A few months ago, I got a guinea pig. His name is Oliver Elizabeth Robb. Yes, Elizabeth. I wanted us to have the same middle name- it really is that simple.
I, against my better judgment,had gone into PetLand about a week before. I was just looking to kill time before my small group Bible study, and there he was.
He was in a cage all by himself and was just sitting there. I bent down to say hello and discovered that he was crying. (Not really. Since I now google guinea pigs obsessively I’ve learned that guinea pigs use their tears to clean their fur, so they usually have them. I know, it’s weird.)
Anyway, I decided he needed me, actually he was dying to come home with me. In an act of supernatural discipline and self control, I committed to waiting one week and if he was still there when I went back, he would be coming to live at Casa Sarita. My house.
He was still there when I went back and a tumultuous friendship was born. I thought he hated me at first because he would just sit there and stare at me, or when I walked into the room he would dart into his little house I gave him for his cage. But I googled guinea pig behaviors and learned some fun things.
1. When you pick up a guinea pig and he squeaks incessantly, it means he is happy.
2. A low grumbly sound is actually a guinea pig purr, also indicating happiness.
3. If your guinea pig runs away when you put him down, it means he is curious and adventuresome. My favorite thing to do is watch Oliver dart back and forth from my closet to my door and back. Hilarious.
4. My favorite: if your guinea pig twitches like a spaz when you are trying to pet him like mine does, and hops straight up in the air, it doesn’t mean he wants you to stop petting him. This is called popcorning and it means your piggy is super stoked about life.
Every day when I come home from work, I put on comfy clothes and after dinner, Oliver and I watch Big Bang Theory reruns on TBS together, then I put him in his cage and feed him his nightly salad treat: half a carrot, 1 slice red bell pepper, 1 slice green bell pepper, and 2 tips of a kale leaf.
It’s been great fun to have a pet again-
I’ve always had a pet. We have fun, I think we’re starting to understand each other more every day and as much as I think Oliver needed me, I’ve realized I needed him too.