Yeah, I know. It's embarrassing. But I really do call my guinea pigs "pookies". I never used baby talk with DS or any other human baby or small child, but for some reason I do smear the dignity of Sunshine, Moonbeam, Starlight and Firelight.
Each piggy has his or her own personality, and I'm not planning to go into all of them today, but I do want to focus on Pookie Girl, otherwise (and properly) known as Firelight.
Sunshine is the mom to Starlight and Firelight, and the two young 'uns ended up with the monikers of Pookie Boy and Pookie Girl. At least by me. I believe my DH and I know my DS rolls his eyes in disgust when I use these terms of affection.
Pookie Girl is by far our smartest guinea pig. In fact, she may be one of the smartest anywhere, according to her behavior and according to our vet. Even though she is not the Alpha (a very important role in guinea pig society), she can manipulate the others, even Pookie Boy (who is the alpha) to let her do whatever she wants - eat in the food dish she wants, wrestle the pigloo away from one of the others, get the warmest spot on the pillows when they're roaming outside, get groomed when she wants it and be left alone when she wants that.
She is also sleek, healthy, curious and a good eater - all those signs you want to see in happy guinea pigs.
So it was with no concern that I brought her to the vet this morning for her annual physical. And then it was with great shock when our lovely vet found a very palpable mass along her mammary track. And now it's two hours later and she's still at the vet for emergency surgery, which will be performed at 3:00.
Well, I'm sure that some of you are saying - crazy person - she's having surgery done, on a guinea pig?!
Well, yes. They are our little, furry companions and they've been good friends, and any creature who is under my roof (except many of the 6-legged kinds) will be treated with kindness, care and medical care.
So, I'm distracted, edgy and just waiting for the call from the vet. And even after today we won't know if she's going to make it - whether this is a benign tumor, a lymph situation or the guinea pig equivalent of breast cancer.
I'm just hoping she makes it okay. And that it's nothing. And that we get to keep her around for the next 3 - 5 years that would be her normal life span.
She's a good pook. And here she is: