Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Well, rodent girl strikes again.

The Bear just has this thing for rodents. We've had hamsters, miniature hamsters and a gerbil. The first two hamsters died of natural causes, the miniature hamsters met their maker at the hands of the father hamster who then died either from his own meanness or from the gastric results of consuming his family. The next hamster got caught in an access tube in its cage and most recently the gerbil passed, apparently due to natural causes.

Well, now the Bear is the thrilled owner of a guinea pig. It's about two years old and like all of the above save one hamster, it was a giveaway, cage and all.

I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of like the thing. It's big enough to feel like you're actually interacting with something more than an animated dust bunny, it makes interesting sounds and it's very docile, unlike the gerbil who was just a mean, aggressive SOB.

On the other hand as I'm reading up on guinea pig care I'm learning such tidbits as I'll have to clip its toenails--oh, and do it somewhere where you won't drop it when it bites you. Nice.

They're apparently big on fresh vegetables, so I offered it some iceberg lettuce. It snatched it from me with a lightning strike then shook it like a dog trying to break a rat's neck before consuming it with great alacrity. It was an interesting enough performance that I gave it another piece to watch it again. Then it struck me that I now have competition for the iceberg lettuce. The pig and I may come to disagree on this issue. Along the line of fresh greens, apparently white clover is one of their favorite foods. We have white clover aplenty around here. Free food! But wait...it also gives them gas. I have a labrador retriever for that. I don't need a flatulant guinea pig as well.

Apparently scurvey is an issue as well. One page recommends feeding them cabbage to address this, another page says to avoid cruciferous vegetables because...they give them gas. Guess I'll have to give it a lime along with its rum tot.

And yes, so far it's an "it". I'm still reading the page on how to sex the things. Suffice it to say it's not as obvious as, say, John Holmes. Fortunately the Bear picked a generic name for it: Fluffy. Although as with all of her names, it's subject to change.

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