescue and has agreed to take on four sanctuary pigs from The Other Nice Lady's rescue.
"Of course I can but hey! I have room for a pair of foster pigs! Why not make it six?" I wince about where I have to go to meet The Other Nice Lady though. Not that it's incredibly far away or hard to find. It's just that I'm a big weinie when it comes to driving in strange places.
Since my husband is working that day and can't drive me, I call my friend, a nice gentleman who's almost 70, but doesn't look a day over 61.
"I need to get to the Clocktower at noon, " I explain, "All very hush, hush."
"What's the cargo?"
"Me, the two boys and several mysterious packages. All very covert. Might be transporting pigs across the state line. Shhh."
"Hey, I'm game! I'll pick you up at eleven."
While heading out on the highway, I go over the secret stuff in my head. Originally, I was supposed to get the boar with bumblefoot, the sow with bumblefoot, the crazy pig and the biter. A phone call to The Other Nice Lady revealed that biter is not coming. She will be replaced with a different pig (one even crazier than the crazy pig?). Oh, and the two foster's. I told her to surprise me.
As we drive nonchalantly down the highway, I wonder if I should have gotten my tetanus shot updated. The kids pretend to look normal by playing their gameboy's in the back seat and complaining about being too hot. Good cover. I have taught them well.
We arrive at the Clocktower, a well-known landmark of the area. "How tall is the Clocktower?" asks my 8 year old.
"How tall do you think it is?" I ask him. He gawks out the window. "Which one IS the clocktower?"
"Ahem. The one with the clock?"
"So, what kind of car is The Other Nice Lady driving, my friend asks. We have arrived about 20 minutes early.
"She described it as an silver agouti," I replied. My friend looked at me and blinked.
"Ah, yes. A dark grey. Her license plate has guinea pig on it. I don't know how we are going to find her among all these cars."
So we park so we can see the entrance off from the highway and watch for dark grey cars. I figure I'm going to have to find her because she knows even less about me than I know about her. I had informed her that a friend would be driving and he had a white car. She had asked me what kind of car. I don't know. It's...um...car-shaped? I'd make a great detective.
So while we are sitting there, a lady in a dark grey car with a bunch of cardboard boxes in the back seat zooms right in next to us and waves.
"Is that her?" My friend asks. She has a nice smile. One of the boxes wiggles.
"Well, it's either The Other Nice Lady with guinea pigs, or a complete stranger going to unload some highly toxic substances on us. So we eagerly get out of the car.
To be continued...
I shake the lady's hand and introduce myself and she claim's to be The Other Nice Lady. I don't ask for her identification and she doesn't ask for mine.
She opens the back door of her car and I see the back seat piled high with boxes. All sizes of boxes. One box is stamped in large black letters: "Perishable." Right. Rather appropriate.
It seems like a lot of boxes. I count just to make sure The Other Nice Lady has not thrown in a few extra for the count. I'm taken aback to see how much room all the boxes take up.
"Now, how am I going to know who is who?" I ask. It's something that I had worried about and I thought myself rather clever to have brought along a marker in case I had to write on the boxes. Writing on each pig would probably not have worked as well.
"Oh, I have them all marked," she assured me. Indeed, the perishable box was labeled "Precious" and "Angel."
The Other Nice Lady removed a small box with the word "Whiskey" written on it in marker. I am hopeful. Maybe she brought me a gift? But then she whips out a marker of her own and jots, "Boar" on the box. Darn.
We carefully stash the various boxes in my friend's car. In the back seat, each son is holding a box and there is one between them. The boys somehow manage to continue playing their hand-held games dispite the luggage. They don't want to blow their cover.
I try to take inventory as we part ways with The Other Nice Lady and head back to the highway. Whiskey is the boar with bumblefoot. Guinea is a sow with bumblefoot. Truffles is the crazy pig. Mocha is the one who replaced the biter (The Other Nice Lady informed me that The Nice Lady might have a placement for her already). Then my two fosters, Precious and Angel.
It wasn't until we were approaching the highway toll when it suddenly occured to me, "How will I know which one is Precious and which one is Angel??" Hmmmmm. I wrestled with this thought for a few miles.
Maybe I could call one "Precious Angel" and the other one "Angel Precious" and an unsuspecting adopter would never be the wiser. Or I could be rather vague about which was which and when the adopter called and said, "We are kinda embarrassed but we just got home and can't remember which is which." And I can help out by telling them, "Oh, it's written on the box!"
