juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
Today I broke down and scrubbed out Kuzco's cage and accoutrements, and we went to the Oregon Humane Society to donate his belongings and have his body cremated. I didn't opt for a private cremation (where the ashes would be returned to me) because that wouldn't help me with my grieving. The person that dealt with us referred to this as letting them take care of everything, which was an incredibly thoughtful way of putting it—one that doesn't imply a lack of care by the owner or indicate a lack of care given to the body, but instead says that they will willing bear the responsibility of caring for his remains. They happily accepted all of Kuzco's things, including opened bags of bedding/pellets/hay, which I'd worried they wouldn't be able to take; she said they appreciated the donations, and I imagine small animal-related donations are particularly rare. I'm glad that stuff will be put to good use, as it's great quality and shouldn't just be thrown away. All in all, the best experience that I could have asked for; they were immensely understanding and kind.

They were in the midst of a number of events, including a Home for the Holidays general adoption sale, so the place was bustling. After dealing with Kuzco's remains, Dee and I walked over to look at the cats and dogs up for adoption and it was basically the best way to ... counteract things, I guess. There were adorable kittens being stupidly adorable, and sweet older dogs who let us give them cuddles through the bars, and there's no much better in the world than a bunch of animals finding homes, so.

I'm doing okay. Today wasn't easy, but having it done helps. And there's no regret in it, none—the pain of loss doesn't make me wish for a moment that I hadn't had him for seven pig-filled years, first; him, or the rest of the herd. And stupid adorable kittens and a golden retriever finding a home is good reminder of that.
juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
Kuzco died at about 4a last night. He held steady for a while after his vet visit, but never put much weight back on and his teeth never regrew and wore properly; over the last little while his weight began to drop slowly and then sharply, and I began feeding him Critical Care again until he started rejecting even force feeding (he would just spit it back up). In his final days he also developed an upper respiratory infection. One by one we could have fought or treated these issues, but taken all together and considering his advanced age, this was his time. Details of his death. )

I've seen this coming for some time, and I'm glad I could be there at the end. I can't say how much it helped that I was there without idealizing or anthropomorphizing him, but at least he was warm and undisturbed; I was able to sing him the song I used to sing to comfort the guinea pigs, the same song I used to sing to myself during long nights of anxiety-induced insomnia, which at least helped me. I appreciate seeing the biology of death, it makes it more concrete; I've still not grieved, and no doubt I need to vent my emotions, but on the whole I'm fine even though this comes at the height of some menstrual body/mood issues. He was old and ailing at the end of a long and pretty good life and frankly I was relieved to see him pass in peace and relative swiftness; that's all I'd ask for.

Kuzco is the end of an era: he was my last surviving guinea pig, and I don't plan to have another or to have any small animal for some time. Between Odi and the multiplying cats, I'm surfeited with animals to love.

I was the primary caretaker of my elementary school guinea pig Chumley and I loved him to pieces, and that's why I wanted them as pets. They are everything and nothing that I remembered. I'm a strong advocate against pigs as pets for the casual pet owner (not that there should be any such thing), because they're not what people expect them to be: they're not social the way that people think of pets as social, they require lots of room and fair bit of upkeep, and maintaining for their health can be effortful. But they are also pretty well incomparable, because nothing else can scream for food like they do, or popcorn for a clean cage and then poop in it, or communicate with the mothership in birdlike chirps, or believe that purring while shaking one's rump makes one in any way threatening, or be a guinea pig better than a guinea pig.

Dee is helping with the disposal of his body and belongings (he'll be cremated, and I hope to donate his cage—he was in a travel one in his old age—and useful goods to the Oregon Humane Society), bless. Devon is providing emotional support even at five in the morning. Sympathies and thoughts are welcome, for Kuzco and for all the pigs: they were seven some years of my life, seeing me through literally the worst of it.

