...it is from that hour that I incline to date my Spiritual New-birth, or Baphometic Fire-baptism; perhaps I directly thereupon began to be a Pig.

August 15, 2007

Maude T. Skipowicz, 2003 - 08/08/07

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of a dear, dear pig. Maude died very early last Wednesday morning after a brief illness.
On Tuesday morning, I noticed she wasn't eating much of anything, but just pretending to -- taking vegetables into her house and hiding them. By lunch, she seemed listless, so I called the vet and got an appointment for later that afternoon.

The vet found an abcess behind Maude's right ear. He seemed optimistic about her recovery, and sent us home with some antibiotics and a special food mix to give Maude through a syringe.

When we got her home, I tried feeding her the apple-and-banana-smelling mush, but she seemed disinterested -- I put it in her mouth, but she didn't swallow. I was hopeful she had managed to eat a little, since she sometimes seemed to chew, dosed her with her antibiotics, and put her in a smaller cage away from Bessie so I could monitor her eating.

I gave her another feeding around 8, and then another at midnight. She was limp and weak by then, and didn't even struggle as I lifted her out of the cage. Ordinarily, she is all flailing legs.

I realized at the last feeding that Maude was ready to let go, and spent some time cuddling and talking to her, telling her what a good pig she is, and how much we love her.

I placed her back in her cage around 1am, brushed my teeth, and by the time I came back into the room, she was gone.

Alex and I buried her up at my parents' house, in a spot she would have loved -- right by where our vegetable patch used to be. I put some dandelion leaves (her favorite) on her grave.

When the vet heard how fast she had declined, he was surprised, but suggested that what we thought was an abcess had in fact been a tumour. Looking back, I see now that Maude's hearing and her gait had not been quite "right" for a few days. She also had a really strange "quack"-sounding sneeze for the last year or so that the vets were never able to diagnose... she never had signs of an infection; it was unexplainable at the time. Maybe these were signs of something else.

Maude was my first guinea pig. After months of talking about getting a pig, Alex bought me Maude for my birthday at a pet store in Ottawa, right before we moved. She stayed there until we got to Ottawa. As soon as we were unpacked, we picked her up and it was love at first sight -- the extravagant hair, the timid and comical ways, her absolute delight in being scratched under the chin.

As a younger pig, Maude would race around her cage and leap onto her house almost every night. When Bessie came along, they chased each other in and out of the pigloos. As she got older, she slowed down, sometimes, in recent weeks, resting her tired little body on her stuffed sock, Mordecai, when she lay down to sleep.

In addition to her own "real" past (she had had at least one baby that we know of) Maude had a rich imaginary life, filled with advanced degrees, English cousins, a devotion to Roman Catholicism, and intrigues with (possibly Jewish) stuffed socks. She relished leafy vegetables of all kinds, and had a special fondness for nectarines. I'm sad she didn't get to taste any this year.

Maude, you were a very special pig, and we'll always remember you.

February 01, 2007


Yo yo, check it! Mizzaude and Bizzessie up in da hizzeeee!

Okay, so it's a little tough to make out, but Maude and Bessie have started b-pigging (that is, "breakdancing") for exercise -- you can see their little piece of cardboard (necessary for doing sweet spins) down on the floor there. Here Maude is doing a "freeze," while Bessie is getting ready to do work on her "downrock." For the moment, she be straight chilling, but homeslice here can hit a pretty fly pike when it's time to throw down.

Awww yeah.

(Actually, I made them a tunnel out of a file folder and this is what has eventually become of it. Notice the green lettuce carnage, though! That's pretty hardcore!)

January 24, 2007

Let me iiiin!

Every time I clean out Two Pig Place (the name of Maude and Bessie's condo, of course), I give the pigs a chance to run around, stretch their tiny legs, and see a whole different side of life outside the cage. And what do they do?
They sit dispassionately, eating pellets and staring at their home, or, like Maude here, practically climb the walls to get back in. What's the point, guys!? I try to give you the exercise all the books and the websites (and your beer gut, Bessie!) tell me to, but this is what you do instead, when given the chance. Sigh. Actually, kind of reminds me of when Mike and I were kids and my mom would kick us outside while she cleaned the house. Heh heh.

Well, GPs really aren't known for their athleticism anyway.

January 19, 2007

A new year

Hello, loyal pigblog readers!
There has been NO action here for a long time... I'm thinking about closing up shop.
Actually, I may just update very, very infrequently -- I do need somewhere to show off my pigs doing something cute.

Happy 2007!

August 22, 2006

Home Renovations Take Two

So for whatever reason Blogger decided to eat that post about home renovations. Here we go again:

This weekend, I added a second floor to Maude and Bessie's piggie condo! After locking my keys in my car when I went to buy the material, and waiting an hour for the CAA guy to come (thanks for the membership, Grandma!), I finally made it home to start my project.

EDIT: Aha! Finally, pictures! Here, Maude is upstairs, but only because I put her up there; both pigs were TERRIFIED of the ramp at first. I later put Bessie up there but she freaked out and wouldn't come down. Eventually I had to lift her down.

But we went out on Sunday, and when we got back, both pigs were upstairs. I think Maude showed Bessie the way. Now they go up and down regularly, all by themselves. So proud!

And here is the totally awesome, not at all scary ramp -- complete with a non-slip rubber mat.

August 20, 2006

All your buns are belong to us...

This is obviously not pig-related.

I made the best cinnamon buns on Friday night /Saturday morning. Seriously. The recipe called them "clones of a cinnabon," you know, like the buns you can get at those cinnamon places in malls, and they were, in my opinion, even better. They're the best looking and best tasting cinnamon buns I've ever tried, let alone made. Yum! Here are some pictures to make you drool...

And a close-up shot:

August 08, 2006

Guineas beating the heat

Well, loyal pigblog readers, it's been a verrrry hotttt few weeks here in O-town. I'm so sorry for neglecting ye olde blogge, but it's so easy to get busy with other things in summer! Softball, car trips, parties... sigh. So thanks for sticking around.

T&C very kindly inquired as to how the piggies have been dealing with this heatwave. In fact, Maude and Bessie have been keeping cool by drinking plenty of fresh water, chowing down on plenty of freshly-washed lettuce and crunchy parsley, and sipping the occasional beer...

Heh heh -- just kidding, of course. I mean, doesn't Maude look completely horrified at the very thought of even approaching such a filthy object!!? (Also, that piece of bedding on her face looks like a raised eyebrow -- how a propos!)

Actually, the piggies' #1 way to beat the heat is air conditioning! We bought one this spring (after our old inherited A/C actually got blown in the window and flipped onto the floor, where it smashed to a million pieces last fall). Mostly we got it for the sake of the poor piggins, who would be all panting and floppy without it. A little like this.