Then I had a brainstorm. Maybe their mugshots were still posted on The Other Nice Lady's website! I could look them up and get it right.
Every now and then, a scratching noise or a scruffling noise would come out of a box. My friend drove smoothly as to not attract the attention of any traffic cops. I could see that scenario in my head:
Officer -"Folks, what are in the boxes?"
Us - "Um...Guinea pigs, sir."
Officer - "But that one is marked Whiskey."
Us - "Really, it's a guinea pig."
Officer - "All these boxes have Guinea Pigs in them?"
Us - "Yes, sir!"
Officer - "Can you open that box?"
Us - "Oh, we can't open THAT one!"
Officer - "Why not?"
Us - "Oh, that's the crazy pig. We just can't guarantee what that pig will do if we release it...!"
Officer - "Can you please step out of the car and keep your hands where I can see them!"
We arrive home without attracting anyone's attention (The Nice Lady will not have to collect her pigs from the county lockup) and we started to unload. My youngest son bolted into the house as soon as I unlocked the front door. I had carried in the first pig box and I was under the impression that my older son was in the house too.
I stepped out the door. My friend had placed two of the boxes on the trunk of his car (it seemed flat enough). He was standing to the side of the trunk blocking my view of the backmost part of the boxes. And that's when I saw it! One of the boxes was sliding OFF THE TRUNK! It's one of those things that you don't stop to think, you just move and I did. I bolted out the front door. But I knew I wouldn't make it in time. The distance was too far.
Then, my friend turned curiously toward the direction I was running. I stopped. I could now see my oldest son who was behind him. My son was pulling the box off the trunk. He was now picking it up.
"What's the matter?" asked my friend.
"Oh, nothing. No problem." I bent over and studied the crack in the sidewalk. Okay, breath! Breathe!
To be continued...
- Obey My Authority
I so enjoy the chaos and confusion, glad to know that the same mayhem goes on in other people’s homes too. : )
Now, please don't be cruel,... more!
See, even Mojo needs an extra installment to keep him going.
Trust me, he has a VERY rough life around here... : )
Please don't get Meimei involved as I understand she can be a stemwinder. I know we can't rush your creativity!
The day prior to picking up the pigs, I prepared. I cleared the playroom (off the rec room of my tri-level) and constructed a two by 4 grid cage along one wall. Under the cage went a shower curtain to protect the carpet, then towels and then fleece. I also put a partition in it with one side smaller and the other bigger. My plan was that the three sanctuary sows would go in there (two on one side, one on the other). Nice Lady told me that the three would be housed together at her place so I figured they could start getting to know each other.
My "doctored" petstore cage (Ugh!) went on the small table in the same room (Not only are these cages hateful in being too small, but the tiny door is dangerous for getting pigs in and out, so I had twist-tied the door shut, turned the cage upside down and slide the plastic bottom into it [after cutting off the lip]. That gave me a petstore cage with an open top.) The boar would go in that one. Poor boar.
The two fosters would go in my youngest son's room in the two by three C&C cage. They would be bedded on aspen to make the workload a bit lighter.
I had one other cage; a 2 foot by 3 foot made of wire shelving. I made that one for Izabo for when her broken leg was healed and she needed more space to exercise it before going back in with Skipper. But I had made sides out of posterboard and was afraid to use it for other pigs as they would probably chew it. It was only suitable for fleece and towels. So that one was set aside as an extra emergency cage.
After I had outfitted each cage with hay racks, hidey houses (plastic stools make great hidey houses in a pinch!), water bottles and food dishes, I was all set. All ready! Raring to go, tralala and woop, woop, look out Nellie!!
So as I'm sorting boxes of pigs in the livingroom, I suddenly realize that Mocha is not a sanctuary pig. She's an adoptable. There goes my plan all to heck!
Okay. Just a small glitch. I'll put Mocha on the smaller side of the temporary cage and Guinea and Truffles can go on the other side. There. That was easy! I can be so clever when I need to be.
I decide to start with the boar, Whiskey. His is the smallest box. I carry his box down to the playroom and set it beside the petstore cage. Humming, I open it. I stop humming. I gape. What the...!?! Okay, I've been had! The Other Nice Lady has sent me an honest to god PIG instead of a guinea pig. NOT FUNNY, Other Nice Lady!
But wait? A closer inspection shows that it really is a guinea pig. What the heck are they feeding them at that other rescue? Growth hormone?
