While I can’t compete with Princess Piggy Poo’s instincts, it is thrilling that most of the time I can reach into her cage and give her a loving scratch or pick her up without incident. My previous guinea pig would dart around as if he was on fire every time I tried to get him. Maybe she’s less skittish than her predecessor because it’s her temperament, or perhaps it’s because I’ve been holding her since she was only a month old.
Princess Piggy Poo’s idiosyncrasies—especially her fondness for hanging out in the pouch pocket of my hoodies—can really annoy me. Now that summer’s coming, I’ll be seeing a lot more of her as I put away my sweatshirts. I’ve started weaning her from the pocket but she’s pretty insistent, nipping at whatever shirt I’m wearing in search of her favorite hiding spot. It’s a training process and she’s nicked my belly more than a few times but I have faith she’ll catch on.
I realize guinea pigs have tiny brains, but Princess Piggy Poo has a big personality. There’s a certain entitlement vibe I get from her and I’m sure it’s my fault for pronouncing her royalty. That, and I am a pushover for all pets. Whether Princess Piggy Poo is wheeking for lettuce, dancing around her cage, ripping at my shirts or giving me the evil eye, I’m delighted that she’s my little buddy.
It’s easy to celebrate furry, feathery (and maybe even scaly) friends for enhancing our lives with their presence. As my eight-year-old nephew once exclaimed to one of my pets, “How can I resist you when you’re so adorable!” (Which was actually pretty adorable, too.) I don’t believe that people are capable of unconditional love, but if they are, it’s because they learned it from a pet.