Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Introductions: Natasha

Natasha, for whom this blog is named, would be my favorite guinea pig if I had favorites. She was born in March of 2009 as part of an accidental litter. I adopted her and Maybel, her sister, in April '09. Since then she has practically been my sidekick.

In the summer of '09, I ran into a fair bit of housing trouble. I had to move my herd of 4, and all of my other animals, in with my mother for a while. I traveled to Dallas, TX, where I canvassed for Texas Campaign for the Environment for three weeks, as a training exercise for my job as a Field Manager with Citizens Campaign for the Environment. When I returned, I noticed that three of my guinea pigs were very, very fat. And the fourth had a look of guilty pleasure about him. That's right, Maybel was a boy. He developed very late and I was not around to notice it.

Natasha spent the next two weeks getting all the special treatment she wanted from me. She got all the good treats, I took the bus at 5am from my apartment across town to see her, she got all the lap time a girl could want (Tasha is quite the lap pig, especially when she was preggers). A few days before I had to leave for Columbus, OH, Tasha gave birth to three beautiful pups: Laika and Ferdinand [female] and Winston [male]. All were happy, healthy and tiny; baby guinea pigs may be the cutest things on the planet. There is nothing like holding a two-hour-old cavy in your hand. The weight of a creme puff, I tell you.

Since becoming a mother, Natasha went from being the shy, quiet pig who faded into the background to the cornerstone of my sow herd. She is the one pig whom everyone likes.
She has been known to restore peace, protect Sophie--who is at the bottom of the pecking order--from Laika--the boss--and she is always the first one to start wheeking when it is mealtime.
As for Tasha's markings, they are quite unique among guinea pigs. I have yet to see another pig quite like her. When I adopted her, she'd been called "Snickers", which does fit her coloring quite well. But the moment I saw her, I knew she was my little Natasha.

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