Ode Of The Ten Guinea Pigs

I pause my sewing to bring you this peek into my every day life. Presenting …

THE ODE OF THE TEN GUINEA PIGS.

                 Squeak squeak squeak squeak, SQUAWK,                                             Squeak squeaky squeak, Squeak,                                           

                squeak SQUAWK squeak.

              Squeak squeak squeak, squeak squeaky,                                                   SQUAWK SQUAWK, squeak squeak.

                Squeak, squeaky, squeak squeak.

BY: Meatlug (Meala), Hiccup, Valka, Ruffnut, Astrid, The Screaming Earless, Stoick the Squawker, Tuffnut, Blind Bjorn, and Sonic the Zippleback (Zipple).

If you’ve been following our Saga of the Guinea Pigs you’re probably wondering when the last one showed up. Well, his owners have fallen onto some difficulties and so this little guy ended up joining of horde, leaving us with a staggering ten guinea pigs.

 

Introducing the guinea pig with the mohawk.

Introducing the guinea pig with the mohawk.

When one squeaks they all squeak. And they squeak whenever they hear the fridge open, someone walks by, someone walks down the stairs (seriously), and whenever their bowls are empty (which is frequently, they’re making up for their earlier malnutrition with gusto).

     Well, at least the turtle’s quiet.

 

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Introducing …

Our babies are about five days old today but you wouldn’t know it from the way they’re tearing around their cage. Thank goodness there are only two because they are like a pack of piranhas when we feed them.

After the spotting scare Valka is perfectly healthy, though clearly fed up with her youngsters climbing on her.

In light of their trouble-making, LOUD personalities, there really was only one option to name them.

Introducing Ruffnut (white) and Tuffnut (brown).

Aren't they well behaved?

Aren’t they well behaved?

Nope, nevermind, Escape!!

Nope, nevermind, Escape!!

For those outside the How To Train Your Dragon universe, Ruff and Tuff our twins whose main goal in life is to make as much chaos on the island as possible. I’m sure these two will do their best to live up to their legacy.

Ruff and Tuff stealing their Mum's lettuce. Valka was shocked the first time but now she holds her own against them.

Ruff and Tuff stealing their Mum’s lettuce. Valka was shocked the first time but now she holds her own against them.

Babies!

Well,  I predicted that she was close, I was right! Valka delivered two healthy babies around 2 pm yesterday afternoon. There were signs of a third that was stillborn/unformed but we are just thankful that Valka is safe and healthy.

Though we’d been checking on her constantly she managed to give birth to both before we realized what was going on. So they’re a few minutes old at least in the first photos.

002 Brand new and still wet.

003 006 010 Still bloody.013 Family shot.015 Valka trying to discreetly squash one of the babies.

019 Drying off!030

 We had a small scare last night when we realized that Valka was still bleeding sporadically, neither of our previous mother spotted after birth. However she remained alert and eating and there has been no more blood today.

These babies are noisy little things! They’ve been running around nibbling on everything in the cage (pellets, brocoli, the plastic side of the cage, each other…) and Valka keeps looking at us expectantly as though asking, “You’re taking these things away now, right?’

Names and more pictures to follow, I’m going to go stare at my beautiful babies.

Close!

Bursting at the seems, but no babies yet! I think she likes being in the living room, she’s taken to sitting on her haunches and peering out the bars at us.

And begging.

Standing up and begging.

Standing up and begging.

The watch continues but it can’t be long now! Here’s to a safe birth and healthy mother and babies.

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Oireachtas Manuscripts and Guinea Pigs, Oh My!

Well, the Oireachtas has come and gone. I was hoping that my four hand team would recall. We didn’t. It was a bit disappointing because we danced amazingly and it sucks when you know you did your best and it wasn’t enough. But as bummed as I was I’ve bounced back and I’m ready to go again (let’s face it, I’m used to rejections and disappointment, I’m a writer!).

While our team might not have placed, I’m still proud of how we danced and of our school! We came away with two World qualifiers ( 3rd in girls U12 and 4rth in boys U12!!!) and a National qualifier. Not too bad for our young school!

 

Last month I mentioned that while I wasn’t competing in NaNoWriMo I was going to use the month to focus on my writing and get back on track. I didn’t write an entire novel in a month but I did do something better. I fell in love with a new project! Now I have something to engage my imagination while I put my other manuscript aside to figure out what’s wrong with the darn thing.

I think one of the hardest thing for a writer is to admit that ‘this’ novel may not be the first one you publish. We get our hearts set on them and to put them aside feels like giving up. Well, there’s no way I’m giving up and I live for the day I get to see it in print but I’ve admitted that this might not happen immedietely and now I have another project to fall back on. And I can’t wait to see where this one goes!

 

And, finally, the baby watch is under way!

067

Valka has been moved to her own cage now and resides in a place of honor in the living room where we can monitor for babies all day (and shower the mommy-to-be with various delicacies …). Since we don’t know how far along she was when we got her we don’t know how close she is. Guinea pigs gestate for around 60 to 70 days. It could happen in a few days or two weeks. Either way, we’re ready.   

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P.S. Spell check is trying to tell me that ‘gestate’ is not a word. Spell check, thou art worthless.

