Alfalfa, like most rodents, is obsessed with his bowel movements. As his mother I am obsessed with making sure his bowel movements are done in designated areas in order to keep the house clean. These movements…ok, let’s just call them poops…can be a pain in my butt.
Outside of his cage, I have set up a corner litter pan. There is litter and hay in the pan. The thought was that he would sit in the pan, eat hay, and poop it out into the pan. No mess; no problems…right? Not with Alfalfa. He likes to sit in the pan and eat. But, he will hang his butt off of the edge of the pan. I will see this and encourage him to place his butt in his pan with a quick pat to the booty. He will move in and chatter at me in protest. But, inevitability, his butt will migrate over the edge of the pan. When the pellets fly, he leaves a pile of poop on the rug in front of his pan. After eating and pooping, he will jump out of the pan and inspect his work. There is always a lot of sniffing and pop corning in excitement. He seems to enjoy leaving this pile outside of the pan. I don’t enjoy the cleanup.
Then, there are the old cookie pans under the bed for Alfalfa. These two pans serve as protection for the rug and a place for Alfalfa to do his business. I usually change the papers on these pans once every two to three days. So, you would think keep up with this bit of cleaning would be easy…right? Not with Alfalfa. Most guinea pigs would randomly do their business in either pan or take to liking one spot in the pans. Alfalfa has figured out how to poop on the spot where the lips of the pans meet. The lips can’t be more than ¼ of an inch wide. But there is always a huge pile of beans there. How is this even physically possible? It seems to defy the laws of physics. To make matters worse, if I grab and pull out one pan, beans fall everywhere. My guinea pig has managed to set up an evil pellet trap for me. I always have to vacuum them up. That’s more work for me. I don’t like it.
Next, there is the battle I fight on a daily basis with Alfalfa, his cage, and his poop. I have a nice sized wire topped cage with a plastic bottom. The plastic bottom has a four inch edge around it. This is to prevent litter and other items from exiting the cage. Well, theoretically, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Not with Alfalfa. I don’t know how, but I will find piles of beans outside of his cage near the back wall of where it is placed. How does he manage that? He would have to hike his fuzzy little booty up and fire away. I can’t calculate how much force he has to push with those beans to make it over that four inch edge. I imagine him standing there and yelling “Incoming!” as he lets the beans fly. Does it make sounds like a machine gun being fired? It must be some type of sport for him. Regardless of how he does it, I have to clean it up. I really don’t like it.
Worse of all are the piles that Alfalfa leaves in the middle of the room for me. I think that they are a way for Alfalfa to show off his manliness and spread his scent. Whatever the motivation, it’s just annoying when he does it. If he had it his way, these piles would not be cleaned. The dumb-thing will outright defend the piles when I pull out the dust buster. The defense always begins with a lot of teeth chattering and huffing. When he realizes that’s not working on me he switches to the angry popcorn circle dance. This dance involves Alfalfa jumping up and down and writhing as if in pain as he circles his precious pile. He looks like a witch doctor performing some type of odd ritual. When I turn on and off the dust buster Alfalfa will usually freeze and prepare for the final defense of his precious poop pile. I will walk towards the pile brandishing the dust buster and Alfalfa will stand as tall as he can to ward me off. “Not going to work, pig…” Is my usual response to his move. When the time is right he will charge me and let out a loud piercing wheek as a battle cry. After multiple incidents, I have learned to side-step these charges and just walk past my crazy pig. If I’m lucky I can vacuum up the beans as I pass. Victory points to mom. Alfalfa always goes and sniffs the spot of his defeat. He has tried to leave a fresh pile behind on the same spot. A quick swat in his butt stops those thoughts right away.
I know that a guinea pig that has a lot of bowl movements with nice looking beans is healthy. But, I have to protest where Alfalfa leaves his beans. I also need to train him to clean them up…right, like that will ever happen. He is a man after all…
Alfalfa’s Adventures would like to thank our fans. And send out a special thanks to: Garibaldi Caplin Rous and Melanie Typaldos. Please visit Gari’s blog at http://gianthamster.com/ . Stacie Winnick and Dobby Winnick. Please visit Dobby’s blog at: http://hippopotatomus.blogspot.com/ . And two special supporters: Kate Copp and Liz Capaldi Capybara.