I leave you with these pictures of Kuzco at 3 weeks old.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
If you have never lived with a guinea pig, then you may not know that a healthy pig in a paper bag in a freshly-cleaned cage is just about the cutest and happiest thing on the planet.

So I thought I would let you know.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Kuzco has been doing little, grown-up-pig popcorns, lately. I have a lot of thoughts about this, but they're as much about the guilt I have about how distant I'd been from him back at the other house as they are about the experience of having him here, and this post isn't about that. It's about a spoiled, loved guinea pig who makes little twitches of happiness. It's a happy post. I'm so glad to have him here.
juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
Yesterday evening, Devon came up with Kuzco and Alfie's body.

Kuzco is indeed 100% fine. He's in the dining room/kitchen area in the travel cage set up atop a table, which will work just fine until we figure out longterm arrangements. He didn't exactly love the drive, but he's already warmed up enough to stand against the side of the cage and sniff out, and he's active and has a big round tummy, and it's fantastic to see him there. Yesterday evening he took a nap in my arms while I watched Dee play Dragon Age: Origins. These things are good.

After we got Kuzco inside and set up, I saw Alfie. This is the part I always feel vaguely apologetic for, because we all cope with death differently and there's a certain awkwardness to a corpse. An embarrassment, really--they become all biology, stiff and floppy in just the wrong ways, and you want to apologize: this is not the guinea pig he used to be, and when I loved him he was alive, vibrant, fucking batshit crazy, curious, wary, he put everything in his mouth, he listened to voices no one else could hear. But that's the point, really. For me, that's the point. That awkward physical body tells me that, yes, he did die; that yes, his body is just a corpse, now.

All of my pigs—Chumley, Dink, Alfie—have died without me. With Chumley I was on vacation, with Dink I was asleep, with Alfie I was in another city. I don't understand death well, for reasons that I talked about after Dink died: I don't have a good concept of time, I don't miss what's absent or gone. I hadn't seen the pigs since I came up here, but I didn't miss them—I loved them, and cared for them, but didn't miss them. Death at a distance is unreal, because it's a change that changes nothing. I hadn't seen Alfie for a few weeks. Now I would never see Alfie again. That difference is huge, but with the way that my brain works it was meaningless.

When I unwrapped him (and Devon's father had wrapped him, so carefully, in packing paper before sealing him in a box) and saw that first little tuft of butt fur, it started to hit home that the change did mean something. And petting him, dead and cold and so soft, made it clear that there was a pig here, and now he's gone. I can see the difference, now.

There's a lot of sobbing emotion tied up in this too, and I know I'm not done processing things. I've been keeping myself busy, consuming games and books and films and making sure my thoughts are safely somewhere distant. I'm taking refuge in the coolness and distance when I can get it, and if that makes me sound uncaring—or more fascinated by my own reactions than sympathetic to his death—I'm sorry. This is how I cope.

That, and by giving Kuzco lettuce leaves and bits of carrot. I'm grieving and I'm numb, but I also have a pig, this beautiful living pig, and he's soft and warm, and curious and hungry, and the glory of his life outshines all the rest. Alfie never did much like Kuzco (oh, is that an understatement), but perhaps he won't begrudge me that his legacy is in my love for that other small, furry monster.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
This is just a quick entry to say that Alfie died a few hours ago. The pigs have been back in Corvallis while I've been staying here, so I wasn't there with him, but Devon and Devon's family—his father in particular—were, so he wasn't alone. Whatever killed him was pretty quick onset—he was fine earlier today, but in the afternoon/evening started showing some signs of lethargy, disinterest in food, and a drop in body temperature. They got in touch with me to figure out what should be done, and at midnight Devon was planning to take Alfie in to the vet when they opened tomorrow; a few minutes later I got a call saying that he had died. This could be possible heart failure; he had no other URI symptoms, but really, it could have been anything. These things can happen so fast.