Guinea Pigs-Two Weeks

(Edit. I was referring to Stoick as a female at this time but as some time passed it became evident that Stoick is male, which at least fits the name much better! I now believe he was only a few days old when we got him)

 

Two weeks of love, care, and proper food has worked a miracle on the Guinea Pigs. They’ve put on weight, they’re growing increasingly friendly, and their cuts and scabs have disappeared while their coats grow thicker. For me, the biggest relief has been with Stoick’s eye. A week ago it was filled with mucus, cloudy and half closed. Then it turned bright red beneath the mucus. I was really afraid it was infected and I was going to lose her. But not for nothing did I name her after Berk’s strongest warrior. I treated it several times a day with a saline solution and luckily she continued to eat and drink. Here’s the result.

A little cloudy, but healed!

A little cloudy, but healed!

Not only has it cleared up, I think she can even see a little out of it. Now she squeals for attention (you would not believe the sound that can come out of this little thing) and puts the rest of the pigs to shame with how much she eats.

Here’s Valka and Earless begging for treats. Valka’s made huge progress, she was too timid to touch at first but now she lets you stroke and pat her.

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Astrid’s back wound has completely healed and her hair’s coming back. She’s still the skinniest (and the pickiest eater) but she’s filling out a little. Here’s she’s trying to taste my fingers, but you can see how her back has healed.

In pursuit of fingers.

In pursuit of fingers.

And Bjorn is about as content with his new life as he can be. His eye will never heal and I don’t think he can see very well out of the other eye but he lounges around and gobbles treats. He’s a sweetheart and very content to sit on your lap.

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With them all doing so well, we indulged in a Thanksgiving photo shoot to show them off. They turned out not to be too keen on the idea and as soon as we put the four girls down they took off in opposite directions but we eventually got them to behave. A little.

 

Valka, Astrid, Stoick, and Earless trying to take off.

Valka, Astrid, Stoick, and Earless trying to hide from the camera.

 Bribes were offered for good behavior.

Look at that fluffy white butt. Look at it. Astrid's practising her espionage.

Look at that fluffy white butt. Look at it. Astrid’s practising her espionage.

Blind Bjorn.

Blind Bjorn.

 This is actually his good side, their eyes turn bright red in the camera.

Hiccup and Meatlug.

Hiccup and Meatlug.

 While getting four pigs to sit pretty for a picture was impossible, Hiccup and Meatlug were champs. Hiccup, of course, is a photo shoot veteran.  And Bjorn is  a born star, he took everything in stride and seemed happy to strut his stuff. But wasn’t there one other piggie, you ask? Well, the newly named Crow White went to her new home last Friday and I hear she’s being spoiled terribly.

Crow heading to her new home. And refusing to face the camera as I try to document the moment.

Crow heading to her new home. And refusing to face the camera as I try to document the moment.

 These guinea pigs have found happy homes but there are still dozens waiting for theirs. Again, if you live near Broward Florida please go and save as many as you can! At the very least please share this link:  http://miami.craigslist.org/brw/pet/4721588351.html

To The Rescue!

This Saturday we went on a guinea pig rescue mission. The owner had dozens (and dozens) of guinea pigs living together in a big cage in his back yard. You know the story, someone gives you a couple of guinea pigs, you stick them together … next thing you know you have more guinea pigs. Unfortunately none of them were ever separated and the problem grew bigger and bigger.  (Seriously, please sex your guinea pigs and seperate them, for their own sakes!)

Since we’re huge suckers we jumped into action. When we got there we were astounded by the amount of guinea pigs, but sadly, we were also shocked by the poor conditions they were all in. In the end we took home six while a friend took another. We only intended to take two but, well, yeah we’re suckers.

When we got them home we started taking inventory on their conditions. They are all skinny and malnourished with shredded ears and scabs from fighting. One has a blind eye, another is almost certainly going to have a blind eye, two had great cuts on their back (one of which also has a bad leg), one has no ears at all (ripped off) and the last one? Surprise! turns out she’s PREGNANT. (We’re seriously hoping she’s the only one since we picked up mostly females).

Here are some pictures from the second day:

Astrid, the cut on her back is clear here.

Astrid, the cut on her back is clear here.

Earless (We're trying not to formally name this one yet) checking out the food.

Earless (We’re trying not to formally name this one yet) checking out the food.

Earless discovered carrots and turned her lips orange.

Earless discovered carrots and turned her lips orange.

Astrid and Stoick the Little. Here you can see Stoick's bad eye. She's barely a few weeks old. Normally one this young should be with their mother but she wouldn't have survived if we hadn't taken her.

Astrid and Stoick the Little. Here you can see Stoick’s bad eye. She’s barely a few weeks old. Normally one this young should be with their mother but she wouldn’t have survived if we hadn’t taken her.

Crow White is going to my friend as soon as she's healthy enough.

Crow White is going to my friend as soon as she’s healthy enough.

Valka the expectant mother.  She's really timid, we hope to get her to trust us before the birth.

Valka the expectant mother. She’s really timid, we hope to get her to trust us before the birth.

 

 

 

 

Blind Bjorn, he's older and beat up but so sweet that I fell in love and couldn't leave him behind.

Blind Bjorn, he’s older and beat up but so sweet that I fell in love and couldn’t leave him behind.

 The good news is that everyone is eating heartily and beginning to trust us, in fact, they’re learning how to beg! These are pigs that have never really been handled or socialized but they’re making fast progress. Cuts are healing and already they’re looking a little fatter and the fear is gone from their eyes. My only health concern now is Stoick the Little’s eye.                  Well, there you have it, the newest members of my viking hoard. I can’t wait to post pictures in a week or two when they are fatter and healthier.                                              If you live near the Broward area and have room in your heart for a guinea pig or two then please check out the link and go adopt a new friend, I can’t stress enough how much these piggies need a good home!                   http://miami.craigslist.org/brw/pet/4721588351.html