Saturday, March 28, 2009

Meet Peanut

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Meet Peanut. Peanut is a guinea pig. Peanut is suppose to be Cookie's Friend. Cookie bit Peanut. Peanut cried. Peanut's owners felt bad for Peanut and scolded Cookie. Cookie got cranky. She snubbed her owners and wouldn't come out of her box even for a lettuce leaf. She stole the lettuce leaf and ran back into her box. Peanut went back to Cookie. Peanut sniffed Cookie. Cookie bit Peanut. Owners checked Peanut, Peanut is not a girl. Peanut is a boy. Naughty, owners. Naughty staff who said he was a girl. Naughty wildlife park. Sad owners. Happy Peanut as he dances and sings for Cookie. Cookie laughs and hides.

Seriously, this is a joke, right? No. Sadly, it's not. We noticed over the past week that Cookie took a firm dislike to Peanut. We thought this was odd, but not abnormal. You see, Cookie use to be on the bottom of the totem pole until the unfortunate, and undisclosed, departure of her mother and her mother's friend (we've always called her Cookie's Aunt. Not that it matters, so back to the point at hand..)

Cookie was now at the top of the totem pole, and she didn't hesitate for one second to let Peanut know where "she" stood. Because Cookie has been surrounded by guinea pigs and people from the moment she was born (Easter Morning 2008, when, in fact I strongly mistook her and her brother as two cookies laying in the bottom of the cage and nearly told two unfortunate little boys off for giving guinea pigs said cookies, but again this isn't part of the story I'm trying to tell!)

So here we were at an animal wildlife park who seemed to have an unusual outcry of guinea pigs, and we had a guinea pig who needed a friend badly. The wildlife park was all to happy to help us explaining all the needs and requirements of a guinea pig. After we explained that yes our piggies get veggies everyday, they get dry food, they get hay, they go outside, they come inside, etc. They acknowledged that we did need a younger female so as not to cause problems.

They had none on site at the park. Okay, fine, we were willing to come back if they had more, which i was pretty sure they would because one looked VERY pregnant. It turns out that the lady who cares for them had some at her home, and she brought up a girl. Or so she thought.

February passed with little incident, other then odd behaviors of our pig. The new big tended to scrounge around and eat off the ground rather then eat our of the bowl. Peanut was also far more hesitant to eat from our hands, all though can eventually be won over, especially now. The oddest behavior that we noticed was the total panic Peanut would go into if not next to Cookie. We presumed they were just best buds.

Along came March. Peanut has grown, the name Peanut may not be entirely fitting once full grown. We noticed Cookie becoming distant to Peanut. Not permitting Peanut in the guinea pig house. Giving out nibbles, for what seemed no reason at all. We opted to buy another piggie house and throw make their one house super big. Cookie, pig that she is, took the whole house for herself and peanut was left out. We split the house up and made two.

Cookie went a step farther and started growling, smashing her teeth together, and chasing Peanut. Now, that's a full fledged, "I'm going to get you!" guinea pig war. I'm much more into the docile ways of nose wars, where one pig raises it's nose and the other does so as well until one nose is at the top and that piggie is leader of the pack. Those kind of fights are amusing and funny to those of us who aren't trying to be "top nose".

When we saw how relentless Cookie was being we instantly separated the pigs by throwing a set of grids down the center of their cage. Which is when common sense took over and snatched up Peanut and flipped the poor unsuspecting pig upside down to check private areas of the poor things body. I sat there with my jaw open convinced it was a male. How could I be dubbed?

How could a women who understand the needs of her "g. pigs" as she called them get something so important wrong?! Then I said, out loud this time, "You know, I could be wrong." No one truly paid attention to what I was saying, after all who listens to a women in dire need of a shower holding a guinea pig, who was squealing with annoyance, upside down while inspecting his nether regions? No one in their right mind, that's who!

Most people would think, "My word save the pig and lock that women up!" My children, on the other hand, would giggle, point at me and say, "Gee Mom you stink!" My husband, who was most likely snoring away, would have assured them that I didn't stink without considering the fact that I'd yet to bathe for the day. I'm getting off track again though..

The point was, I wasn't sold on his boyishness. I was pretty sold, but when our pig had babies last time I'd rightfully suspect one boy and one girl. I'd even pinned them down properly, but then doubting myself I thought perhaps they were both boys. So there I was in the middle of the emptiest living room you'll ever see holding a squealing guinea pig, when I decide more research is needed.

I look up more guinea pig pages for pictures of telling the difference between boy and girl. I wait a few days. I lament over how I'm probably worrying for nothing. My kids complain that the guinea pig cage needs cleaning and I'm thinking, "Right, but I have to figure this out first.." All while getting pouty eyes from Peanut at his new demise and frightfully gleeful looks at Cookie as she is lounging about in her house and poking her tongue out at Peanut from her side of the grids.

So today I buck it up and clean the cage, this is our normal cage cleaning day anyway. I let the kids play with the pigs. I notice how the pigs behave while on the floor. I put them in the cage and notice how they sniff each other. It dawns on me as Peanut sings that it is he who's been singing the same song Oreo use to sing to the girls. So I rip him up out of the cage (gently of course) flip him over and low and behold, he's 100% boy.

I return him to his cage where he gives me pouty eyes and Cookie prances around with that, "FINALLY!" look in her eyes. What to I do? Pray with everything I've got that I don't wake up on Mother's Day to pups in the cage. All I can say is that if I do, I promise not to think my children have given them bits of chocolate this time.. For now, I think I may give that wildlife park a strong lecture...

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