Devon is coming up tomorrow with Kuzco, who is thus far 100% fine, chipper and stuffing his face full of carrot and otherwise healthy. (Prior to this they were eating the same food and sharing a divided enclosure.) He'll live in the travel/quarantine cage with me for a bit while we figure out where I'll be and he'll be, &c. Right now I just really need to see my pig. Devon will probably also bring Alfie's body, because I think that seeing it may be the only thing which makes this real for me. I imagine he'll be buried in Corvallis with Dink, though.

This isn't to say that I haven't been a sobbing shaking mess. I have. I also have Dee here with me (staying up until 2a to watch a comfort movie, and otherwise being so beautiful and sympathetic and full of hugs) and I'll see Devon tomorrow. I've just exhausted myself for the evening, that's all. My plan now is to sleep for as long as humanly possible and fill the rest of the time with movies, and to throughly take advantage of whatever degree of disassociation this is. As I've said before I have a poor concept of death, but I think I understand this one better in lieu of Dink's not-too-distant passing. It's all unreal and heartbreaking and, unless I indicate otherwise, I don't really want to talk about it online right now. (Condolences are welcome; questions less so.) But I feel like it needs to be recorded and so, here: it is.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Because life is nothing if not ever ironic, I followed up yesterday's journey towards self-actualization post by having a wretched afternoon followed by a sobbing breakdown. I don't even know what to tell you.

Well, that's not quite true. I have lots to tell. For one thing, I understate the frustration which comes with steps forward: each one shows me how long the path is, and it is so long, and that's intimidating and wretched. I am not good at forward progress (call it the story of my life), and so as good as it feels to take each step it comes with a certain knowledge, even if it's one I'm working to controvert, that I will never get to the destination.

For another, Devon's father is back from Arizona. I won't pretend that I made perfect use of the sometimes-empty house while he was gone, but I made some use and even more important was the ability to do so: it was liberating and calming to know that I could leave the room, make myself meals, and visit the guinea pigs without worrying about sharing my space. Losing that option makes me trapped and stressed and regretful, and it's wearing on me. Is that horribly ungrateful? Of course it is: oh hey, thanks for letting me live here without rent, now will you all shove off and leave me alone? I know how entitled that is. But the fact of the matter is that it still leaves me feeling like shite.

For one more, I used the opportunity to the empty house to spend more time with the guinea pigs; now that the house is full again, my relationship with them is in crisis. This is not something I talk about: as honest as I am about my laundry list of illnesses, I find it difficult and shaming to talk about the concrete effects that they have on me and my loved ones. But the fact of the matters is that I've lately been a shitty caretaker to the pigs lately, because they live in a public space and being in a public space exhausts me (and moving them to a private space is impossible). They've been giving a fraction of the care and attention they deserve; I'm convinced Dink's death may have been avoidable if I had been more involved in their lives at the time. All of this guilt has, with no amount of irony, made it difficult to reconnect with them—it makes seeing them that much more taxing, and I continue to miss and mourn Dink with ... with a passion, with a strength that tears my heart to pieces. It's been a long battle to convince myself that I can love and care for them, even as I am, even without him. And as soon as things started to get to that healthier point, Doug came back. I don't know what I can or should do, and it scares the everloving shit out of me.

On one hand, the sobbing breakdown was wonderful in the way that catharsis can be: it's a violent relief but a relief nonetheless, and I felt ... not better, afterward, but pleasantly hollow and clean. But I know that feeling is deceptive: I may feel better about these issues today, but they will still exist tomorrow—and worse, the fact that I feel better about them makes me less driven to try to find a way to solve them.

If they can be solved at all.

Both sides of this are still true. I am taking steps towards becoming myself—the best me. I am still so far away from that goal that getting there seems impossible.
juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
Haven't done one of these in a while, have I? I come bearing pigspam. With bonus cat! and dog! and video!

