Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Tale Of Two Piggies

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Sorry, wrong story. If you follow me here or on Face Book, you know that my grandson's guinea pig, Dorothy, passed away early last spring. After a few weeks, Jamison decided that he would like another pet, so his mom, my youngest daughter, brought home an adorable 6-week old female tri-color piggie and named her Sophie.

Online research indicated that guinea pigs live happier, healthier lives when their home is shared with a companion, so my daughter and I went out looking for another girl. I picked out the cutest little baby Abyssinian and was assured she was a girl. We brought her home, introduced her to Sophie and she and newly named Mocha became instant friends. They ate together, played together, snuggled together and the grandchildren loved petting them and watching them run around.
A few weeks later, I began to question Mocha's gender, but after comparing her to Sophie and to photos on the Internet and knowing that I was guaranteed that she was a she, I figured I was just being overly cautious.  I even posted a photo of "Princess Mocha" wearing Abigail's tiara!
Isn't that the cutest thing?

Fast-forward from June to August. We had the piggies playing in their little pool (makes the perfect play pen) when I noticed something "different" about Mocha. She was acting strangely around Sophie and seemed to have something wrong with her, well, how to say this delicately, um bottom side? Back to the Internet for more photo checks (I was beginning to feel like a piggie porn perv) and sure enough, Princess Mocha was indeed.....
A BOY!!! Oh, this was not good as we didn't want to breed guinea pigs; we just wanted a couple for pets. Jim and I went to the pet store and bought a large cage and all the needed equipment so that we could separate the piggies. We feared that Sophie was probably already pregnant, but we still needed to keep them apart as she could get pregnant again immediately after giving birth (can you imagine?) We studied the web sites once more and learned how to recognize a pregnant piggie from a chubby one, how to look for the babies and feel their movements and yes, we confirmed that Sophie was indeed pregnant with three babies! Exciting, but one of those "oh boy" moments.
Here's Sophie in mid-September - definitely wider than usual. We determined that there were three babies - two on one side and one on the other. Our predictions were that there would be two girls and one boy and that the first one we would encounter would be an Abyssinian like Mocha, but black with red coloring.

On the morning of September 23rd (Jim's birthday), my daughter was greeted by who else but a tiny little guinea pig baby that looked like Mocha with black and red hair! It was really exciting! There were three babies and everyone, including Momma Sophie, was doing well. We visited with the babies for a bit to take their pics and check them out for any health issues and it seems we have two girls and one boy, although our veterinarian who specializes in small and exotic animals will have to confirm.

L-R: Tri-color female, tri-color male, Abyssinian female - look how tiny and cute!!

Who wouldn't fall in love with these sweethearts?
Meanwhile, two days before the birth, Mr. Mocha made the ultimate sacrifice and gave up his manhood to prevent future offspring. He's such a trooper! Whatta guy!

The whole family got together for a very brief visit in the piggie pool last night and Sophie rushed over and kissed Mocha on the nose. They will be happy to be reunited at a future date but for now, their cages are side by side and they talk to each other through the bars. True love! Have a happy day! Hugs, Leena

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