After the dizzying fame of how to make a felt Jeremy in this month's Guinea Pig Magazine, I thought I'd introduce my guinea pig story. It started with a trip to the SSPCA, and a father and son guinea pig pair. Their names soon became Norman Stanley Fletcher and Lennie Godber. After all, they were held behind bars, and Fletch slept on top bunk (well, on top of the cave).
Their story was sad, they had been found in a box in a park, along with Mrs Fletch and some female babies. Fletch was quite a character, like an overgrown big hamster.
Fletch definitely performed the alpha male role, whilst Godber being the teenage son sulked in the pigloo. Fletch had some rather odd health issues, and when he passed, it left a very lonely and needy Godber. Godber by now, had realised that humans are good for food and lying on laps sleeping. He was quite an affectionate so and so.
As a friend for Godber, we got a young boar from Lanarkshire small animal rescue. Continuing with the Porridge theme, he was Jim McLaren. It was love at first sight between Godber and McLaren.
As he was just a baby when we got him, we didn't realise that McLaren was a sheltie guinea pig, with beautiful long locks. Fortunately McLaren was a very good natured beast who didn't mind the occasional bum hair trim!
One night McLaren stopped eating, and before we could take him to the vets in the morning, he had gone. Godber was heartbroken - first his dad, then his best friend. Godber withdrew and hid in his house. A new friend was needed, again off to the SSPCA, where we found a beautiful guinea pig with a tragic back story, Oscar. He was found in a box, along with a rabbit and two female guinea pigs, along the side of the road. When he was found he was in a terrible state, underweight, with bald patches from where the animals had been barbering each other (probably due to lack of hay and stress).
Oscar came home with us, a friendly guinea pig who seemed constantly amazed by fresh food (he certainly wasn't picky at all!). Unfortunately Godber didn't take to him.
I think Oscars presence confirmed to Godber that McLaren wasn't coming back. Godber retreated even more, and eventually refusing to eat. He developed a chest infection, and sadly died. This left the newcomer Oscar, after his turbulent few months we decided he could settle in on his own and get used to the good life. A few days after this sweetcorn adventure, Oscar had a seizure and died. Now we were without guinea pigs. A break in pethood was needed, but then I found Tom and Jerry at Becklen rescue.
Two brothers needing a home. So since May, the artists formally known as Tom and Jerry (the names implied a hierarchy!) became Mark and Jeremy (of Peep Show fame). These boys are certainly the most athletic guinea pigs we have had, Jeremy especially, I suspect he thinks he is a ferret some days.
Mark is the braver of the two, although they are still suspicious of us, and any new food!
Here are all the guinea pig decorations together.
Apparently the collective noun for guinea pigs is a group, which is a little dull. I think it should be a wheek of guinea pigs or a collection of cavies. What do you think?