I went to the apartment office to schedule my ‘visit’ for Tuesday on Monday after school. The property manager (PM) told me that she and the maintenance guy (MG) were going to visit together. She explained that MG would take care of the air conditioner and she would make sure Alfalfa was well behaved. I laughed at both of them and was given an odd look across the desk from the PM. “You do realize that he is just a guinea pig?” I asked. “Right?” Several seconds of awkward silence passed and I got simultaneous assurance of complete confidence in their ability to deal with a small, insignificant, guinea pig.
The PM remarked, “How dangerous can that thing be? After all, Jose (the old MG) was just over reacting the last time…right?”
“Yes,” I reassured both of them. “He’s loud and obnoxious sometimes but is totally harmless.” I shook hands with both and left the office. I thought, ‘This is too funny…’ as I giggled all the way back to my apartment.
Tuesday morning arrived and I put up the barrier first thing in the morning. Alfalfa was too concerned about getting breakfast to worry about it. After my morning ablutions, I sat down on the floor and lectured Alfalfa as he ate breakfast. “Dude,” I said in a nice but firm voice. He looked up at me. “You are going to have visitors today.” Alfalfa went back to eating. “Duuuuude…” I said again. “I do not want to get any messages that you were a bad boy. Ok?” Alfalfa ignored me and kept eating. “Alfalfa Pig,” I said in a more stern voice, “Be a good boy today.” He looked up at me and then huffed. “Ok, I’ll take that as an ok…” Leaving for the day I thought, ‘I hope he behaves himself…’
These are the message I got throughout the day. I listen to them all during my planning period…the last period of the school day:
9:30 am – “Kerry Anne, this is the PM. We are in your apartment. I wanted to call and tell you everything is fine. MG had me call to tell you that Alfalfa is fine. Uh, he managed to escape from his cage. But his is on the other side of the apartment behind the fence. He ran under the bed… Uh, I hope that’s ok that he’s out and under your bed… So, if you have any questions give me a call… I’ll call back if we need anything. Thanks….”
11:30 am – “Kerry Anne, this is the PM calling again. Everything is fine… MG was concerned that Alfalfa is making really loud screaming noises from under the bed. Is that normal? Is he in pain? Do we need to worry about him? Please give me a call back as soon as possible to let up know that everything is ok with your pet. Thanks…”
12:45 pm – “Kerry Anne, this is PM again. Alfalfa is making a lot of noises right now. He is out from under the bed… MG says he’s pushing at the fence trying to get over to the other side of the apartment…he seems really upset… He is making a clicking and hissing noise at MG. Is that normal? MG tried to calm him down but Alfalfa nipped at him. We’re working as fast as we can but the new unit is not fitting correctly. Call me back as soon as you get this…as soon as you get this…Ok?”
2:30 pm – “Kerry Anne, this is the PM. Sorry I missed your call. I’m glad to hear that Alfalfa is only being territorial about MG being in the apartment… But, now he seems to be glaring at MG and acting very aggressively toward him. Is that the way he always acts? Anyway…we are still having problems and may need to order you another unit. Give me a call. Thanks.”
2:45 pm – “Kerry Anne, this is the PM. Sorry about the multiple messages. We need to reschedule our visit. The air conditioner is not fitting properly and MG is having a hard time working with Alfalfa aggressively staring at him. You said you’re off on Friday? We will come back then…when you are home. I hope you don’t mind. Uh, sorry for the inconvenience… Thanks and have a great day.”
I guess my little talk with my guinea pig didn’t work… When I got home I went to visit the PM and MG in their office… They were not happy. But that’s the next part of the story…