The first memory I have of guinea pigs is when I was in primary school, I was looking through a Pets picture book and saw a child cradling a “guinea pig” which I had no idea at the time. A lot of people here in china and hong kong have actually never heard of guinea pigs, when I take my pig out for a stroll, they either think it’s a tiny dog….or an earless rabbit. When I tell them it’s like a rodent, I think they secretly conjure up images of rats and the black plague in their heads while half-heartedly smiling at me-_-. Guinea pigs are so underestimated here. I personally think they are the sweetest pets you can EVER have. They are cuddly, cheeky, and so very affectionate....
When my boyfriend’s roommate had a male and two female guinea pigs, he’d call me from overseas and tell me little anecdotes of them. He’d send me pictures of them too, and I was always totally hooked. When the male got his two wives pregnant and they had 5 babies, I was practically drooling over the cuteness of those babies!! Sad to admit, but the only pets I’ve ever had before is gold fish (died), another gold fish (died) 2 hamsters (died) and bunnies when I was really small. I haven’t had pets in many years, but I was captivated by all the stories my boyfriend was telling me about his pigs, I started taking notice to guinea pigs in pet store windows.
There’s this pet store, Qpets, in Shatin New Town Plaza, I go there EVERY time I walk past, to goggle at the little hamsters, bunnies, chinchillas and guinea pigs. I’ve noticed that the people who look at the shop windows love the bunnies, and the hamsters are very animated too. Chinchillas are also quite well known in hong kong, but when they see the guinea pig…..they are like, what’s that?
My first piggy Puffy
“that” is one of the sweetest pets in the worldJ my very first guinea pig is called Puffy, because he is very puffy:P he was sitting in the cage with a larger male, and I remember it was love at first sight. I’d go to the shop repeatedly just to look at his puffy little face. He looked so timid and sweet. One day, I couldn’t resist and asked if I could hold him. I distinctly remember that he wasn’t nervous at all in my arms, he settled right in and cradled his little (puffy) head into the bend of my arms. That was when I knew I had to have him. I’m very impulsive, which is mostly a bad thing. But on this particular occasional, my impulsiveness has led to one of the best and puffiest things that could scurry into my life
This is what he looked like when I first bought him, he was just 3 months old. look at that little pink ear....
I remember showing him to my dad and he was so freaked out by this strange looking giant hamster that he simply threw him! Thank god he landed on the BED.
My boyfriend had a pig he named Puffy Oreo because he was coloured like an oreo cooking, AND he was puffy!!This is Puffy Oreo:
I just loved the sound of that word-puffy, so when I got my pig, and he happened to be puffy too, I wanted to name him that. His full name is actually Puffy Choco-cream, haha, and then my brother changed it to Puffy Brownie-ice cream:S but we go used to just calling him Puffy.
He knows his name! he comes up to the cage and greets me when he hears me call him
And then I’d give him a scratch through the bars:D see all that poopie in the background………
Puffy settled into his new home with us quite nicely, the first cage I bought him was this tiny pet store cage which is just cruel to him:( I remember that guineapigcages.com said “pet store cages are simply glorified litterboxes”, and that’s so right! I wanted to make life the best possible for my baby, so I started out by searching a buddy for Puffy first.
A friend for Puffy
Booger came into our family a few days later. I bought Puffy for $600 in Shatin Qpets, whereas Booger only cost $250 in Mong Kok, less than half of Puffy! But thinking back now, I would have bought Puffy even if he were $1000. maybe not $1001 though…
Anyway, this is Booger: Yeah I know, it looks like he is doing the karate chop:P
This is baby puffy with baby boogerJ they are really sweet together. However, Booger had an abscess on the back of his neck that I grew worried about, and since it was there when I got it, the shop said I could take him back and they will check it out for me and contact me when he’s better. Unfortunately, they never called me back, so I don't know what happened to him…
I went to the same shop and got Buggy. Buggy was so small when we got him, see how he fit in the palm of my hand?? He has big black eyes and big floppy ears. Puffy and Buggy bonded very well, although they do engage in *cough* unacceptable behavior now and then….
Yes, they are both boys-_-. Did anyone notice Puffy got an overall haircut? Yeah, that would be Buggy barbering him. Puffy would h*mp Buggy and then Buggy would seek revenge by eating Puffy’s beautiful locks….
