I'm down to one guinea pig.
I've not had just one guinea pig since I was ten years old.
It's a very strange thing.
I've kept guinea pigs for twenty-six years. I must have had at least thirty over the years, not including babies that were born and rehomed. They're perfect little pets. They're clean, they don't bite or scratch, they live thrice as long as hamsters and each one has their own little personality. I adore them.
I had to say goodbye to Jemima last week. She was six which is quite old for a guinea pig. This left me with Ruth. (That's Ruth up there. She's named after Ruth Goodman.) It also left me with a decision to make; get more guinea pigs or make Ruth my last one. I could get a pair of guinea piglets but something is telling me not to. I'm a big believer in gut instinct and for some reason the idea of getting baby pigs just doesn't feel right.
I know that guinea pigs are not solitary animals and because of this I've spoken to a couple of guinea pig owners who have single pigs and they all gave me the same advice; make Ruth an indoor pig, give her lots of attention and cuddle her daily. So that's what I'm doing and so far she seems fine. She goes in her outdoor run during the day and in the evening she comes inside, has her dinner and a bit later on she settles on my lap and we watch whatever soap is on (she likes EastEnders) and then she goes in her indoor cage for the night.
I'm keeping an eye on Gumtree and the like in case anyone has a three year old guinea pig lady that needs a home because I would jump at that. I'd be more than happy to adopt one for Ruth as long as she's about the same age as her. So if, on the off chance, you know anyone in the Cambridge area who is trying to rehome a three-ish year old female guinea pig, please send them my way.
Nigel is intrigued by Ruth and I'm careful to keep them apart because I don't trust Nigel. He's murdered waaaaay too many birds, you see.
So yes, it's very strange to open the back door and not be greeted by a chorus of squeaks but at the same time it's kind of nice to have Ruth indoors with us. I'll just see how it goes ...