Alfie, outside
Om nom nom nom nom. )

Woof'll do that more or less endlessly when they're outside, pausing only to sit by their cage and stare at them while she catches her breath. The pigs are her babies, her beloveds, and few things bring her more joy than pseudo-herding them. (Woof is currently fighting a skin infection, and so has irritation and missing fur on her rump. You probably didn't notice it before, but you will now; regardless, rest assure that she's being treated.)

The outside enclosure is the top of the travel/temporary pig cage, stuck in the middle of the yard; Devon's dad mowed around it so that the pigs would have lush burrowable grass within.

When uploading the video I wandered back to my older guinea pig vids, which include Dink. As much as I don't miss, I don't mourn, as much as these concepts are to me foreign ... I miss him. Not constantly, not daily, but watching him—my lovely, my sweetheart, chocolate-brown with that pointy nose and his big ears and his little white spots, his intelligent eyes, his liveliness—my heart breaks all over again and I want nothing more than to hold him. All the better reason to celebrate the pigs that remain, but—

But what, I don't even know. I love him and wish he were still here.

The irony (if that's word for it) is that the other day I took Kuzco out and he was acting listless and sleepy, and I was instantly worried. I kept a close eye on him all day, but his eyes and nose were sparkling clear, he was pudgy, and mostly it just seemed that he wanted to sleep. I was checking on him late that evening when I found out that Devon's father had taken the pigs out earlier that day, and Kuzco got fifteen minutes more than Alfie (because Alfie started being a butthead). He wasn't sick. He wasn't off his food. He was full.

So, yes. The blessing is that I still have batshit crazy pig and adorable tiny pig, and even if my baby has left me there is still great joy to be found in those two boys, and they are healthy—and well.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
I only answer this because the answers that have been appearing on my flist delight me.

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Woof (the dog): OMG! I love you. Touch me. Touch me more. Is it guinea pig time? OMG I think it might be guinea pig time! Let us pet the guinea pigs! Together! Hey are they gonna eat that?

Maidson (the cat): For I am great queen of the universe, and all lower beings must bow down to me. I think today shall be "sleep on the paper bag day." The paper bag does make beautiful noise, which delights my even-more-beautiful ears. Oh, hello. I didn't realize you were listening. Pet me?

Dude (the cat): I love you. I looooooove you. I love you more than I've ever loved everyone before. Pet me. Hold me. Allow me to climb upon you and shove my purring love in your face. I love you. You are my favorite person in whole world until someone else enters the room. Hold me...

Kuzco (the guinea pig): Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you, that's all I'm saying. Also: FOOOOOD! FOOD FOOD FOOOOOD TIME FOOD!

Alfie (the guinea pig): ...

Okay with Alfie I admit I'm stuck. I can't even pretend to imagine what Alfie is thinking, much less what he would say. I believe he thinks not in desires or thoughts as we know them, but in alien beeps and pauses—like Morse code, only undecipherable, and constantly punctuated by desires for carrots. So if he has words, it is a loud call for food. But the rest is nonsense not even Kuzco could understand.

Jamie (the dog): As far as we're concerned, James does talk in the best human-decipherable English she can manage in silence and as a dog.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
Madison still has not left the guinea pig cage, which she entered when we cleaned it last weekend and filled it with Carefresh bedding. Well she has, of course, but she's chosen it as her new home and bed and comes back there whenever she's done running around for the day—despite family attempts to remove her from the cage (she just jumps back in a few minutes later) and despite Kuzco's perhaps-accidental, perhaps-targeted habit of peeing in her spot whenever she does vacate (she finds a new one, or else waits until it's dry again).

What can I say, the cat loves her Carefresh.

So I have pictures, of course—of Madison, with cameo by pigs, although somehow this largely turned into a illustrated devolution of Madison's grace and dignity. For those who are forgetful or new, since I've visited these subjects in a while: Madison is my boyfriend's family's cat, a batshit tiny gray tabby who's just learned to appreciate people-beasts; Alfie is the pink-eyed-white guinea pig and Kuzco is the honey and brown pig, and they live separated by bars because they have never, ever gotten along: Alfie has the self-awareness of a rock and Kuzco has a Napoleon complex, and that's a poor combination.

