...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.

November 10, 2005

Unification: Part the Second

I went out today and bought some "Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo," which promised to make my pigs smell "as fresh as a baby," ie, it was baby-powder scented. Ewww! Anyway, it did a good job of cleansing the critters, who you see here, once again sheepish and irritated after a nasty bath.

On top of washing the pigs, we also cleaned out the cage, washed their pigloos and bowls and everything, and put down fresh bedding, so there would be no lingering smell of one or the other pig. Then we put the pigs themselves back into the cage, and let 'em rip. Maude humped Bessie, then Bessie all of a sudden became the dominant one, chasing a shrieking Maude around and around the cage, even getting into her house with her a few times and giving her a few nips to keep her in line. That was a bit of a surprise, except that Bessie's larger size makes her a better candidate for dominance.

The two of them settled down peacefully at first, and shared some hay. Then it got a little upsetting as Bessie mercilessly chased Maude away from her pigloo, veggies, and everything, making her squeal like she was in pain (she didn't seem to have been actually bitten anywhere, though.)

While I know this is typical dominant behaviour, and necessary as a first step to establish who's in charge, I found it really hard to watch my first (and most spoiled) little critter get chased and bullied by the newcomer. As a minister's wife, you'd think she'd be a little more christian about her living arrangements! But no, one pigloo is not enough for Mrs. Brambledown -- she wants both. Right now Maude is sitting rather dejectedly in a corner outside her pigloo.

My only hope is that this initial "shock and awe" tactic sets the hierarchy, and they can settle into a more placid routine, sharing the food and shelter more equitably with occasional nudges to remind the underling of her place. If not, I guess we'll have to put the barrier back up to ensure everyone's getting a fair deal.


Blogger LifesEyes said...

aww how cute! I always wanted a guinea pig, but sometimes, the thought of having something that small run across the floor scares me a lil! but still cute!

7:07 pm  
Blogger m&b said...

oh, guinea pigs are great! you should get a couple! they're way bigger than, say, hamsters, so there not as scary when they're on the floor, I don't think. more like a kitten! but then, i'm obviously biassed.

7:26 pm  
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