Even being 3 years old, Scatter still humps Flossie like the, umm, affectionate(!) TEENAGER he no longer is. He spends so much time on top of her, I can’t decide if his hormones are still raging or her self-confidence makes him feel threatened. At least she has no problem doing a 360* and nipping at him. Anyway, on days when he actually seems to act his age (more or less), they seem to get along ok. Flossie doesn’t run laps unless she feels like playing with him because laps always end with him jumping on top of her for 10 minutes. She does however popcorn a fair amount. Not big ones, just little “Pip, pip, pip”s, so I know she’s not completely unhappy with him. Scatter, on the other hand, loves his laps and “figure 8’s”. I’d get him some little rollerblades, but poor Flossie would constantly be run over.
Until I put Scatter in with Peek, Peek was active, running laps and occasionally popcorning. Once Scatter entered the picture (and cage), the only running I saw out of Peek was the running from Scatter. After Scatter went into his own large cage, and Peek again had his own all to himself, I did catch him running the occasional lap and popcorning over fresh fleece. I hoped having a cagemate would perk Peek (hahaha) back up to the more or less playful (?!? Really? Playful? When???) guy he was before the advent of Scatter. That didn’t happen. When I put first Flossie, then Fuzzbutt in, he went back to no laps and no popcorns, just a grumpy old man. He only spent (I think) 3 days with Flossie, then I took pity on Fuzz (and our ears) and traded the girls’ cages and cage mates.
(Of COURSE I used proper introduction procedures with every one! What kind of an idiot do you think I am? Yep, I'm THAT kind of idiot, unfortunately.)
Fuzz, at first, was as scared of him as she’d been with Scatter, but when she realized he wasn’t going to jump her, she relaxed and became a little curious about HIM. Peek, however, wanted no part of Fuzz. If she came near him, he’d brrr and maybe do a little teeth-chattering, letting her know in no uncertain terms, he did not want to get all buddy-buddy with her. I knew they both needed companionship though. I remembered how happy Peek had been to see Scatter when he first arrived. Peek spent most of the time up against the divider grids, as close to Scatter as he could get. It was only when the grids came down and Scatter was turned loose, that Peek became an abused and terrorized senior.
After almost a year of Peekaboo and Fuzzbutt being together, I noticed that Fuzz had mostly stopped happy stuff – no laps, only a single popcorn once in a while, just seeming to be bored and depressed. So in May 2015, I decided to get them a companion closer to Fuzz’s age and took to the classifieds after finding out the local shelter very seldom got guinea pigs.
It seemed The Big Animal Lover Upstairs was looking out for us because 3 days after I started checking them, I discovered an ad looking for a new home for a guinea pig. I called the number and after speaking with the woman for a few minutes, I decided the female guinea pig needed to be “rescued” into our home. She wasn’t being abused (except for weekly baths, (o;), but she was alone after just having lost her mom/companion. The lady was giving her away, along with all of the guinea pig’s stuff, and offered to deliver her to me, hopefully because she wanted to see the conditions the little one would be surrendered into. I proudly showed her my set-up and the huge cage "Baby" would be put into after quarantine. Then we brought in the guinea pig and her belongings. The “about 2 year old” guinea pig didn’t have a proper name, she’d just been called various things over her life, “baby”, “dearest”, etc., any nickname the woman felt like calling her. Whatever, my new baby was a beauty – mostly medium length white hair with streaks and slashes of caramel up and over her face and head; tufts of white hair poking up here and there over her body with 2 large rosettes on her rear end and a third on her shoulder. I fell in love again.
This little girl was the most social guinea pig I’d ever met. Apparently along with the weekly bathes she got A LOT of attention from her previous owner (can't say slave or I never would have gotten my hands on her). While still being nervous, she had to have lots of pets and snuggles from me. Beautiful and a personality to fit it!
She’d come to me in a cage that was slightly larger than the typical pet store cage, but still much too small for even a single piggy. She’s been housed on Carefresh so that wasn’t too bad. She’d also been given several old fleece and microfiber baby blankets and a couple of old baby towels. Her hidey was a wicker teepee, too small for her, but after putting that in her cage, a couple of toys, hay and a water bottle, I realized why she had such a small hidey. Her food situation was bad, though. I was disgusted when I saw the bulk, fruit loop, nuts and seeds she’d been eating, along with Kaytee hay – you know… The kind that is worse than 1st cut; all brown stems; a hay poke in the making. (Of course I’d never fed my babies that! No way! I recognized poor hay from day one! )o: Right.)
I left her in her cage for a couple of days while she got used to our house ways, then built her a 3 X 3-grid floor cage. I didn’t have enough grids to make a bigger one and I figured it would do for the 2 week quarantine. Meanwhile, since her cage was on the living room floor, directly in front of where I sat in the evenings, she didn’t lack for human companionship, and she did have enough room to run some short laps if she wanted to.
