Our Guineas, Our World


Madeleine Johnson

From right to left is Pap, Snowflake, and Zayn- members of the Johnson’s beloved Guinea Pig family

Madeleine Johnson and Nathan Johnson

From the munching to the crunching, our Guinea pigs live life to the fullest.

Last summer our animal loving mother brought home the first of our pack. Her name was Ginger. Red-haired and bossy she ruled the Guinea pig enclosure with majesty. The moment Ginger entered our doors, our adoring eyes gazed at her beauty. This monstrous momma was not your average guinea pig. Weighing in at 1200 grams and measuring 10 inches, Ginger quickly figured out how to get what she wanted, by squealing and throwing her weight around.  She loved being the prima-donna but a few weeks later our mom brought home two other female Guineas: Snowflake and Pap.

Snowflake’s beauty is incomparable. Her luxurious white coat and her blonde streaks are on a whole other level. While Snowflake beams glamour, her refined personality is what breaks hearts. Pap, quite the opposite is an outgoing, spontaneous, and colorful guinea pig. Spotted with chestnut and black patches, Pap does what she wants. Pap has no boundaries.

Compared to Ginger, these two girls were considerably smaller and much more polite. Only a few months old, they were still naive and new to the guinea pig life. We moved Snowflake and Pap in with Ginger, this was a mistake. Ginger’s jealous views of her roommates quickly became apparent. Ginger would hoard the food and laid claim to the most highly desired spot- the litter-box. She would chase down Snowflake and Pap, squealing at them with pure rage. At this point we realized Ginger was destined to be a lone guinea. We moved the tyrannical Ginger to her own rodent palace- she now resides alone in our front window in solitude and at peace with bounties of carrots, celery, and strawberries, all the while sitting in the litter-box.

A few months later, our mom introduced two more guinea pigs to the pack. This time she brought home two males.Stanley the Manley and Zayn the Cool Guy came onto the scene with oodles of swag (our mother wanted to mate the Guinea pigs so our little sister could have a good experience raising baby animals). Little did our mom know, our future baby Guinea pigs would bring immeasurable joy and wisdom to all of our lives.

Stanley,an older gentlemen was grey and white. He would often sit in the same spot and stare into your soul. Stanley was quite possibly the wisest and most bland guinea pig to have ever lived.

Zayn, on the other hand, is all for the ladies. He breathes rock-n-roll and expresses himself through his grey and white locks and his bootylicious lips.

Within a few days, Stanley and Zayn had found their place within our home. Stanley lived with Snowflake and Zayn resided with the spunky Pap. Stanley spent his days like a statue hopped up on drugs while his bro spent most of the time trying to mate with his lady Pap.

A few weeks passed and all the Guinea pigs were happy and healthy except the aging Stanley. To our great sadness, Stanley passed away and left Snowflake all alone. But to Snowflake’s delight she joined Zayn and Pap. At that point the squad was complete, galloping through our outside guinea pig run (our tortoises also living among the squad).

By midwinter break, a change was among us. We started notice Pap’s increasing appetite and growing belly. Pap was pregnant!!!!

As her belly grew so did  our hearts. The excitement of Guinea Pig babies ruled our subconscious. Everyday we treated Pap like a queen by transporting her in first class and only feeding her the best of our food. We were starting to see what an amazing mother Pap would be. Zayn, the baby daddy, was just as excited as we were. He was so excited he tried to mate with Snowflake who would have nothing to do with it. Nevertheless, he was one proud father to be, always standing next to Pap. However, his unfatherly side was exposed everyday when he pigged out and ate all the peppers leaving Pap angry. We began to increase the pepper load.

For two months we waited. Finally, the day came when our dreams came true.

One morning our mother was screaming for us to get down stairs.  We barreled down the stairs like a pack of banshees. We walked into the guinea pig room and saw the phenomenon.

Three little guinea pigs spawned just over an hour ago. Less than an inch in size they were merely heads huddled under their proud mother. They popcorned around the nest making adorable baby munchkin sounds and all we could do was make munchkin sounds back. We could not contain our great joy for the newborns. All was perfect in the world that morning.

For the remainder of the day we obsessed over our little gins. All three were the perfect mix of Zayn and Pap. One was noticeably larger than the rest, we fittingly named him Little Jon. He looked exactly like Pap. The middle child, Martha,  was the perfect split she displayed elements of both her mother and her father. The smallest gin, Patches, was the spitting image of Zayn, he rocked his dad’s crazy hairdo even at a young age.
Three weeks later our excitement has only elevated as they are starting to grow up to be responsible young adults. Throughout a year of guinea pigs, and hopefully many more to come, we’ve learned a lot. Family is everything and gentleness is the first step to love one another. Our lives have been enhanced by the presence of these little creatures and we believe if everyone owned guinea pigs or any other type of animal for that matter, the world would be a better place. With our guinea population reaching 7 our hope is to only bring more happiness to ourselves, our guineas, and the world.