These two best buds like to enjoy the afternoon sunrays on my bed. Aren’t they sweet? ^^
They even shared a liking for Star Wars Clone Wars—Anakin
I built them a nice big cage so they had plenty of room to roam. They had a show box to hide in, a second floor, pillow-tunnel, a hammock, a ramp, a PVC pipe and most importantly: a hello kitty blanket:P life was good…
3 happy pigs
Peter Gurney, the guinea pigs guru once said that your number of guinea pigs will increase in direct proportion to your fondness towards them! Very true, very true indeed, because look who caught my eye at the pet store 2 months later??
A puffy-clone! I started searching through Puffy’s birth certificates to see if he had an identical twin separated at birth…. This dude we named PJ, for Puffy Junior, because he was literally a mini version of Puffy. (if you look closely, Puffy’s right face is white too, but PJ only has white down the middle of his face)
so now we have 3 piggies:)
At this point, I was getting adamant death threats from family members: “no more!”. Actually, I swear, I was satisfied with the current arrangement. I had 3 adorable boys, they get on very fine. Puffy is the boss because he was there first, and he knows he’s the favourite:P everything went great until one day….
Speaking of their fondness for Star Wars...I have a bad feeling about this....
Can you guys spot the potential danger in this photo? Yes, Puffy was King of Pride Pillow, watching over his kingdom of…scattered poops and disoriented pigs….
But what is Buggy doing?? Planning his rebellion…….see how he’s getting ready to challenge Puffy’s longstanding position as alpha-pig.
By now I should mention that Puffy was never much for the size. I mean, he got here first, Buggy is a month younger than him, PJ is two months younger than him, and after just 2 months, both had outgrown Puffy. So it’s quite a pathetic sight, watching Puffy, the self-proclaimed KING trying to get his way with his two subordinates who are clearly bigger and bulkier than he is:P This is another thing I love about my baby, he is always so soft and squishy-squigy. While Buggy and PJ grew muscles, Puffy stayed a puddle of jelly.
One day, when I was cleaning their cage and I put them together on the sofa, I noticed that both of them were “shivering” because their teeth were chattering! They were right next to eachother, but they seemed tensed up, and both had chattering teeth. It was the middle of summer. When I put them back in the cage, I noticed that they were not getting along anymore. I often see Buggy advancing on Puffy when he comes near, sometimes they snap at eachother, but most of the time, they show their dislike by carefully avoiding eachother. They would not even eat together….all this PJ, who is very very skittish, hides somewhere and just tries to stay out of all the action. I tried all I could, even gave them a buddy-bonding bath, while failed as well. I just couldn’t understand! They were so sweet together before, why the hostility all of a sudden? I guess it was simply because Buggy reached adolescence and he is clearly dissatisfied with the way Puffy is running things in the cage, so he boldly decided to overthrow the king. Puffy did NOT back down like a wimp, they’d get into very nasty battles. They would literally FLY at eachother and be a giant ball of fur rolling around.
After one particular nasty fight, I found wounds on both of them. Buggy got one under his chin and scratches around his mouth, while Puffy had a bleeding lip. I cleaned them all with hydrogen peroxide and applied tea tree oil cream to help it heal. I kept them in separate cages for a while. I kept Puffy with PJ for a week, then switched to Buggy with PJ with a week, so they would get a companion and not be lonely. PJ generally gets along with everyone.
Puffy the patient
When I was cuddling Puffy in my lap one day and stroking his fur, I felt a lump under his arm. Upon closer examination, I realized it was actually a bite wound from Buggy weeks earlier that I had not detected as it was hidden in his armpit. Hair had clumped up around it and even stuffed into the wound, which had obviously become infected. I tried everything I could to fix it, but a lump had already formed and the wound obviously needed medical attention.
A trip to the vet cost me over $1000 *drops dead*. Poor Puffy had to have the wound sutured and drained because there was bacteria in the lump. I was told he had to be anaesthetized, with gas. Gas is the safest form of anesthetic for small animals, but it cost $500, just the gas! Add the antibiotics, medications, appointment fee, and it totaled to something equivalent of a PSP for my brother. (he’s gonna kill me). I was also told that Puffy had mites (not serious) which had to be killed off. I figured if Puffy had mites, then the other two probably has it too. All three were subscribed meds that killed the mites.
