There are some days I wonder about the ‘normalness’ of Fred and Lamont. I mean, for the most part, they do act like pretty typical guinea pigs. But there are other times…I just wonder. Take the other day when I was vacuuming around the boys’ area. Lamont was afraid of vacuum cleaner. However, Fred had a different reaction. He like the vacuum cleaner and seemed to be, well, in love with it… Let me explain.
The day started out pretty typically, I clean non pig area of the house, then clean the boys’ cage, and end with the vacuuming around their cage. The boys ran around their area when I was working on the rest of the house. They always think that I’m going to spontaneously feed them because I’m dusting. Apparently dusting means food to them. Who knew?
Next, I cleaned out their cage and changed out the fleece. As I was cleaning their cage, the boys wandered in and out sniffing and chuffing at things in approval or disapproval. Fred managed to hip-checked me several times in an attempt to move me out of his way. Lamont jumped over my legs several times to get past me. Don’t tell him but, I saw him miscalculate the jump once. He caught his front leg on my leg and got thrown off axis during the jump. He landed awkwardly and rolled into the fence. He got up and shook off the incident and looked around to see if I or his brother had seen his discretion. I averted my eyes to ensure he thought his secret was safe. Luckily his brother was on my other side proudly checking out some new beans he had just produced.
I finished the cage cleaning and got to the business of vacuuming. As I removed and shook off toys, bedding, and other objects of spoiled guinea pigs the boys danced happily at my feet. They must have been bombarded with the glorious shower of smells from above. I also managed to leave a lot of hair, beans, and scraps of paper on the floor. A good vacuuming was in order.
As I moved the vacuum into the boys area over the fence, I saw them dancing around. They were enjoying cleaning time. I turned on the vacuum cleaner and both boys bolted for their cage. As I vacuumed past the cage, Fred came out and started sniffing the air. “Hey, dude,” I called as I continued on. It must have been at that point where he started to follow me and plant beans in our wake. But of course, I was clueless. I just saw beans and figured I had missed them. It was during the second sweep of the same two areas that I began to think something was going on.
I turned off the vacuum cleaner and turned around to see Fred standing there staring up at me. “Uhmmm, Fred?” I asked. Fred popcorned at his name. “Were you just following me and planting beans in our wake?” He popcorned again. “I’ll take that as an excited yes.” Fred stood still for a minute and I saw his butt raise just a bit. “Oh,” I sighed, “And now your laying down some new beans on the newly cleaned rug…” Fred popcorned and dance excitedly at my feet. “Are you proud of yourself?” I teased Fred. He started dancing again. “Oh, my,” I commented, “You are a proud pig.” Just then my phone rang and I left the vacuum to go answer the call.
After about five minutes I returned to vacuum again. Fred and Lamont were rubbing their sides against the vacuum. The move is very cat like. They walk in one direction and rub from their cheek to their but against something. They do this body rub to me all the time when I’m on the floor. I like to think if of it as a guinea pig hug. “Ok, boys,” I called, “I hate to break up this love fest, but I’ve got to finish vacuuming your area.” I leaned down and gave both boys a tap on their buts to send them running back into their cage.
I finished vacuuming the carpet and rolled up the cord. Fred came running back out and began to body rub the vacuum as I rolled the cord. “Dude, it’s a vacuum not a sow…” I commented. He didn’t care. “Ok, I’m going out to take the garbage out now…” I said to the boys as I opened the door. Fred didn’t care. He continued to walk back and forth rubbing the vacuum with his body. All I could do was shake my head at his silliness.
I went out to dispose my garbage and came back. As the door swung open, I saw Fred on the vacuum cleaner. “Wonderful,” I said, “Now you’re climbing things?” Then I saw him moving. “OH, MY! FRED!” I yelled and dropped my keys. The keys hitting the floor scared Fred and he ran into his cage. I was so shocked that I closed the door. I picked up my keys and stood at the door not sure if I should actually enter my apartment. I mean, what I saw was not right but, he’s neutered so…so he should not be doing that!
I heard the lady from across the hall opening her door. I had two choices: 1) Face the lady from across the hall and explain what was going on inside; Or 2) Face Fred possibly humping the vacuum cleaner again. I fumbled with my keys, found the right one, and barged into my apartment almost closing the door on myself. I thought I was safe. Nope. Fred was letting the vacuum cleaner have it was all his might.
“Oh, my,” I said under my breath. “Fred?” I asked. “Fred,” I said a bit louder. “FRRREEEEED!” I loudly chided him. He stopped mid move and looked up at me. “Dude,” I said, “what is up with you and this vacuum cleaner? This is just not natural…” Fred looked down in obvious embarrassment. “I’m taking the vacuum cleaner away now…” I bent down and my motion moved Fred off the vacuum cleaner. He left nothing behind in his wake. As lifted the vacuum cleaner out of the area Fred let out a little whimper of disappointment.
A moment later, Lamont came trotting out and challenged Fred to the ‘whose nose is higher game’. Fred took the bait and both wound up in a silly dominance game between brothers. As the two jumped and played together I put the vacuum cleaner back into the closet. I went back over to the boys’ area to put their toys, beds, and tunnel back. I saw Lamont trying to mount and hump Fred’s head. “Now,” I called to the boys, “You see that’s how brothers behave…” Don’t worry, no vacuum cleaner or guinea pigs were harmed in the writing of this story.