I look from the huge pig to the petstore cage. I look from the petstore cage to the huge pig. I get a sort of sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. For one, there's just no way this pig is going to fit in that little cage. And for another...I'm going to have to pick this behemoth up! With my hands. My very own hands. The one's I'd like to keep and use for a whole bunch of useful tasks.
"You a nice boy?" I ask him. He looks at me but doesn't look impressed. Right.
My spare cage is immediately brought out into the rec room, hoisted onto a card table and outfitted with food dish, hay rack and...oh crap! I don't have enough water bottles!
Okay, okay. I can do this. I can roll with the punches. A trip to Mounds will have to be taken. I need cat food anyway. Might as well pick up some pig pellets while I'm there too.
"Now, the rule is, you don't bite," I inform Whiskey. My kids are watching, so I have to look brave. I lift Whiskey. Well, hey. He seems like a nice piggy. I hold him against me and he relaxes there and looks unconcerned. I see the poor little bumblefeet and it breaks myheart. He rests his head on my shirt front. Oh Jeez! That is more dangerous than if he tore off a finger. I can't get to liking him too much. I put him in his cage and I can tell that I'm going to like him best.
Only four more pigs to transfer...
I take a deep breath and select another box. Mocha. This is the female that will find a new home with some very lucky adopter. I have to admit that it's a little like Christmas opening each box.
It's a big box that is holding Mocha and I take another breath and hold it as I pop open the lid (please don't let this pig be even BIGGER than Paul Bunyan Whiskey!). I blink. Mocha is small and petite and well...gorgeous! Her little button nose is dark, but the rest of her is a mixture of white and a shade of tan that is like pale wheat stalks glimmering in the sunshine.
Wow! I mean, wow! Your beautiful, little girl! I've picked up lots of girls this size so she doesn't scare me. I decide to put her in the petstore cage because of her size. She lets me pick her up and her fur is soft. The minute I set her on her feet in the cage, pow...she is in the hidey and makes like a piggy statue so I don't see her. While she's here, I could easily like her best.
I decide to tackle the sanctuary sows next. I select Guinea (The Other Nice Lady admitted it was not a very imaginative name). Let's see what we have in here. Oh my. Guinea is a big agouti that is broken up in the back by patches of solid red. It is the first time I have actually seen an agouti in person. Stunning.
The only thing that takes me aback is her bugged out eyes. Can a pig's eyes bug out too much and tumble out of their eyesockets?
"Guinea, keep your eyes in!" I warn as I lift her. She is plump and squishy and a total love. Crap! Not another nice pig. And the poor little bumblefeet on this one too. I'm thinking I'm going to like this one the best.
Deep breath. Skittish, crazy pig next. If it's too crazy, maybe I could remove it from the box with salad tongs. I pop open the box marked Truffles (I'm on a roll now).
Hmmmm. Um. I have to say it is funny looking. Black and shiny, but funny looking. It's a short-haired pig but the hair on its rump looks like it grew in the wrong way. Or someone petted its fur backwards and it stayed there. It also has a fringe of hair that sticks out along the sides of its pear-shaped rear end. The front of the pig, it's head and neck, are scrawny. It has a comical looking face. It's eyes are alert.
"Okay, funny girl, let's get you into your new cage."
I reach for the tiny thing. There is a blur and my hand meets air.
"Now hold still!"
Again, there is just air where the pig was. I decide to try both hands.
"Come here pig...No! Now stop that! I'm going to catch you! Darn! Now hold still. Your making me look bad! Hold still, will ya!"
I can feel sweat breaking out on my forehead. I glare at the tiny pig and it's innocent looking face.
"Hey, Mom, why don'tcha just grab it and lift it out of the box?" says my youngest son as a way to be helpful. I glare at him.
"What do you think I'm trying to do?" I reply through clenched teeth.
After some more chasing and grunting and a couple of "Holy Buckets!" I actually manage to snag the little eel and lift her out of the box. She weighs nothing in my hands and doesn't struggle now that she is caught.
She shoots immediately into the hidey house when I set her down. (She sits unmoving for two hours until I remove the hidey house to sweep up poops. Then she becomes animated. She runs around checking out everything. She bops noses with the dog. She chatters at Guinea through the grids. She popcorns. While I sweep up the fleece, she runs around behind the dustpan to check it out. And she likes her head scratched. Ya know, she's not so funny looking after all. I think I'm going to like this one the best!)