Madison asleep in the guinea pig cage
+2: the motley crew, and Maddy's face. )

Alfie was restless today so I gave each of the pigs a paper bag (and then threw the cat outside, because while she ignores the pigs I don't think she could ignore a vibrating paper bag, and I don't need her batting at a guinea pig toy), and for the first time since Dink died I saw Alfie popcorn—and then he immediately can to the cage bars and tried his damnedest to break through to Kuzco's side. It was heart-stirring and heart-breaking all within just a couple of seconds: he's happier but he's lonely, and I have no fix for that. I can offer him things to chew and hide in which help keep him occupied at least, but I can't give him cuddles to replace a cagemate (Alfie sometimes tolerates but never enjoys human company) and I can't give him a cagemate either. The split cage is a decent compromise, but it's hardly perfect.

I don't mourn—missing beings that are gone just isn't a skill I possess—but I am well-practiced with guilt and I still feel so much of it over Dink's death. Alfie, love, how I wish I could bring him back to you.

They are adorable beasties, though, all of them. (Kuzco was thrilled with his bag too.)

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Madison is asleep in the guinea pig cage. We cleaned it yesterday, filling it with Carefresh this time, and Madison has decided that there is nothing better in the world. Normally it's Dude who snoozes in the clean cage, but Maddy discovered it this time when I was saying goodnight to the pigs—I was ignoring her for them so she moved to where they are, and damn if she will be moved now. She curled up in a corner of the cage on her crunchysoft bedding and purred herself to sleep. She barely even knows that Kuzco is there—the cats are as blind to the pigs as Woof is obsessed with them. He for his part is sleeping in his pigloo. She'll be out of the cage in a day or so, when she realizes that the wonderful bedding is also used to absorb pig pee, but it sure is cute while it lasts. Dev wants to put some Carefresh in a cardboard box just for her—it would be such a great gathering of awesome that her tiny little heart would probably explode from joy.

Indulge me? Dragon eggs for your clicking pleasure:

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

I used to collect these back when I was more active on the BPAL forum. I've been browsing the forum lately as I put together a masterlist of my collection and wants, and it's given me irresistible cravings. There are so many new ones since I stopped! But I'm not buying/reviewing enough BPAL to warrant posting (and sharing my eggs) there, so ... yeah. Eggs. That's an awfully long explanation for a silly online meme-ish thing.

Perhaps I can get another few hours of sleep now.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
I come bearing cute pictures, the likes of which may never be seen again. No, really:

Kuzco and Alfie
Because on a whim, I put Alfie and Kuzco on a chair together: +2 pictures. )

Apologies for the shitty quality, but it's autumn in Oregon—we haven't a lot of natural light to go around. (And not only do I abhor flash above all things, trust me you do not want to see pictures of Alfie taken with it. He looks like a demon-pig.)

Alfie is definitely lonely without Dink—Mum compared it to losing a life partner and I think she's right. Alfie and Dink were rarely snuggle buddies but they were cage mates for years, and you can't get much more intimate than that. When Kuzco started living alone he grew a lot more human-oriented, coming to the cage bars for attention. Alfie, on the other hand, not so much. He's neurotic and distrusts humans entirely, so while he definitely desires contact he will never, ever ask for it. He has gotten better about out-of-cage snuggle time though, so that's something. Ideally he'd have a cage mate but I don't want to take on another pig, and Kuzco is a no go. So it's a split cage and begrudged snuggle time for him, poor boy.

On a related note, the boys are healthy and well. My headspace is much improved, as well—I think I am finally at terms with Dink's death.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Thank you all for your comments and support following Dink's passing. It's much appreciated.

Devon was an absolute angel yesterday, rushing home to cuddle me when I found out and making sure I was comfortable and comfortably distracted last night.

