I’m sad to report that we have lost a dear member of the family.
Her name was Tombolina, and she lived to be 5 1/2 years old–a long & full lifetime for a guinea pig.
We first got her in 2001 as a gift for my daughter, who had begged for years for a pet. She named her new friend “Crystal”, and declared that she would take care of all her guinea pig’s needs.
That lasted about an hour.
Unfortunately, we soon learned that a guinea pig is not a great choice for a squeamish 7-year-old. All Crystal did was eat and poop…mostly poop, in copious amounts, all day long. Keeping the cage clean was damn near impossible, and after numerous attempts to get my daughter to step up and take care of it, we finally decided it would be best to find a new home for Crystal (especially after we took in our second stray cat–a crazy gray striped feline named Tiger–who made it all-too-clear that she considered guinea pigs a singular delicacy).
My husband’s sister, Cathy, offered to adopt the guinea pig so that she’d stay “in the family.” God bless her…she and her husband loved that guinea pig and spoiled it rotten for the past three years. They re-named her Tombolina, and treated her like a little princess. She led a very happy life with them.
Tombolina died during the night…my SIL found her early this morning and called me after the kids had left for school. The weirdest thing in all of this is that just this morning, before she got on the bus, my daughter asked me if I’d let the cats up during the night. I told her no, the cats were still secure in their basement lair. She was surprised to hear it, because she could swear she felt one of them cuddling with her this morning at around 5:30am.
It seems our dear departed Crystal/Tombolina stopped by to say a little farewell to her original owner, before heading up to that great big pet shop in the sky. Very cool of her.
Rest in peace, Tombolina.