Tuesday, 20 January 2009


We are all besotted with these little chaps. They're only small, but have quite a story.

The one on the left is called Patchy. He started the whole saga, but the story really begins last summer when myself, H6 and R5 visited my friend who is a vet. She had recently taken delivery of three guinea pigs for her sons E4 and F2. They were adorable and we all had a cuddle. Of course the inevitable happened:

"Mummeeeeee. Pleeeeese can we have a guinea pig?"

Of course I took the admirable, quite justified and time-honoured course of action.

"Ask Daddy," I said.

They did. Daddy said (quite predictably):


Then he said: "Maybe next year," which H6 and R5 took to mean: "Yes!"

So plans were made to buy guinea pigs in summer 2009 and H6 and R5 began to look forward to it. But then... B46 (ha!) is a big fan of Freecycle. We had not long taken collection of three bantams from that source (First egg on Christmas Day! What cuties!) and he'd been watching a post about a male guinea pig that needed a home. The next thing I knew he shuffled in and confessed that he'd been chosen as the lucky recipient of said piggy. That was November.

"Where are we going to put it?" I shrieked.

"I'll make it a cage, it can go out in the cowshed," he said.

Wrong. This close to Christmas Grandad and Grandma pounced on the idea and bought a new cage from Petsathome for H6 and R5's Christmas present.
Right. We fetched the pig. He was small and perfectly formed and 110% cute.

"He can't go in the barn," said B46, looking soppy. So small, cute pig moved into his new cage on the wide shelf in our bedroom with a big box and a large bag in front of him.

"Shush!" we said.

"Wheek!" said Patchy.

How noisy is one small guinea pig munching a carrot in your bedroom at 11.45pm? Something akin to a battalion of Welsh guards practising their marching skills with iron shod boots. And he wheeked, and purred, and rattled the bars of the cage (and he whiffed too, but not much really). Astonishingly, despite standing right next to the cage (in its disguise) on many occasions and despite all the noise, H and R never noticed him.

A fortnight later B46 was on Freecycle again. This time it was a "female guinea pig" found wandering in Ceredigion. He applied. He got it. Oh dear. We didn't want babies. Guinea pig castration is not impossible, but anaesthetising them to do so is. We couldn't have a female, so we broke the bad news to the other Guinea Pig people, but with a PS: Please check it really is a girl. We even supplied a picture of the appropriate parts. An e-mail pinged back - a photograph of their guinea pig's parts. It was like taking part in some sort of online guinea pig porn picture swap. It was a boy.

'Lucky', as s/he is now known, had been found in the middle of a farm in the middle of nowhere by a Dutch woman who had never seen a guinea pig before. He's a Himalayan - a blond pig with sooty ears and nose. He's adorable. We carefully introduced him to Patchy and they are now big buddies.

The surprise was sprung on Christmas Day. Grandma wrapped the cage in lots of Christmas paper, while the piggies snuggled briefly in a cardboard box. H and R unwrapped the cage and were delighted with it, H explaining to Grandma, that it would be for the guinea pigs "we're getting in the summer."

"Ah ha!" we said. "Sit down and close your eyes."


  1. I remember the joy that 2 guinea pigs brought to our 10 year old grandaughter, they are so sweet!

  2. Oh bless them - girls and guinea pigs both. Both GPs very lucky to have found such a lovely new home - Freecycle is marvellous!

    It was lovely to see you and B today, and all the herd. Itsy has settled in so well. Apologies for my DH doing his Obama speech . . . he doesn't get out much you see!

    I hope that the Cowslip seedlings grow well - having pricked out about a hundred already and having probably a thousand more, I needed a new victim to offload on!

  3. Oh I bet they were over the moon - what a wonderful present.

  4. I'm not sure how I feel about Daniel Craig being forced down the page by Guinea Pigs! It's a good thing those happy little girls are in the photo too - what a wonderful surprise for them!

  5. Oh I love that cardigan! Soory Mags, obviously I mean the guinea pigs are gorgeous! I do like guinea pigs actually and we have had quite a few free range ones to the detriment of the garden. Yours are very sweet xx

  6. Aaaah, look at those happy girls. Your freecycle stash is better than ours... I'd love bantams!

  7. Aw! Guinea pigs are lovely... especially when your dad does all the mucking out as mine did!

    Good luck at the doc's tomorrow. Hope they sort you out.

  8. I just love this post - love your writing and will sit down shortly with my laptop to read back and find out more about you. Love the little girls, love the guinea pigs - took me back to when my own children were small. I will add your blog to my list of favourites (I come to yours via Bovey Belle; I am not sure the thread that took me to her). Thankyou for sharing a part of your life. Ann.

  9. despite having had just about every animal as a pet at one time or another guinea pigs have never come over the threshold .....mmm too late for the boys now - perhaps I could have one to myself? Lovely pictures Mags.

  10. Oh we had unexpected guinea pigs for Christmas one year too. 'Joseph', 'Mary' and 'Elizabeth'!
    When Joseph died we kept Mary's - appropriatly - single boy 'pig who was called 'Captain Nemo' as he was born whilst the film was on!


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