The guinea pig.
My daughter wanted to get a guinea pig.
We already had Max, our cat.
I was against the idea.
I was afraid there would be a cat mouse (pig) issue.
Her Dad has never been able to say no to her.
He was supportive of the idea.
On the last day of school,
We went to the pet store.
She picked out the one she wanted.
She chose the energetic one who ran about the cage.
The other one remained asleep the entire time.
The pet store informed us the pig was female.
She named her Lizzy.
Unbelievably, Max and Lizzy, became fast friends.
They would play.
We would watch in amazement.
We left Lizzy’s cage unlocked so they could play.
Lizzy would call Max to her cage.
Then we would watch Lizzy run from one room to another.
There would go Max chasing her.
Back and forth they would go.
Lizzy knew my voice.
My voice represented attention, clean cage and food.
She was a Freudian pig!
When I came in from work,
Lizzie would run to the end of the hall to greet me.
She would call out to me over and over.
The whole time her front feet were doing a dance!
Whenever I opened the crisper in the fridge she would call out again!
She knew the drawer meant a vegetable snack for her.
She was our own portable composter.
Lizzie was a long haired guinea pig.
The long hair worked against her likeability factor.
It was a hygiene issue.
I would give her hair cuts and baths.
Lizzie began to gain weight.
We decided to slow down the caloric intake.
Lizzie was against this weight loss program.
She began calling me in the night.
I did what every good pet owner does...
I fed her.
Summer had come to a close.
Fall was upon us already.
It was the first day of school for the kids.
Off they went in their new duds to meet their new teachers.
I spent the day doing fall cleaning.
I needed to get Lizzy into her cage so I could vacuum.
I called her but nothing.
I looked in all her favourite spots. No.
Then I found her under the bed.
It was strange that she had not come when I called her.
She was way in the back corner.
I couldn’t reach her and she was not moving.
I had to move the bed.
Still she didn’t move.
I bent to pick her up...
That’s when I saw the blood.
I thought I hurt her when I moved the bed.
When I picked her up I knew it wasn’t the bed.
Something internal was going on with Lizzy.
I put her in her freshly cleaned cage and locked the door.
I petted her and cooed.
I had no idea what was wrong with her.
Ding ding! My brain came on.
Lizzy was pregnant not fat!
Lizzy was about to have a baby.
At least, I hoped.
I explained to the kids when they got home.
We were all vigil by her side including Max.
I was worried.
I had heard stories about what some moms in the animal kingdom do to their young.
I called my friend to google us up some information.
Our computer was on the fritz.
I felt better after I heard the news.
I was able to pull the kids away long enough to eat dinner.
Apparently, alone time is what she needed...
While she was alone she birthed two baby boys!
Lizzie was obviously feeling much better.
The babies seemed fine too.
Max had been lying beside the cage the entire time.
We were able to keep the boys with Lizzie for only a few weeks.
Luckily, our neighbours adopted them.
With their rate of reproduction,
We would have owned a guinea pig farm within a year!
We got to visit the boys at the neighbours,
And to see them become fully grown.
We loved Lizzy.
Her intelligence was a big surprise.
Her personality was lovely.
When she died,
We buried her in the backyard.
When Max died,
We buried him beside her.