You may remember that two years ago, Bitty got a very special birthday present of two guinea pigs. Ruby and Lulu.
|Ruby on the left, Lulu on the right|
I promise, I really thought they were going to be a great present. We talked about getting a tortoise, thinking about them being on the quieter side and needing a little less interaction. But I was certain (and thus certainly stupid) that Bitty would much rather have a cuddly pet, one good for holding and playing with. And indeed for a little while, maybe as much as 2 or 3 hours, I was totally right. The guinea pigs were interesting and fun and got lots of playtime and snuggles....which they endured with minor complaining. However, it quickly became clear whose pets these really were. Mine all mine. The cleaning, the feeding, the exercise...it was all me. And don't tell anyone but I kind of didn't mind too much. I am fond of animals, and a dog just is not in the cards right now. A cat will never ever live in our house. So I took some pleasure in these furry little gals.
The big down side of the piggies has been the noise. I did not expect that to be an issue when we got them. Lulu especially is a major squealer, and every single morning if she heard a single foot fall anywhere in the house she'd go berserk with loud squeaks, demanding food. Ruby would pitch in by grabbing the bars of her cage and managing to make quite a racket by shaking and biting them. So obnoxious! And it's not like it happened just in the morning or once or twice a day. If you rustled plastic at any given moment, Lulu would start up. Oh gosh I got so sick of it. I occasionally began to consider if it might not be preferable to find a new home for them, but then I'd feel sad and like I was betraying these girls. Hello. Rachel. They're rodents. They don't care, as long as someone is giving them romain lettuce in plentiful quantities.
I mulled it over and over until one day Bitty herself asked if we could please "get rid of them" because they were "driving her crazy." (Driving YOU crazy!? Who is feeding them? Buying lettuce for them? Cleaning every single week? ME!!) (Not bitter.) So I began searching for a home, and wouldn't you know it, the universe wanted us to succeed in this venture because I think it was that same week that my friend Marsha came for a visit.
Marsha and her family moved to St. George a couple of years ago, and in doing so, removed one of Bitty's best friends from our neighborhood. So sad. But we've stayed in touch and it's been fun to fit in visits when we each visit family in St. George and Salt Lake. Marsha's daughter had guinea pigs but one of them died, and she was really really sad. We got to talking about it and found a match made in mom-heaven. One girl with extra guinea pigs and one girl really wanting one! First happy home, found already!
On Halloween weekend we not only packed up the car with costumes and sleepover goods, we found a space for one rodent enclosure and delivered Lulu to Katherine the night we got there. It was a little bittersweet but also a relief.
I was a little sad to lose Lulu because she was the one who was much more interactive, and would often come to the side of her cage just to let me rub her head a little. See....I really am an animal lover. I can't help it. But I'm not at all sorry to lose the constant demanding squealing and bar rattling. That's the weird thing. We still have Ruby and she is as quiet as can be. She never rattles the bars, she never squeals. Of course, she also doesn't approach me the way Lulu did, but I can handle that. So far we've decided to keep her but if you know of anyone who would like a lone and silent guinea pig, I know where you can get one.