Weather Forecast


Looking for a novel gift? Buy a guinea pig

Have you started Christmas shopping yet?  Or are you one of those totally organized people who has all the Christmas shopping done by Halloween?

Well, some of us cannot begin any meaningful Christmas shopping until we have had at least one big turkey dinner and several days of turkey leftovers.  Dunno about you, but I get my best gift ideas after two slices of pumpkin pie.

So here is a Christmas suggestion for those of you who prefer touching and feeling a present when selecting it, instead of pushing a “Buy This With One Click” button on your computer.  For those of you who, like me, slept late on Black Friday morning.  For those of you who did not head out to the Big Box Store for doorbuster specials after Thanksgiving supper.  Okay, I did that on Thanksgiving night.

Two words:  guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs are good natured and adorable.  Guinea pigs are tidy.  Guinea pigs like to eat whenever the rest of their human family sits down to eat.  Guinea pigs love attention.  Really, guinea pigs are a lot like me.

Guinea pigs make wonderful pets.

Guinea pigs are not a good choice for small children, though, because guinea pigs themselves are small.  For everyone else, guinea pigs rock.

Now, it is not a good idea to box up guinea pig and put her under the tree on Christmas morning.  Because guinea pigs chew through stuff, and you would spend a lot of your Christmas morning hunting for your piglet if you left her in a chewable box.  Of course if you have a real Christmas tree, you could easily find her stripping off the tree bark.

And don’t surprise anyone with a pet as a gift, unless you are sure the gift recipient is a kind and responsible pet parent.

You can tackle pet gifting head on, asking, “What up, dude?  Want a guinea pig?”  Or you can be sly, and ask, “On a scale of one to ten for awesome Christmas gifts, where would you put a guinea pig?”  If the person replies, “I would put that guinea pig right in your lap,” then you may have to rethink your gifting ideas.

Here are some selling points for guinea pigs.

They are agreeable to live with.  See, guinea pigs are a lot like me.  They are gentle.  They seldom, if ever, bite.  They easily adapt to living around other pets, provided the other pets are not intent upon eating them.

Piggies like to sing.  They quickly learn the sound of a refrigerator veggie drawer being opened.  And when piggies hear a plastic veggie bag rustling, they burst forth with a song that best translates as, “Gimme, gimme, gimme.”

Piggies purr.  When you scratch a guinea pig’s chin, or when you hold her, she will make a contented throat sound that is equivalent to a cat’s purr.

Piggies warn you of danger.  Of course, danger to a guinea pig consists of loud noises, strangers, shadows, or pretty much anything new in her environment.  Let’s face it, piggies are prey for every carnivore out there, so they are fearful of lots of stuff.  But piggies have a distinct warning growl.  They also can book it into hiding places in record time for such short-legged animals.

And some rare piggies, when they are very happy, chirp like birds.  Really.  Check out my Facebook page, where you can hear our Maggie’s pigsong.

On a scale of one to ten, I am lovin’ me some guinea pigs.  Maggie agrees.