Sadly, after a difficult few days, my beloved furry boy, Cedric, passed away. He fought very hard, harder than any other guinea pig we’ve known before. And we fought alongside him. For the last couple of days of his life, we were syringe feeding him liquid food and water hourly. Right until his very last afternoon, we really believed he could make a recovery.
Cedric was a very special guinea pig to me.
Regular readers will know that I love my guinea pigs. I have had five of them over the years and they have all been special to me. Every guinea pig has his own distinct character.
Like all guinea pigs, Cedric was feisty as a youngster, but settled down into a much calmer animal when he was about a year old. All of my guinea pigs have been happy to be held and stroked, but they have all run away from me when I approached the hutch. It’s probably some sort of survival instinct. Even though they know that I’m only going to grab them so they can run on the grass, they still feel the need to escape me.
But Cedric was different. Not only did he not run away, he actually approached me and put his nose out to me. He wants to be stroked and to be fed by hand. He was the friendliest guinea pig we’ve ever had, and that’s what made him so special. And the thing that is particularly lovely is that he taught Henry to do the same. So they both approached me when I approach the hutch.
Maybe it’s because, over the years, the pets which once belonged to ‘the kids’ have increasingly become my pets. We share feeding and cleaning, but I do all the other stuff – grooming, putting them out in the run and just holding them for a stroke. Guinea pigs aren’t stupid. They know who looks after them, so they are going to give that person affection.
And I know it’s stupid to get so attached to such a small animal, but the guinea pigs fill a little space in my heart. My kids are all big now. They don’t have many hugs and they certainly don’t want me to endlessly talk to them in a baby voice and tell them how beautiful they are. But I can hug the guinea pigs and chatter to them to my heart’s content and they will never think I’m mad.
Unlike the kids, Cedric liked my affection. And that’s why he was such a special guinea pig.
It was privilege to spend the last few days of Cedric’s life syringe feeding him. I spent a lot of time just holding him, stroking him and willing him to live. Even on the morning before he died, I still had hope.
I am heartbroken that my beloved furry boy had to go so soon. But, in the end, it was the only way for him and I know that I did my very best for him.
Farewell, Cedric. You were a very special boy.