I like to drink my iced tea from a large green cup. When I’m lazy, I will lie on the couch and place the cup next to it on the floor to the side of the arm. This prevents me from getting up and knocking it over. Even with Alfalfa running around, this arrangement has never been a problem…
One Wednesday night, I was lying on my couch watching TV. I heard a small splash. I sat up with concern listening to see if it had started to rain. Hearing no more noise I lay back down on the couch. I heard a slurping noise. Sitting up again, I looked around and saw a dark spot on the carpet. That is when what had happened registered… My brain screamed, ‘Alfalfa!’
I looked over the couch arm to the spotI had left my iced tea. My green cup was knocked over and there was iced tea all over the rug. Alfalfa was happily slurping up the iced tea as fast as he could. I yelled, “Alfalfa!” Upon hearing his name, he ran off under the bed as fast as his legs would take him. “Oh, no…” I moaned and got up to clean up the mess. Luckily the majority of the liquid was pooling on the runner and not on the rug. I gingerly picked it up and went to the bath tub to dump the liquid. I returned to the living room with the rug cleaner from the bathroom closet to finish cleaning the mess.
Alfalfa poked his head from out of the bed ruffles at me. I scorned him with, “Oh, so now we are knocking things over? Huh? That’s the newest trick? Thanks for the mess.” He huffed back at me at went back under the bed. I finished my cleaning and took the cleaner to the bathroom to empty it. I heard Alfalfa running zoomies as I put the cleaner away. When I walked back into the living room, he ran under the bed. I sat down to watch TV again.
Alfalfa darted from out the bed and did a zoomie in front of the couch. As he was turning, he tripped himself and tumbled on the floor like a ball of rolling fluff. I laughed at him. He was not deterred by the slip-up. He got up and ran another zoomie back to the bed. He quickly returned and ran back. Alfalfa was running zoomies like a mad man. ‘What the heck?’ I thought to myself. After the fifth one, I realized his behavior was not normal. He was going crazy.
I got up off the couch and tried to catch my crazy guinea pig. He would have nothing to do with me and ran away from me. He had the energy to play a game of keep away for some time. I was concerned about his health. Guinea pigs are not supposed to have caffeine. So, I called the vet. The receptionist was appalled to hear that my guinea pig had consumed caffeine. “You gave him iced tea?” she said with a tone of disapproval. “NO!” I protested, “He knocked over my glass and helped himself!” She still didn’t believe me but took a message for the vet to call back when he was done with a patient.
I sat on the floor and watched with a mix of amusement and horror as Alfalfa continued his zoomies around the apartment. His energy seemed insatiable. The vet finally called back after a half an hour wait. I was expecting a verbal lashing from him. Instead, I was greeted with amusement. I explained to him what had happened. He could not stop laughing at me or Alfalfa. “That’s a great guinea pig,” he laughed. He explained that I needed to watch Alfalfa and let him run off the caffeine. He didn’t think that I would have a problem. If there was a change or he got worse I was to call his answering service and he would see my problematic guinea pig.
Luckily, Alfalfa calmed down after about two hours. I expected it to be a slow process. However, one minute he was running and the next he flopped down on the rug in front of his cage. He was breathing heavily. As his breath slowed, his eyes began to close. He was falling asleep. I smiled and went back to watching TV. He slept quite a while. I checked on him several times. His heart was strong and his breathing was deep and regular. I went to bed.
When I awoke in the morning Alfalfa did not wheek for food when he heard me stir. I got up and went to his cage. He was lying in his house awake. He did not look happy. “Ha!” I said, “A bit hung over from your iced tea binge? That will teach you!” He chattered his teeth at me. The poor boy spent most of the morning in his cage. By the after noon he was up to his old tricks again. My adventurous guinea pig had survived another incident. Thank goodness.