Cavia Porcellus. The common guinea pig. Lab animals, elementary school class pet. *yawn*
I remember smirking as Angela would tell me tales of her pig, Isis. I mean, they’re just large rodents, right? Then I met her and it took about 5 minutes before I was charmed forever. Once Angela and I were living together, I doted on that pig. Then came the day we were in the pet store and a little black and white lady came running to the glass of her cage and peered out at us. Our eyes met, my willpower crumbled, and that’s how Artemis (Mimi for short) came into our home. She got her name from the arrow-shaped markings on her head (Artemis was goddess of the hunt).
Friday, it happened again. I was at the shop at lunch, getting some supplies, and when I spied this darling little creature. I went back to work and couldn’t get her out of my mind. Angela and I chatted via IM, and we decided that taking care of three pigs isn’t much harder than two, and Isis is getting on in years. We didn’t want Mimi left all alone when Isis inevitable crosses the “Rainbow Bridge” (we hope that time is still years off; Isis is only middle-aged in pig terms, but her health isn’t as good as it should be). So after work, I went back to the store, frantic that she would’ve gone to some other home, but there she was, stretching and winking at me. Angela figures she was born not to long before Thanksgiving, so we named her Pomona (technically goddess of fruit trees, but we’re using the name in a more liberal, harvest goddess sense). Short name, Mona.
So Mona joins Isis and Mimi in our happy household of people and pigs. She’s settling in nicely…last night she gorged herself on alfalfa and timothy hay. Today she’s had a few treats and some cuddles. She’s still freaked about being held, but not *too* freaked. She’s in quarantine for a few weeks so hasn’t yet met her goddess sisters, but I’m sure she hears them. Particularly Mimi, who always answers my query of “Want some peppers, Mimi?” with loud shrieks of delight.
I remember having guinea pigs as a kid, but looking back, they weren’t very well cared for (though I had no idea at the time). As an adult, taking proper care of them, these little critters flourish and really get a chance to show off their very distinct personalities. They bring us great joy and are a constant source of amusement, and really they’re a snap to take care of. There’s no greater source of stress relief than having a guinea pig in your lap, purring contently as you pet her.