No, not more children, although they are just as cute and have burrowed their way into our hearts just as quickly and easily. We have two new pets in the shape of guinea pigs called Caramel and Oakley.
It all started when my son’s child-minder bought a new guinea pig. She has always had them, but this time, Ashley was allowed to name the guinea. Being a boy of a one track mind, he called it Rosy, after one of the trains (and his favourite toy) from Thomas the Tank Engine. Ever since, he has been besotted with Rosy, asking to go see him every morning, wishing her goodnight when he went to bed; he even had a framed photo of Rosy by his bed which he kissed goodnight.
My wife Lorna and I had a chat and agreed that because we can’t have a cat or dog, then a guinea pig wouldn’t be too bad. At least it wouldn’t take up much room, and would be relatively easy to look after.
One weekend, we went to the pet shop to secretly price up the cost of getting a guinea pig of our own. The boys always like seeing the animals anyway. When we first arrived, there were no guineas out (in fact, there were very few pets out). We had a look round and made a note of prices of things such as feed, bedding and toys etc. Joe, our 9-year-old, was already catching on, so we decided to call it a day and head elsewhere. On our way out, we passed the guinea stand, and there were two little balls of fluff, snuggled in the hay. They looked very young and quite nervous. We asked to have a closer look, and when were held one, a little scrawny ginger pig, I fell in love with him. Lorna and I looked at each other and just nodded. We bought the pigs there and then and then hastily found all the items we would need to house them.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have watched them grow, explore, fight for dominance and learnt their sounds and cries. The best bit is their characters. Caramel is very excited, always exploring and often getting up to mischief. Oakley, on the other hand, is the polar opposite, very timid, quiet and doesn’t like ramps. They are so different, I can almost imagine the conversations they have between themselves.
Which is why next week I am going to be launching a new web series based on my observations and wild imaginations of these two cavies. I intend on running the series on this blog with an update, I hope, to post about once a ‘wheek’. I will make the official announcement next week before the release of the first story. It will be an exercise in getting my creative writing style flowing again and, who knows, may be entertaining to any cavy owners or parents.
It’s funny, I’ve never been a fan of rodents. Don’t get me wrong, they are very cute and gorgeous, but it had never occurred to me to have them as pets. I’ve always been a cat or dog person, but these two have really made an impact on me, and I have found them great therapy too.