iLOL’d: Guinea Pigs.

February 15, 2009

Due to circumstances (mostly) beyond my control, I was unable to make an iLOL’d post, partially because I had not yet encountered a truly lulz-worthy event that week.

It came to me quite well this morning, though: Guinea pigs.

Also known as cavies (or, affectionately, “piggledy-wiggledies”), guinea pigs are small, domesticated offshoots of the rodent order (by which I mean that they’re considered rodents, but are slightly different, somewhat like the panda bear).  We keep four, acquired through various means, and they’re all very lulzy.

First there’s Ezri, the black American.  We got her when she was a baby, and it became obvious pretty fast that she was an insanely complacent little squirt, by which I mean she will hold still in the cage while you stroke her.  She seems quite fond of human contact in general; less fond of swimming, but since she’s rather overweight it’s a good way to get in some exercise.  At the moment, she seems to be the cage leader.

Hershey, the “retired mother” pig, is an old breeder that we got the same time as Ezri.  She’s a naturally dominant sort, and ran the cage for some time before ceding the position (to whom, we’re not sure, but she seems content now just to do her thing and let other critters worry about dominance).  Hershey is a black Teddy.  Funny thing about Teddies; their fur is adorable, but they get terrible earwax problems.  I’m not sure why.

Duo is a little bit bland as far as guinea pig personalities go, but she is by far the prettiest guinea pig we have — she’s an accidental cross between an American (or possibly a Crested) and a Peruvian, resulting in a longer but manageable and very attractive coat.

Jennifer was part of an accidental three-for-one deal.  It was actually her mother, Pikachu, that we found at a guinea pig show and brought home; it wasn’t until later that we discovered she was pregnant.  After much (but not too much) fussing and about three weeks of waiting, Pikachu gave birth to Jennifer and her brother Buttons.  They are both tricolored Teddies – red, white, and agouti brown – the main difference being that Jennifer is predominantly brown while Buttons is predominantly red.  Buttons had to be given away to prevent any further pregnancies, but we still have Jennifer, and her personality is without a doubt the most distinctive: she’s whiny. The moment you pick her up, she starts chattering her little brains out, nibbling on your fingers if she can.  In the cage, if another pig happens to invade her personal space, she’ll cram herself into a corner and wheek her little brains out.  She’s just obnoxious, which admittedly is one of her endearing qualities.

Guinea pigs are, without a doubt, a perfect example of “iLOL’d because it’s cute”.  They’re shaped a bit like bullets, longish and rounded on the end, and they have adorable little faces (except when they yawn) and cute little round teeth and itty-bitty little legs that they use for all kinds of surprising things, like running and swimming and scratching their backs.

They also have very peculiar little minds.  In addition to their distinct personalities, they are creatures of habit.  Our guinea pigs believe quite firmly in a Trinity of foods – hay, available all the time, pellets, available all the time, and daily veggies, available as soon as the cage has been cleaned.  They get completely out of sorts if this balance is disrupted.  Despite this, they have a great love of variety – nothing pleases these little girls more than a new tunnel to run through or a new blanket to burrow in.  I’m sure there are many great psychological discoveries to be made about guinea pigs; they’re not the smartest, but their mental “issues” are intensely fascinating.


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