Thursday, February 26, 2015

We Have Owned Many Guinea Pigs

My love for guinea pigs goes way back to when I kept them as pets during my middle and high school years. In fact I had a guinea pig when I was in college that lived for a while in the science department. No, no experiments were done on it, it just seemed the best place to have a guinea pig and the college let me do this. 

I have had litters born and raised baby guinea pigs, these were always born at night...I think this may be a guinea pig trait. The babies are adorable.

My children had pet guinea pigs as well. They are gentle animals, children should be watched when handling them as they are not an animal that will protect itself if being handled roughly. 

If you are considering getting a guinea pig, expect to clean the cage regularly as they do produce a lot of urine. You will want to set up the cage properly for this...but they are wonderful pets.

This is guinea pig adoption month, it may be a good month to see if there are any available at your shelter if they house small animals like this, or at a site like Petfinder in your location.

Public Domain Image Credit: Guinea Pig by Peter Griffin

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Freezing Feral Cats Outside My Door

The coldest days of the winter decided to arrive in mid-February this year, and it is at times like this that my heart goes out to the feral cats in our neighborhood. Unlike the picture you see here, the ground is covered with snow from snowstorm after snowstorm, and this and next week are our coldest days this winter season.

One cat in particular, a black cat, likes to sleep on the warm sunny side of my house where on the coldest of days the sun and protection from wind is best. Sometimes it sleeps in our front doorway as the wood is a dark color and soaks up the warmth from the sun.

Our Township has a program in which they will spay or neuter feral animals, but we must first catch them, and take them to the animal shelter. Once the surgery is complete and they have recovered, they are returned to the wild. Their ears are notched while they are in surgery so that we can identify the ones that have been spayed or neutered.

There are two cat lovers in our neighborhood who have managed to catch each one and have this surgery done, which has saved us from having many kittens born...that used to happen pretty regularly. These neighbors have been feeding the cats as well, putting out dishes of food and water. I never got in the habit because Aspen, when she was still with us, would chase them away, but am grateful to the neighbors that do.

I have heard that you can make shelters with, for example, a large Styrofoam cooler that you cut an opening into, and place it somewhere where they are likely to roam, or near where you put out food if you do that. But our property and house seem to provide natural shelter to our "wild" feral cats.

Image via Pixabay