Gina came to us just this past Sunday. She is pretty young, I guess. I should call the family friend who said she seems healthy. The story goes as follows:
My youngest asked me for one during the day after seeing them for sale at the fairgrounds. I informed her, as I have for the past three years, no because we have a mouser for an indoor cat. (Occasionally, we get field mice come in the hole drilled for the satellite dish wires and she hunts them and leaves them as family gifts but she DOES understand the difference with small pets as you will hear) Instead, as soon as she is in another person's care, she goes and buys Gina. She talked the breeder down to $5 (no adults with her during the transaction either, grr) and decided that the cost of feed was too much. At least they gave her a cup for water. I find out after the breeder was gone for the day. Her first night was spent in the garage as we tried to figure out where to house her. But, those of us who are mad at the child are the first trying to figure out how to care for our new member. The other part of why we are mad at her is because we have nothing to house her in or take care of her needs!
So, the next morning, Molly (our mouser) realizes that there is a different scent on us and gets her jealous look. Then, she catches the same scent past the door to the garage. All day she is concerned. My father and I go out to get her a cage, bedding, and food. Well, fair week just ended. Guess what? All the cages in the area are sold! We got her some Oxbow adult pellets, a bag of Timothy hay, and some paper bedding. So, we moved her to the clear plastic bin that is completely temporary until the shipment the one store is expecting on Thursday. She also got a piece of fleece that she has claimed as her bed.
That night, Molly got to see her on my chest. She now knows what was the different smell was caused by. She sat on the couch and whined to Gina because that was HER chair she was in. As soon as I put Gina back in the bin, which she started by huddling in one corner then began exploring and discovering the fleece, Molly wanted cuddles from me all night.
Apparently, Gina is better about bedtime than my own kids! She ran around her bin twice then laid down on the fleece and chattered to the girl to go to sleep. She was basically out most of the night. Oh, forgot. Molly checked on her as the girl was going to bed and meowed to her as she does the rest of the family a goodnight.
This morning, Molly informed me that Gina needed her water checked IMMEDIATELY. It just needed refreshed. She Then informed me, after the girls left, that I needed to get her some veggies. Did I mention that Molly thinks she's the kids' and the dog's mother? I have a feeling that Gina may be her new "kitten" according to how she's acting. She even informed us that she was coming up just so Gina wouldn't be scared. She has a rarely heard meow then. Gina went back to her bin then though.
I don't know if Gina has had much of veggies before. She hasn't touched any yet, but empties her pellet tray with no problem. Also, she eats her hay when everyone is asleep. It was full before bed and the youngest (who bought her) refilled it before getting herself ready for school in the morning. She did pull the carrot near her, but didn't eat it. Today, we had time for her to run and all she wanted to do was curl up to me. But, the girl heard her making clicking noises and purring when she hung her hair around her on the floor.
I don't know why Gina seems to trust me right now. All I know is what I am learning now. But, she is such an angel. And her favorite places of all are between bra'd breasts. She cuddles in there so much in the past couple of days. Silly girl. And she's stealing those of us who have always distrusted any type of rodents. So, the precious part Does fit.
Hurry up Thursday. That cage better be as big as the bin on the bottom or I'll be pissed. I can see that she likes the space she has. (The bin is the complete length and width of the dresser the girls share)
Im learning as I go. So far, I am nervous about everything, so it's surprising to find her having confidence in me. Now, to figure out what she'll like as veggies. Apparently not cherry tomatoes. Next up, cucumbers then. I'm going to get veggies in her somehow!
Hoping Gina fits in well with your family! You know you're going to have to get her a companion so she's not lonely, right? You can also make a cage for her. See www.guineapigcages.com .
I'm looking for another female for her to be with, but all the rescues have are males. Go figure. But, it'll still have to be accepted by me before she'll even get a chance. Gina is special since she's the first to not have me want to run screaming with fear. She reminds me too much of my one rabbit who passed after four years. I'll fight for her to get a friend if it means she can have that same peace.
- Catie Cavy
- Supporter 2011-2019
I have just learned some new things. My mommy, who bought me, likes to make me toys. She made me a ball that I tore apart. I like doing it when I'm alone though. It got me snorting enough that mommy, auntie, and grandma peeked in. But, I heard them and quit.