At first she was terrified, probably from being so close to our our feet “rushing” past and around, along with being in a new place. She didn’t mind the cats, and they were used to pigs being there, too. This was when I learned I had another burrower. I used the fleece bedding pads I’d made for the others but she’d just crawl under and that was where I’d find the mess. So I threw a larger piece of fleece over the whole thing. This made clean-up easy anyway – pick it up, take it outside, and shake, shake, shake – shake, shake, shake – shake your booty… (Oops, showing my age, huh? Disco, 6:45 in the morning. Oh my gosh. I better post a picture and stop writing until I wake up.)
Meet VeBee-Baby, snuggled down in her hammock:
Yes, adding VeBee Baby did the trick. She has brought Peek and Fuzz closer together than they ever were before. They both love VeBee and so both will actually lay next to her if not exactly snuggling up. Peek is now willing to tolerate Fuzz near him also. Vee has the magic touch!
Fuzz was first:
Isn't there supposed to be hay in there?
OMG! She forgot the hay!
The VeeB up next:
Ack! Fuzzbutt was tellin the truth!
Boarly pout with a stink-eye added for good measure
Try takin' that barn, hooman. You be missin' a hand! (Right before he ducks behind said barn)
Maybe I can sneak up on the hay thief
No thief, no hay. Maybe I better see if the hay has been disguised as a barn (only to find herself taking the airliner back to her cage suddenly)
Not to be left out - Scatter:
Scatter Holmes here! What's this about missing hay?
I, Scatter Holmes, will find it back here!
Or not. Hot on the trail of the hay thief.
Keep in mind this is the same little piggy he wrapped in bread and called dinner, 3 years ago. Poor Flossie. If her face is anything to go by she is truly traumatized this time. Since I came home she's actually let me pet her at least once a day, in the cage. Never did before. Guess she knows which side her bread is buttered on. ;o)
Until September or October it was a fairly un-eventful year. Lots of cute poses, only a few of which I was able to catch properly.
[/url]Scatter rumblestruts his way between myself and Flossie.
VeBee and her saxy leg.
[/url]Xena. Oops, how'd this happen?
[/url]VeBee-Baby loves her water bowl!
[/url]Little Fuzz, aka my unicorn. That top white spot sticks straight up and is longer than the rest.
[/url]Flossie wonders what's wrong with this picture?
[/url]How Peekaboo earned his name.
[/url]Peek, VeBee, & Fuzz. They do love a clean quilt!
[/url]Scatter-bug napping away #1 2.7.16
[/url]VeBee #1 5.6.16
Sorry for all the poo shots, but ... What can I say?
In late September or early October I noticed Flossie limping on her left rear leg. I got into the vet, and of course his first suspicion was scurvy in spite of her vitamin c filled diet. He had me double that, and told me to come back in 2 or 3 weeks. I gave it 2 weeks and called him. I was told it would take some time to see a real improvement, possibly months. I mulled that for a day or 2 then called our old vet in Longview/Kelso. I got Flossie in to see her 3 days later. She immediately took x-rays and discovered 2-4 compressed discs in Floss's spine. The good news was we might be able to treat it with a strong steroid. Flossie had lost all feeling in that leg/foot (no reaction to any sensation) so the bad news was I'd probably waited too long and she'd never recover. The worst news was she might even lose the ability to use her other leg too. This, I think, has happened. Otherwise, she's her normal self: eats everything put in front of her, including helping Scatter clean up his bowl. Output is normal. She does, of course, move less so I have to make sure to move her fleece blanket around so she doesn't spend the entire day in one spot. I'll sometimes take it completely away, but will spread fleece over the hay area so she will have someplace to feel less exposed. She's lost some weight, but has settled down in to a new normal of about 1025 - 1040 grams, down from an average of 1200. She gets a lot more attention now, and is loving it - except for all the butt baths.
The other unusual event (for us) happened about 10 days ago. Somehow Scatter broke both front upper teeth, one at the gumline, the other about halfway up. I took him to the vet to make sure there really wasn't anything I could do other than syringe feed him Critical Care. She confirmed but also gave me some Metacam to give him for a week or so. It only took him about 3 days to get to the point where he could eat hay fairly easily. He finally took to the Critical Care when I fed it to him without holding him - we both had to be very careful not to bump the front uppers or what was left of them. If that happened, feeding time was over. Eating from a spoon was easiest. He is now able to eat everything but I do have to cut his carrots (the hardest thing for him to eat) and bell peppers in long thin strips. He, too, lost a little weight, but it wasn't for long. Fuzz still hold the "Biggest Pig" title, but I think soon they'll go back to tossing it back and forth.
Here's hoping nothing else but good events happen for the rest of the year and beyond. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
Ack! Sorry about the size of the pictures. You can delete them if you'd like.