At this point, I had 2 big changes to make:
1) Buggy and Puffy had to be separated to avoid future bloodshed (and vet bills)
2) I can no longer house them in the large cage I built them because it was on the floor, without a base, which means blankets are laid directly onto the floor. It was not hygienic and they ended up with mites….
I realized that although the large cage I built them was big and spacious, it just wasn’t a very clean solution. So I had to house them back in pet store cages, which can be kept off the ground, and they have a 15cm tall tray that ensures better hygiene. I can also clean out the tray easily. The only problem is, pet store cages are so small!!!! I was so miserable at first, I bought 3 cages that each measures 60cm by 100cm. I put Buggy in a single cage, and combined the other 2 cages to make a double cage for Puffy and PJ. It wasn’t the best, but it was clean, and I also solved the fighting problem. Sometimes I would alternate PJ to live with Buggy, but I don’t think he was too happy with the arrangement. He cannot establish a stable bond with either Puffy or Buggy as he kept getting switched around.
So….*bows head* I went searching for piggy no.4. FOUR!!
I had to seriously beg my family for this one, because they were horrified to learn I wanted another pig?! But I patiently explained to them the circumstances and told them that piggies must have at least one companion, and right now, Puffy is a loner!
Look at that lonesome silhouette. He’s so lonely he can’t even work up the zest to eat yummy veggies….poor little guy
And Buggy and PJ seemed quite happy with the housing arrangement:P see Buggy’s triumphant smile
Latest addition: Jiffy
So out I went and brought back Jiffy. See how timid Jiffy is? He’s so small and just snuggled right up to Puffy:D
"I'll be there, little buddy!"
can y'all spot Jiffy??
"Hey! You wanna get to my little pal, you'll have to get past me first!"
4 piggies, 1 happy family....but not for long
Yup yup yup, that is one big happy piggy family for me :) everyone was settled in. Buggy with PJ, Puffy with Jiffy. But we should all know that things are never what they seem….Should I even BE surprised when I discovered one day that Jiffy was challenging Puffy’s authority now?! I mean, Puffy must have athlete foot or bad breath or something because obviously, his cagemates are not happy
Oh dear dear dear….what have I done?! When I bought Jiffy my end in mind was that I find Puffy a companion and everyone live happily ever after. I could switch Jiffy with PJ and put Puffy with PJ and Buggy with Jiffy (following….) but Buggy and PJ seemed very bonded and I was afraid if I put Jiffy in with Buggy and that didn’t work out and I put PJ back with Bug, Bug won’t accpet him anymore. And I could NOT risk further conflicts between my pigs! So now I had an extra guinea pig, Jiffy, who was not going to get along with Puffy, and I had to purchase another cage for him. Hong kong flats are very small….there’s no space! No space!!!!
Sigh. I put Jiffy in the small cage I kept from the start, but it was so small that Jiffy was biting on the bars so often he had a bald spot on his nose as he rubbed against the edge of the bars. So out we went…..came back with a medium size cage for Jiffy. And now we have….3 big cages and one medium cage. This is ridiculous….4 pigs with 4 cages. I SO should have gotten girls, they told me females get along fine no matter how many of them…
The arrival of 4 pretty ladies
At this point, due to an absolute emergency, (I swear), 4 beautiful girls came into the familyJ I was so scared my family was going to kill me for DOUBLING the population that I decided not to tell them at all and just had my fingers crossed that they maybe wouldn’t notice 4 additions to the cage:D
here are my beautiful girls, from the left: Shylie, Shirley, Snoopy and Snowy.
and no, that’s not red eye on the camera, Snowy really does have red eyes (my dad thought she had some deadly eye disease….)and just to make them even more endearing: can you see the resemblance?? Shylie is Shirley’s mommy, and Snowy is Snoopy’s mommy:D:D:D:D
where do I start with these girls….they are absolute eating machines. Whenever I am preparing a crunchy veggie buffet for them, they can smell me from the kitchen, and as I’m bringing the plate into the room,they all stand up (literally) and wheek their little heads off! As for the boys? They are SILENT. It’s as if they have this secret pact that they gotta act coooolll and controled in front of the ladies and not be “desperate”. I love my girlies, for one thing, they smell like girls! They have this feminine smell which is so sweet. Buggy has a really strong boar stink, it reminds me of the elephant house in the Beijing Zoo….