There's a big scary boy here too. The first day, he called me and grandma cute. I glared at him and it made grandma cute. I am NOT cute. Sniff, I am precious. (Grandma says I'm a punk. Whatever that means.) But today, I held his paw for a little bit when grandma was putting me in my bin. I even decided to put my big girl panties on and give him a lick. Maybe I'll tolerate him, but he's so big and loud.
My favorite place to be outside of my bin is in grandma's lap. She lets me run and I chatter to her. Plus I can curl up in her elbow. She, auntie, and mommy feed me more hay when I'm there. They also try weird other things, like tomatoes and basil. All I want is my hay. My favorite to eat are the long stems. I don't really like to eat the fluffy things until I'm done with my meal. Today, I sniffed the thing they called cucumber but I was SO not going to eat it. Even when mommy ate a different piece of the same thing. Silly mommy.
Thunderstorms are scary. I got scared and needed grandma. She and auntie held me til the scary stuff ended. I gave each a few licks and nibbles then informed them that I wanted back in my bin. A girl gets sleepy with so much going on.
Grandma says I'm getting a new cage tomorrow hopefully. I caught her with a tape measure and she had a different look on her face. I watch her a lot. She talks to me a lot too. I really like when she pets me in my bin and plays with my crown. She gave me a piece of fleece from mommy's robe that she then messes up every day cleaning my cage. I like to watch her clean it. Especially when she puts my hay near me so I can munch on it while she does it. The only problem is that she messes up my fleece when she puts it back! I have to fix it each time. My fleece better go with me in my new cage or I'll be mad.
I sang mommy to sleep tonight. Auntie is about to go to sleep. Yawn. It's time for me to rest too. Good night everyone. little girl paw wave
I got the cage. It is the same size as the old bin. Mommy put out the ledge thing in there for one day. Grandma took it out when she noticed I hadn't drank much all day or eaten anything. I'm drinking a lot now. Mommy even decided I looked happier without that ledge.
I am kind of mad at everybody though. Gee, they leave me when there is a thunderstorm that scared me and I called for them. Molly tried to tell the other lady, but she doesn't want anything to do with me. Lucky I had my fleece to cuddle in. It lasted a while though. Seemed to me like forever.
Grandma took a couple pictures of me. She has to do some stuff so you can see me. I don't know if I like pictures or not. I still don't like the phone.
She's also found her voice. She loves to watch the birds out the window and then will chirp if she's with us. She's purred lately when we pet her on her back. Otherwise, it's not stop chatters. She isn't very loud and prefers us to whisper back to her. Of course, the big, scary boy has no concept of whispering. He is upset that she covers in her cage when he talks to her. But, she did go into his hand yesterday with no problem.
She's a brave girl. She even squeaked to Molly who laid down at the door and started purring and did her happy tail wag. Yes, cats DO wag their tails sometimes. The door was opened because I had to ask the girls something and Molly was being a needs affection cat. I shit the door right after with no problems from anyone.
Last one. Last night, I put more hay in the middle of her cage and she got so excited. Part of me was panicking that she was having a seizure with the twitching and bouncing. Yes, it was a long bout of popcorning. She even hides some under her fleece now.
We tried introducing her to play dates with another pig (a female who is also a single pig), but SHE wants nothing to do with her. We've tried different places, feeding both her favorite veggies, and even given them a bath together (now that was a grumpy girl), but she is not having it. She ended up screaming and running to her family member and not wanting to leave where we were last.
Gina likes when I have a hoodie on. She goes in the front pocket and naps in there. I have to remember she's in there when I get up to go somewhere. She doesn't like me walking with her in it and not holding her with both arms under it.
On the veggie front, she is still very opinionated. Her peppers are able to be bigger cuts. She now loves cherry tomatoes whole. Lettuces and carrots are still evil. She loves to eat cantaloupe. But, her absolute favorite is still parsley after her hay. We have to keep one of the plastic containers for her to sit in and eat her veggies when everyone else eats dinner. She stops when everyone else is done with dinner b
She has gotten much more vocal. She gets mad when she isn't told good morning each day when anyone is moving around. I got her a couple of socks to warm up at night for her with rice in them. We also have covered the sides, top, and back of her cage with a fleece and a blanket for winter. She is happy with it. Except for when she tosses out her hay when playing.
Well, more later.
She is reaching the age and attitude of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. You might read up on it and see if she displays any other symptoms.
