Hmm...but who? I didn't really want more rabbits, dear old Bella probably wouldn't appreciate a new young thing joining her, and the outdoor pets hadn't been given too much attention on the whole. An indoor pet then. A "toy" dog crossed my mind, I'm sure our placid cats wouldn't mind a bit..but at $600 each plus registration and a heck of a lot more...I think that was aiming too high for our finances. What about guinea pigs? The research began....and I was hooked. Did you know that guinea pigs are best kept indoors and that most cages are too small for them? So unheard of in NZ but HUGE elsewhere as i learnt!
We took the kids to a pet shop to gauge their thoughts on guinea pigs. It was "I want" at first sight. I learnt that guinea pigs are highly social and quite tame when kept indoors as part of the family. An indoor home can be made with very cute polar fleece, and the cost to set up a proper cage was cheap. Finding 3 sisters who would be one month old for February (and that were a third of the price as pet shops) clinched the deal. We were getting guinea pigs!
I tried hard to keep it a secret, telling the girls I was making a metal bookcase as I put together the cage. Jaimee nodded and thought it was cool. Kate gave me a smug look and said "looks like a guinea pig cage to me". Hmm that girl is onto it!!! Jaimee helped me sew fleece pads, thinking she was making doll blankets. Kate kept hinting that guinea pigs would make a great birthday gift.
Finally, the day came to pick up the baby girls, born Dec 31st and only 4 weeks old. Fitting inside my hand, with the softest fur and white tufts on their foreheads, these girls are beautiful. I was delighted! We brought them home and settled them into their new cage in the old dining room, where they promptly hid in the boxes and tunnels for that day. We picked up the kids and you can see the whole surprise here - watch the video).
We were as restrained as we could be with 3 wafer children itching for cuddles, only getting them out for 5 minutes holds every few hours. The darlings just quietly sat in our laps and let us. They are so quit and placid!
It's been fun watching Coco (shy fluff ball), latte (brave beauty) and Millie (tiny tiny one) come out of their shells more as they learn to know our voices. They are eating more, wheeking more and hiding less. They have these super fun moments when they get all excited and zoom around madly for several minutes, doing little "popcorn" jumps in the air and chasing each other! (watch the vid-they get crazier and crazier). They don't willingly come to us yet, but do "talk" when they hear us a bit now, and are happy to sit and have snuggles a few times a day on our laps.
The cats spent quite some time trying to work out how to get into the cage, walking on top and peering in. They love to sit and stare at them racing and squeeking, but when we hold them the cats keep their distance which is fine by us... Maybe we will "introduce" them when the guinea pigs are a bit bigger!
So welcome Coco, Latte and Millie! With your numbers, the humans are now the minority. (We now have 7 critters: one fish, one rabbit, 2 cats and 3 piggies!