I’d like you to meet Squeaky & Pip.
These are the two new creatures guinea pigs that live in our house. The Loud One turned six yesterday and for the first time, our household has a non-fish pet. Actually, two pets.
Yes, we got two. Because as I reminded my sister-in-law, my motto has always been, “Go big or go home.”
Side note: This is a lie. That has never been my motto. I’m more of a “Half-ass it or just stay home in the first place. Why bother going at all?” kind of girl.
Before I forget, I want to thank you for all of your pet-related advice; I really appreciated all of the suggestions you guys sent. (Except for you people who said, “CAT.” Your suggestions were not appreciated.)
We decided on guinea pigs for a few reasons:
- They’re supposedly very social and love people (although ours are stilled scared shitless all of the time, so we cannot confirm this yet)
- They’re less smelly than other creatures pets
- Maintenance is fairly simple and the Loud One can do a lot of it herself (she is actually very excited about using the beach shovel to scoop out the poop, so who am I to stand in her way?)
- They are big enough to not look like a mouse (like for example, say, hamsters, which I do not like. At all.) and don’t have long, creepy tails like rats.
I will admit, they are a little bit cute.
So, we assembled the cage and got the whole presentation ready in the basement for when she woke up yesterday on her birthday.
I would love to tell you that when she came down the stairs and saw the cage (the animals were hiding out under their igloo home), she started squealing with delight and jumping up and down, but that would be a lie.
As she walked in, KJ said, “We want to introduce you to some new friends.”
She looked at me wide-eyed and open-mouthed (is that called slack-jawed? I think she was that), walked over to the cage and then just stared.
KJ said, “Happy Birthday Loud One! (Editor note: he actually used her real name here. Although we have started calling her Loud One at home. There has never, in the history of nicknames, been a more deserving nickname. And anyone that was at her birthday party yesterday would back me up on that.) These are your new friends… they’re guinea pigs!”
And she just stared with a strange sort of half-smile on her face and then said, “Thank you.”
I’m sorry, what?
I’m not sure if she was just in shock, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t thinking, “HEY kid! I just brought two rodents creatures into my house for you… you better start jumping for joy… NOW.”
Rest assured, she warmed up. As soon as the camera was switched off (and we told her they could live in her room), she leapt into my arms and yelled, “I LOVE THEM!”
And sure enough, she has hardly left the side of the cage since, excepting for the few hours she was outside for her faux-camping party.***
We’ve had to remind her A LOT that no, Squeaky and Pip are not ready for her to grab them and hold them in her lap and hug and kiss them because they just got ripped from the only home they’ve ever known and a young girl named “THE LOUD ONE” has been screaming at them for the past 12 hours –
HI! I LOVE YOU! I’M YOUR NEW OWNER! (Please, don’t let this be true.) YOU’RE GOING TO LIVE IN MY ROOM! DO YOU WANT A TREAT? (From you, crazy lady? No thanks.) YOU CAN TRUST ME! I LOVE YOU! DO YOU WANT TO TALK TO ME? (Um, we’re not parrots) I’M NOT GOING TO HURT YOU, I PROMISE! (Except maybe our ears). I LOVE YOU! MY NAME IS LOUD ONE (Yup, that seems about right). THESE ARE MY BROTHERS… BUT YOU BELONG TO JUST ME. NOT THEM. JUST ME. (Do we have any say in this… that little one seems much quieter.) I’M JUST GOING TO PLAY PUPPY FOR A FEW MINUTES AND I’LL BE RIGHT BACK. (No rush!)
But she does come right back. Every time. She comes back every five minutes to check on them. Spoiler alert: they’re still terrified. But they did come out and eat a little, so there’s hope. I’ve assured her that they’ll be jumping into her hands any day now. (Fingers crossed we didn’t get emotionally damaged or naturally shy guinea pigs because she will NOT be entirely happy until they are whistling a tune on her shoulder.)
All joking aside, this animal-loving daughter of mine DOES love these creatures pets more than anything, except maybe Happy Dude. (But definitely more than the Nibbit.)
I think her new little pets, plus having S’mores instead of birthday cake, made her 6th a birthday to remember.
She loves these guys (well, they’re girls, but whatever)… even though she keeps calling them hamsters.
***This is what a faux-camping party looks like when THIS PERSON doesn’t plan it. For the record, none of this was my idea. Thank you, Pinterest.