It is a sad day in the Moore family. Unexpectedly, one of our guinea pigs, mine to be more specific, has passed away. It was the last of the “original four” guinea pigs we have had.
His name was Cheech. He was a skittish Abyssinian guinea pig that loved carrots and his building block hideout.
It’s a funny story how Cheech (and his brother) came into our house. My sisters had gotten an exciting gift of guinea pigs, probably around their eighth birthday. Since they are twins, that means double the pig and double the fun!
Their names were Chilli and Cha-Chi. I’m not sure where those names came about, but I had the feeling my parents were part of the persuasion.
Of course, pet store employees don’t have credentials, and it turns out Chilli was a boy, and Cha-Chi a girl. And we all know what happens when you mix a boy and a girl together. Clearly, there is no sex-ed for rodents.
Some time later, Cha-Chi gave birth to two adorable baby guinea pigs (both male, we checked). My brother and I were delighted because now we both could have our very own guinea pigs. So as you already know, Cheech was mine, and my brother named his Ozzy (again, do you think there was parental persuasion?).
We had some great times growing up with our guinea pigs. They were one happy, rolly-polly and fuzzy family. They loved to eat grass in the sun, and they weeped around in our hallway as they playfully chased each other. We called this “The Running of the Pigs.”
After the other three died, Cheech remained. He had some other friends of course, what, you thought we wouldn’t get more pigs? Although, the original four is where it all started.
As we get older, I think we fail to neglect childhood memories, which sometimes may be pets. As a child, having a small pet like a hamster or a fish is the greatest thing in the world. As we get older, we tend to lose the excitement we once felt. Although it is never truly lost, just dormant. Those memories are still there, and so is that excitement. The memories come out of dormancy once we realize that they are gone. Then all we want is to go back in time.
Of course, just because I was older and my priorities changed, my guinea pig was not left in the basement to starve. My mother took great care of all of our guinea pigs because she loved them, probably more than we loved them.
All my siblings, and I, have our memories now. The memories are more than just the pet, it is everything else that came with the pet. It’s having to go and clean them out on a hot summer’s day and making an event out of it. It’s cutting up vegetables in the kitchen for the guinea pigs to enjoy. It’s begging our mom to let us do the “Running of the Pigs,” and video taping our laughter. It’s carefully watching the mama guinea pig give birth, trying our hardest not to make a sound.
It’s our childhood, my childhood. It is the knowing that time has passed, and it is time that we will never get back. I just wish I had realized how important those memories are, because maybe I would have cherished them a little harder.
Rest easy, Cheech.