I am often petrified of the future, but I tend to live very firmly in the present. So much so that it's one of the hallmarks of my depression: if I feel unhappy at a given moment, I believe in my heart that I will always feel that unhappy, that I always have been that unhappy, that change is impossible. It makes one casual depressed evening into a lifetime of suffering. But as a corollary to living in the moment, I don't really miss things. I have a poor, fragmented memory and I don't anticipate the future (I'm more likely to dread it). When I'm apart from a friend, a family member, a pet, I don't miss them. I don't look forward to a time when I can interact with them again, I don't reflect fondly on a past when we were together. It makes me a pretty miserable friend and daughter and sister, really. Not being wanted tends to make people feel, well, unwanted.

I don't miss the family pets that died before my family went to England: not Sunshine, our beautiful and sweet Sun Conure who used to dance to "You are my Sunshine"; not Cokie, our chocolate lab that I had grown up with. I don't miss the friends that I left behind when I came back from England, although Lizzie was one of the best friends that I've ever had and whether or not she knows it, she changed my life. As incredibly displaced as I was at Whitman I didn't miss my family so much as I missed Oregon; I can go months now without going home and I don't miss my folks. When my grandmother died it never really hit home, I never really cried, and I don't miss her now, as fondly as I think of her. Devon is the only exception, the only person I ever really miss—after more than a day apart I yearn for him, so let me tell you those four years lived long distance were miserable. But he is, indeed, the exception to all of my rules.

I cried when I found Dink, cried and panicked and needed help to get him out of the cage. I cried when I let the pigs and Woof say their goodbyes. Cried when Devon came home to comfort me. And now when I visit Alfie I still expect Dink to be a dark shadow in the cage, and it surprises me that he's not there. But I don't miss him, I'm not crying now. I've slipped into the haze of confusion that follows loss; it'll transition next for me into a haze of acceptance, and that's it for me. It makes me feel a little coldhearted, I think. My sister Allie still mourns pets we lost ten years ago, and I admire that, the visibility and vastness of her love. I did love Dink—I loved that little furry eggplant quite dearly. I'm sorry that he's gone. But I won't really miss him. It's not how I work.

And so I move on.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
In memory of Dink
In memory of Dink

My guinea pig Dink (Sir George Leonard Dinkerton, born July 2005) died today. He was starting to show signs of weight loss and gunky eyes; I don't know if an emergency vet visit would have saved him, and honestly I'm trying not to think about it too much right now. When I found him he was by all appearances asleep. I hope his passing was as painless as possible.

I'm grieving, but I'll be okay. Devon and his family have been there to hold me. Dink's cagemate Alfie was with him while he passed (probably during the night) and for some time afterward. Kuzco had a brief chance to say goodbye. I will probably rearranged cages within the next few days so that Alfie and Kuzco can share a divided enclosure—they've never gotten along and probably can't live together, but seeing each other through bars will do something to make each less lonely. They both look healthy and well, and yes I am keeping an eye on them. Woof, who loves the pigs to death, was the most distraught—when we placed Dink in a box (we'll bury him later tonight) she was desperate to have us take him back out.

Condolences are welcome. He was an incredible pig—smart, social, and handsome, and very dear to me. I haven't always been the best mother to him, but I've been spending a lot of time with the pigs lately and I am incredibly thankful for that. I was not there with him when he died, but he fell asleep in my lap not two days ago and so I still have fond and happy last memories of my beautiful, sweet baby boy. And so if you do just one thing after reading this, I ask the same of you: go cuddle some creature that you love.

And on that note, I'll be spending my afternoon with Alfie and with Kuzco.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
So here's a funny story about Kuzco (the guinea pig)...

