- Pets and Animals
The Adventures Of Two Guinea Pigs
Meet Our Pets Sam and Patch!
It was a cold Winter day when we brought them home from the pet shop, having secured the guinea pigs adoption and they were only a few weeks old, so we decided that they should begin their new life indoors in the relatively warmer comfort of our conservatory. Their pet names were chosen by our two boys, their proud new owners, who learned a lot by caring for them. Sam and Patch were very timid to begin with and stayed close together. After all, they didn't know us yet and were needing time to get to know their new territory. We gave them a brand new cage with some fresh hay, a bottle of water, a couple of cabbage leaves (yummy!) and a bowl of guinea pig food. We put some newspaper on the floor and made them a run, enclosing an area for them to make it safe. What more could two little guinea pigs want? All was well until it came to cuddle time!
Owning A Guinea Pig
Do You Own A Guinea Pig?
The Baby Guinea Pigs Big Exploration
The Disappearance Of Patch
It only took a moment. Steven was getting to know Patch and was gently holding him. He decided to go into the kitchen to get him some food. With Patch in one hand he opened the cupboard, bending down on his knees as he did so. At that moment naughty, inquisitive Patch jumped out of his hand and headed off through a gap between the cupboards, at top speed on his four little legs. Before we knew it, he had disappeared without a sound. Steven dropped the food and peered between the gap, to no avail. There was no sight of Patch! He had either found a good hiding place or a way out under floorboards. We hoped it was the former and that he was still there, just getting his breath back. We gently called him, but of course he wasn't going to come out easily. He didn't know whether he could really trust us yet and after all, it was quite a fun game. Much better than all the weeks he was kept cooped up in the guinea pigs cage at the pet shop, with all those eyes peering at him! Well here he was now and he might as well make himself comfortable.
Who would hold out the longest?
When it became obvious that he wasn't going to emerge without some kind of drama, we decided to go to Plan B. We were told that he couldn't resist the smell of fresh hay, so we strategically placed a ball of it and kept out of the way. At this point it became a game of "who would hold out the longest". Steven and his brother took turns at keeping watch by the kitchen door, keeping very quiet and still.
Plan C came into operation after a few fruitless minutes and in came the guinea pigs cage with lots of fresh hay and a trail of cabbage leaves leading to just inside the door. It was placed in the middle of the kitchen floor, not far from the gap. Not to be outdone, the boys decided at this stage to use their engineering skills by fastening a length of string to the door and holding the other end some distance away, from where they were keeping watch and were ready to pull the string at the right moment, which would release the door firmly shut. Again, they took turns at keeping watch. Eventually Patch's nose could be seen, timidly peering out from the gap. I suppose he just wanted to check that we were still playing and then he went back in again. After a couple more false alarms he finally, after about an hour, ventured out and just couldn't resist the comfort of his new home any longer. The door was firmly shut and the boys, relieved at last, took him back into the conservatory, informing him that he was a naughty baby guinea pig. It was no surprise to discover that he had house arrest for the rest of that day!
The Guinea Pig Leader
We soon realized that Patch was the adventurous and cheeky one of the two, wheras Sam was more timid and cautious and would often be seen hiding behind Patch.
Guinea Pig Cages
It's easy to keep guinea pigs
They just need cleaning out every few days, feeding and given fresh water each day. They like company, so same sex guinea pigs live well together, unless you want to breed your own family!
A Bestselling Guinea Pigs Cage
Very roomy and easy to assemble.
The Guinea Pigs Migration
and then the Spring came
After a few months of getting through the cold Winter days and of getting to know each other, we decided it was time for Sam and Patch to move house. No- we weren't sending them away- only out into the back garden where they would have full run. Not that it's a very big garden, but certainly huge by guinea pig standards! We checked first for any suspect looking gaps and then placed them into their outdoor guinea pigs cage and let them loose on the bits of grass and weeds which we supplemented from time to time with treats of extra grass, dandelion leaves and fresh vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, broccoli and apples. At night we made sure that they were firmly tucked up in their cage, away from the sneeky glare of hungry foxes!
They loved it outdoors and would run around our feet if we were out there, whether it was hanging out washing, sitting in the sun or playing ball. We just had to make sure that it was only the ball that got kicked and not the unsuspecting guinea pigs!
They earned their keep
Every child who came to visit us had to have a cuddle and our grandson, who could barely walk, even tried to get in the cage with them! Undeterred, Sam and Patch came out every day and earned their keep by keeping the weeds away. A few times they decided it was time to come back indoors, but a few stern warnings was suffice to give them the message that their place was now outdoors.
The Guinea Pigs And The Mouse
Winter can be a hard time for us all. We all have to learn ways to keep warm and feed our families. Sam and Patch were given extra hay (some of which they liked to eat), but otherwise spent their time running around the garden and snuggling up together in their guinea pigs cage to keep warm. Sometimes we would sit by the door inside the conservatory and watch them sleepily chilling out in their cosy home.
They weren't alone!
We soon discovered that they weren't the only ones trying to fend for themselves during the hard Winter. We would quietly watch as sneekily, a little brown mouse would run out from under the cage, slip inside through the wire mesh, help itself to a piece of food from their bowl and then quickly run out again as if they did this every day. After a minute or two they would run back, the food having disappeared as quickly as they had and the process would be repeated as they slipped back in, took another bite, out again to their hungry family and then back for more. All the while Sam and Patch had only casually peeped out from one sleepy eye to watch them undeterred by their hunting mission and apparently quite happy to share their food. We soon decided that enough was enough and moved the food bowl to the back corner of the guinea pigs cage, although we still seemed to get through a fair amount of food!
The Guinea Pigs And The Fox
Sam was already the cautious one, but in the end it didn't save him!
Just like many young creatures, Patch and Sam rarely went to bed without being told, or in their case, being chased around the garden back into their guinea pigs cage. It was always something that we tried to do before it got dark, but on this occasion it got forgotten!
The frightened guinea pig in a cardboard box
The following morning we were just having breakfast, when there was a knock at the door. It was our neighbour with a very frightened looking Sam in a cardboard box. His fur appeared ruffled and he was clearly shocked after whatever had happened before. Our neighbour explained that they had observed a fox running out of our garden at around 5am that morning. The next thing they knew was seeing Sam running around their front garden. We assumed that the fox had originally caught Sam and gone over the gate with him when he dropped him in favour of Patch who was bigger. Despite a thorough local search, poor Patch was never seen again.
Poor Sam took a few days to get back to his usual self, but he obviously missed Patch. Despite being extra careful not to forget to put him to bed, one day the fox got to him before us. He had already a good notion of where he was and no doubt was watching his opportunity. It came one day not long after Patch- and Sam went to join his brother at the home for guinea pigs in the sky.
R.I.P. Sam and Patch - thanks for giving us a lot of joyClick thumbnail to view full-size
What Did We Learn?
That guinea pigs make lovely pets, but also a meal for a fox- so beware!