Whenever a sane, caring person is entrusted with a new young life, the natural desire is to do the best for your child, whether it’s a human baby or a pet. Naturally, perfection is out of the question, so all parents are bound to feel some guilt. (And generally pass it down from generation to generation, which is an art form for Jews, Italians and Catholics.)
I feel guilty because even though I have read and heard that guinea pigs are social animals and like to have a buddy, Princess Piggy Poo will always be an only child. I also have guilt that she doesn’t and probably won’t ever have a veterinarian other than my friend Doug, who’s a photography producer.
Guinea pig purists would poo-poo my parenting, which puts me on the defensive. I’m Princess Piggy Poo’s buddy, damn it! I didn’t adopt her to snuggle up with some other guinea pig. As far as medical care, she sits in a cage all day like the boy in the plastic bubble. I’m out in the world and I don’t even have member-of-Congress health care, just hit-by-a-bus insurance so I can have the happy illusion that I won’t lose everything if something bad happens.
At least Princess Piggy Poo fares better than her relatives in Peru, since no one here wants to eat her. My French friend Dominique has offered to give her a celery and carrot bath but she’s too small right now to take him seriously. Although, I did read somewhere that in Peru they’re trying to grow bigger guinea pigs so that one could feed more people. Why, Peru, why?
All in all, Princess Piggy Poo has it really good with me. And that’s another thing guilty parents do, convince themselves that what they’re doing is just fine. Oh, let me go, I need to look for a small animal vet in the area—just in case.