Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Perils of Petting


Choosing a pet is not just an opportunity to have your house stink of pee or algae. It can also be an opportunity to teach your children some lively life lessons. Our first pets were goldfish bought from an eccentric lady who had a glowing neon fishtank filled with fish out on her yard for sale dirt cheap. The goldfish lived fairly peaceful lives with us until the purchase of some african cichlids by a certain husband who did not read the notice in the pet shop that they should not be mixed with slow witted goldfish or anarchy would occur. The result of his purchase, suffice to say, ended in the GOLDFISH MASSACRE OF 2009 in which certain goggle eyed goldfish, let us say, never regained the power of sight.

This led to outrage from the kids who loved the goldfish dearly, about how the cichlids were 'bad boys' and should be put in a 'time out', that they should receive severe corporal punishment with small sticks (don't worry this didn't happen) and in order to stay in the tank should be equipped with small muzzles (!) After I explained that it was not practical to make muzzles for fish and both dead goldfish and live cichlids were flushed (well what would you have done with them?) the life lesson learnt basicially amounted to 'always read labels in pet shops before purchasing new pets.'

Marshmallow, it's for you!


Essentially, we learnt that birds of a feather stick together, or in our case, guinea pigs. An easier time of it has been had after the recent purchase of two female guinea pigs called Peanut and Marshmallow. Marshmallow is now twice the size of Peanut and we have had discussions with the nippers about whether Marshmallow is pregnant. We have decided no she is not, partly because both are females and partly because it is obvious from observing her that she eats three quarters of the food and thus simply looks pregnant.

We have also had discussions about whether it is suitable to have Peanut live in a dolls house.



The answer being no unless we can equip it with a flushing guinea pig toilet (patent pending).

Further investigation on the internet for critter fashions has indicated that there are certain guinea pig fashion designers who take things a tad too far. It has been explained to the girls that guinea pigs should not be fashion plates, partly because I do not wish to shell out for such outfits (all fashions posed by models):






One unfortunate side effect is that I have become obsessed with Peanut and Marshmallow and am very concerned with their welfare. Their nails have become too long now and I must either cut them myself or take them to the vet and I am worried they will get hurt - you know, how you are worried about your child hurting from having a shot at the paediatrician. I will only get more and more attached to the animals I call my 'grandpigs' and as they live about eight years I fear I will only get more obsessed with them.

So, do tell, is it normal to think of your pets as children and what has your pet taught you?

Cocktails at Naptime - A Woefully Inadequate Guide to Early Motherhood is available for download at the ibookstore here or in paperback here. 

27 comments:

  1. I got sea monkeys... too many pets, too many cages, too much fur and too much poop lol!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We've killed every fish from school that entered our house. My daughter has been nagging for so long we eventually relented and now we're getting a dog after ski season (I have said all along "nothing more in this house that poops." I am very much looking forward to picking up more poop four times a day...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mum's dog will reflexively jump up and expect to be cuddled much like a 18 month old child upon the occurence of any of the following: a) a loud bang b) thunder c) the word "fuck" d) anything that falls over after he inquisitively pushes it. I can't decide if he is childish or excessively camp.

      Delete
  3. Oh, I love that pirate costume. Please, Emma - you know you want to. Guinea pigs are lovely, but have weak hearts. We lost several when I was little - my mother had a sadistic Siamese cat who would sit on the hutch roof, then suddenly swing his head down to scare them. There'd be an almighty 'squeak squeak squeak ...' Then silence.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You could be onto something here, flushing guinea pig toilets, you could branch out to rabbit, hamster and gerbil toilets.

    ReplyDelete
  5. VeryBored...Absolutely will put my thinking cap on and start working on a prototype....I hope soon to be known as the Guinea Pig Loo Millionaire!

    Kate Lord Brown....I am so tempted to buy some costumes but I feel like I would be crossing a line from pet mad to well, pet MAD!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why do those darn guinea pigs have to be so cute? I have to constantly tell myself to not get persuaded in buying one when I'm at the pet store getting cat food.

    Ever since I had a kid, I really don't have as much affection for my cats. I know that sounds horrible, but tis true.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kristy...guinea pigs are pretty easy to care for although they do squeal alot! and they smell quite a bit but otherwise they are adorable.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oops. I'm afraid it is all too common to buy guinea pig girls who are already pregnant as breeders and pet shops often leave boys and girls together too long. Also if you are not an expert you *might* just have made a mistake sexing them. Please take your pigs to the vet asap because a) it is important to know you have a guinea-savvy vet you can call on (some vets are clueless) b) because they should have regular check-ups and c) because you need to be ready for those bubs!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Judy Olsen...I hear you! I thought of that. Because I read a book that said guinea pigs can get pregnant at five weeks and I thought well they might not even have been segregated by sex at that point. But now I have had them for three months I am assuming the one is just a compulsive eater because no babies have arrived. But you are right maybe I should go to a vet to be on the safe side.

    ReplyDelete
  10. no no no - pets are pets - we are NOT there parents :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. One of our guinea pigs died yesterday, so this post was rather bittersweet. I cried almost as much as the kids as I buried her.

    Also, we have photos of ours in doll houses too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jess...Oh I'm so sorry to hear that. I really feel for you. I adore my two little guinea pigs. xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great website. Lots of helpful info here. I'm sending it to some pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your sweat!
    CoverDerm Perfect Body & Leg Camouflage Foundation 1.69 Shade 3

    ReplyDelete
  15. I so do not get guinea pigs, but my kids really want some!

    I'll admit they are cute, but I clean up enough poo at the moment ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Aw man! So sorry to hear that. Your blog is so great. I'm a new BloggyMoms follower and look forward to your future posts!
    Cheers,
    Tess
    www.inlovebythebeach.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. We have a pig too! I call her pig because my daughter kept changing her name every other day. We love Pig (aka Squeeky). She is a long haired Peruvian with calico colors. She is going on 7 now and I keep preparing my daughter for the end of pig times. Yes the nails grow too long and too fast. I clip them myself since the vets and groomers I called said they do not, in uncertain terms, groom or clip rodents (their loss).

    Oh and Kate, pig poo is much easier to clean up than people poo! (lol). I've been doing both for years!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Cynthia....yeah in the end I managed to clip their nails myself. It was a bit nerve wracking but I managed it without injuring them (or myself)!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Those pictures gave me a great laugh!!! Following back!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I loved this post! You are quite funny! And you have a new follower!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Well, my pastor and his wife refer to their daughter's cats as "the grandkits"...so yes, I would say it is perfectly normal!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just loved the shot of her in the doll house. I'm with everyone who supports your inventing the flushing guinea pig loo!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Having pets has taught me that my children (and husband) are extremely lazy. Cleaning out the fish is the worse job in the world and actually makes me heave... yet I still get lumbered with it!
    XxX
    ps found you via BYOBH

    ReplyDelete
  24. Okay, it must be said. Peanut and Marshmallow are adorable!! We had our cat before our baby girl and it's worked out well :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. My pet cat is so high maintenance it's a joke-I know it's my fault but I seriously feel it's getting a bit much-he wakes me at 6am most mornings and has a better diet than me!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Too funny! I'm afraid to get a pet in this house. I host a weekly blog hop called the Thursday Mommy-Brain Mixer, and I would LOVE for you to come link up this post! The Mixer will be live at 12:01 a.m. EST tonight! http://www.two-in-diapers.blogspot.com :) Hope to see you there, friend!

    ReplyDelete