I just gave each of the guinea pigs one piece of a baby carrot—a round piece approximately 0.5 x. 0.25 inches in size. Dink and Alfie ate theirs, and I gave them a second little round. I reached up to Kuzco's cage, poked his second carrot bit into his hidey place, and he wouldn't take it. Dink and Alfie finished their second bit and Kuzco still wouldn't take the carrot. I could feel his nose, he knew the carrot was there, but he wouldn't take it from my hand.

Then he ran out from under his cover and he still had carrot piece number one jammed in his mouth. He had bitten into it so forcefully that it was wedged between his top and bottom incisors, and he was stuck, carrot-faced, unable to bite the rest of the way through.

I was somewhere between wordless surprise and laughter.

I caught him, eased open his jaw (his little chin was soaked with panicked open-mouthed piggy drool), and then let him eat the carrot bit safely—and in pieces this time—from my hand.

Oh, Kuzco.

ETA: Some pics of Kuzco, just because. Featuring, of course, his poor beleaguered mouth. Piggy lips are some of the cuter things in this world.

Kuzco closeup in black and white

+2 of Kuzco and Woof )

Woof's infatuation with the pigs of course continues. Kuzco is her favorite, probably because his cage is stacked above the one that Dink and Alfie share, and so is too high to look into from dog height. She can stare at the others whenever she wants, but can only see—much less try to slobber on—Kuzco when I take him out of the cage. Therefore he is rare and desirable, and she is compelled to whine when I go near his cage and stares at and runs circles around him whenever he's out.

I'm enamored with that action shot—before and after Woof licks Kuzco. Woof loves to kiss the pigs but Kuzco in particular has no idea WTF that means and why he's now wet up one side of his face.
juushika: Photograph of the torso and legs of a female-bodied figure with a teddy bear. (Bear)
To even out Kuzco's outside time and pictures from the other day, I come bearing some more picspam of Dink and Alfie with a side helping of Dude.

Dink outside

+1 Alfie, +1 Dude )

Dink: This photo quite mimics the previous shot of Kuzco, which at least illustrates how different they are. Kuzco's awareness of humans stems from fear; the more comfortable he is, the more peacefully oblivious he is to his surroundings. Also he's as cute as a button. Dink meanwhile is more of the handsome sort, and his awareness of humans is based in intelligence and companionship. He'll never take his eyes off of you, but he's not frightened either—he's just waiting for you to do something interesting.

Alfie: Alfred's default expressions are terror (quite often—he's a skittish little bugger), spaciness (he lives in his own little world, and often acts as if he can hear and see things which, for whatever reason, the rest of us can't perceive), and this—the stink eye. Hes not a hateful creature, indeed he's not quite bright enough to hold much of a grudge, but from somewhere deep within his crazy hair, red eyes, and innate distrust of humans comes a peevish "I see what you did there" view of the world.

Dude: I realize that most of the pictures that I post of Dude are of him sleeping, but what can I say? He sleeps an awful lot, and he's quite adorable when he does so. (Pictures of him grooming always come out fuzzy; if I didn't post pics of sleeping or grooming, I'd have nearly no pics to post at all.) Dude is often so like a dog that it's surreal. He follows me around the house, he begs for my food; when I go outside he waits at the door for me to come back in. He camps out in my room and sleeps the day away. He's my buddy, and I love him for it.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
My parents this weekend were out of town this weekend, seeing plays, so I housesat and dogsat. It was good timing to be with the dog, because Jamie recently had a few lumps removed, one of which biopsied as cancerous. This is not halfway as bad as it sounds—it's not unusual for dogs her age and breed, she's starting some preventative medication, all in all this is mostly a early warning and she's going to be fine. But we all dealt with cancer in our last dog, Cokie, and that was tough on all of us—so we're pretty shook up. I was really upset when I first found out, but a few days spent cuddling with James has done wonders to calm me. It's not good news, but it's bearable news, news we can act on. And right now Jamie couldn't care less. She things her pills are treats, her sutures are healing fine, and as a dog will, as Jamie does, she is loving every single day.