Also, the majority of the day, she is out with everyone. Others are surprised over how affectionate she is. I laugh over how Curious and much of a daredevil she is. One day, she kept out of the youngest's arms (she's almost 11 now and was the one who got her) and missed the door. Luckily, she landed in the constantly open dresser drawer which was only a couple inches drop. She still launches herself in AND out every day.
I'm considering a different hay for her. My doctor says that part of why this sinus infection of mine is hanging around is due to the hay. They are going to run more allergy tests on me once it clears up because my dad DID test positive for allergy to her, but he has so many allergies and he doesn't handle her that it doesn't bother him more than the rest. So, does anyone have good tips on how to change the hay? I'm currently thinking, since she's picky already, just mixing the two til the one runs out with gradually making it more of the other. I'm currently planning orchard grass. I'm also allergic to bluegrass, lucky family allergies.
She's still working on training her mommy on when she needs to go to her cage to pee. Everyone else has the different bite down pat. Another issue is her not wanting to leave hoodie pockets at times and the screaming and biting she does to stay in them. No, we can't take her to the bowling alley no matter what she thinks. Lol. She's not THAT much family.
In regards to the hay, I was going to suggest bluegrass, but then read that you're allergic to that as well. =\ That said, I highly recommend KM's Hayloft for your hay source. Don't let the shipping scare you, it's still a MUCH better deal than anything you'll find in a commercial pet store.
Lately, we've discovered Gina's love of her rice socks. But, she waits to cuddle them until after they are cold again. Then, she likes to move them to the door and talk to everyone. She really likes the Christmas music boxes when they play. It's very interesting to discover her likes and dislikes in everything. She is still content with peppers and parsley. Even fruits are picky with her only wanting cantaloupe and grapes. This summer I plan on getting her more corn silk and dandelion greens, since she liked it this past summer from the yard. Yes, I know to make sure it isn't coated with chemicals. Only three yards on our road get treated and none are near us. It's mostly farmers and other older families here who don't see a need to treat for weeds.
This Christmas she's getting a homemade sleeping bag for her. The fleece is remnants from this past year's sewing projects for the girls. Has anyone else had a Guinea pig who has color or pattern preferences? We noticed that she prefers dark colors and animal prints to other ones.
We learned after a few attempts at playdates with other guinea pigs, she didn't like them. She would bite and chatter at them. If one went to fight back, she would get more aggressive. So, we stopped trying after six months. But, she also started "helping" Molly hunt for mice. I wish we had taken videos of it. Especially after when Molly would offer the dead mouse to her. She even would start grooming Molly when they were laying together.
Gina fell in love with all forms of technology, but especially computer parts. She had a habit of climbing next to whoever was working on a computer and wanting to push tools to help. We even discovered that she loved cooking shows and certain music. Her favorite word ended up being pepper. Her favorite was red pepper.
Until Fourth of July weekend this year, she was perfectly fine. Unfortunately, we had a super hot weekend and no air conditioning. All day, she had been fine. Half an hour after I went to work for the night, I got a call from my oldest. She was choking on her hay and not moving. He could barely hear her heart and thought she wasn't breathing. I told him to wrap her in a damp blanket and he drove her to my work for me to check her. I was also suddenly calling all the vets open in the area. Lucky us, the ones who did guinea pigs were all out for the weekend. I saw her, gave her a light kiss, and said I'd keep calling. She ended up lasting thirty minutes longer but passed away cuddled up in the oldest's arms. He wouldn't let anyone speak of her in front of him because he was so upset. This was the first of two pets we lost that month. The old man dog finally passed at the end of the month. Molly still looks and meows for her at times. She cuddles us more than while Gina was alive.
It took until a couple days ago that any option of getting another. The oldest said ok to a new one. Today, we have the first of two new girls. We are waiting another week to get the second one. Yes, she is a little girl. The lady we got Gina cried when she heard about her especially since she kept in touch with her and that was the main person we did the later playdates with. So, I will try to do better with Ryzen, pronouncing as "Raisin" according to youngest, and our not yet named one.
- Supporter in 2018
When it's hot, there are a couple of things you can do for the pigs. I keep gallon jugs of water frozen in the freezer for emergencies. I slip them into fleece bags so they can't get to jug itself. The other thing you can do is wrap fleece around freezer packs. That way they can lay against it and cool off as needed.
Again, I'm sorry she passed. It sounds like she had a wonderful, if short, life.