And when you live every day with all your heart then you can be happy ever after, even if it's only a short time.
—Virgina Lewis, The 10th Kingdom


But I suspect she has many years more to go.

And I took pictures! I suppose that's a perquisite for dog visits. I'll admit that I love this first in part because of all the color in the background. The second is purely sunlit—when sunbathing, she glows. There are also a few pictures of some of the other animals in my life.

Jamie sleeping

+1 Jamie, +2 Dude and Madison, +3 Kuzco and Woof )

The weather has turned hot—unpleasantly so sometimes, but the animals love it. The cats (Dude is black and white, Madison is the tabby) enjoy the sunbeams almost enough to share the same breathing space—not something they often do. The pigs have been feasting on fresh grass and enjoying occasional trips outside, as per these pics of Kuzco outside. Woof thinks that this last is epic awesome: she's part sheepdog, and thinks the pigs are puppies; when they're outside, she runs circles around their cage and watches them eat. She can get a little overeager (I think all of the pigs have had an overenthusiastic dogtongue explore unwelcome places by now), but for the most part she's an angel with them.

It is warm, the earth is glowing, and while I am a fan of autumn myself it is so far a lovely summer.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Kuzco, Adorable

Kuzco would simply like to share with the world that he is the most adorable thing you have ever adored.

(I love natural light. And his tiny little mouth.)

That is all.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
I haven't done one of these in a while, so: I come bearing pigspam!

Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] guinea_pigs.

One pictures, of Kuzco in the travel cage, peeking out from behind his blanket and into the sunlight. One video, of (mostly) Kuzco exploring his fresh, clean cage. When I'm cleaning the cage, Kuz goes in the travel cage and Dink & Alfie go on Kuzco's smaller side of the C&C cage. They can't interact from that far away, so it's rather lively when everyone goes back in the big cage. There are some adorable shots of Kuzco popcorning for joy, and also some shots of how they all interact through the bars of the cage: Kuzco teases Alfie, Alfie is a jerk, but they can't fight.

The second video is an amusing recent phenomenon, exhibited by Alfie: all three of the boys have a certain spot, just on top of their bums, that makes them spaz out if you scratch it. It's not unlike a dog's scratch reflex, but guinea pigs groom by scratching, licking their paws and rubbing it against their faces, and bending around to nibble at offending body parts—so when you find their scratch spot, their particular brand of crazy reaction involves nibbling, paw grooming, and squirming attempts to reach their faces around to their backs. It's funny to watch.

Onward, then, to the cuteness.

Kuzco peeking out
+2 videos. )
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
The house I am currently living at is Devon's grandparent's old place. They built a new house on the lot behind this one, and moved there; when they did, Devon's family set out to move into this old house. Devon has but his parents are some ways off from that, so for now I live here. Devon's grandparents, meanwhile, are our next door neighbors, and you can go from our backyard into their driveway—and the boys do, often, to visit.

Devon's grandparents have two dogs: a year old Golden Retriever named Joy and a Toy Poodle named Itty—as in Itty Bitty, because of her size. The other day, I was out cutting grass for the pigs, came in through the back door, shut it behind me, and then saw a white fuzzy small thing run by. Itty had been let out to go potty, seen me, and come over. I let her in, and she got to see this house again for the first time since she moved out—as see the pigs in their cage. Tonight, Devon was over there doing laundry and let her out, and then found her in our backyard again. We let Itty in to visit, and this time I took pictures. She got to run around, investigate, get plenty of love and attention (since she never has enough), and I let her meet the pigs in person for a bit. She does need to be supervised with them, because she's not quite sure if they are or are not toys (she tried to bat at Alfie, and then tried to clean him), but she's gentle and inquisitive, and thinks they smell fascinating. She's a lovely dog, tiny and adorable, very people-centered, quite intelligent, and I adore her.

So, everyone, meet Itty!


+4 of Itty, Itty & me, Itty & pigs, and a bonus shot of sleeping guineas. )

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