You know how people sometimes write things like, “Ten Pieces of Advice Based on my First Year of Marriage,” or “Five Things Parents Need to Know, Written By Someone Who Has Been a Parent for Approximately Six months” or “How to Potty Train Your Kid! Based On My Vast Experience of Potty Training My One Child!”

I’m writing one of those today.

This is Ten Things I’ve Learned in My First Twelve Hours as the Owner of Guinea Pigs.
luke and chewbacca

  1. People weren’t kidding when they say that they poop a lot. Last night, between the time when we put Luke and Chewbacca in their temporary cage and when I went to bed, they hadn’t yet pooped. When I got up this morning, there was poop EVERYWHERE, including in their food bowl. Then, as I let Ruthie hang out with them in their playpen for forty-five minutes this morning while I got ready for work, I was greeted by her delighted squeaks. “Luke pooped again! Look! Mom, there’s another poop! Chewbacca pooped FOUR TIMES, Mom!” The good news is that it’s super easy to pick up. It’ll be even easier once I get a dust buster!, here I come.
  2. When you fall for a little pet and don’t want anyone else to have the chance to buy it, you buy it right then. Even if the cage you ordered the other day hasn’t arrived yet. Even if you haven’t finished prepping the fleece bedding. Even if you’re supposed to wait until the end of the year.
  3. You can get a kid to do ANYTHING if it involves little furry creatures. “Honey, don’t whine, that bothers the guinea pigs.” “Honey, you can give the guinea pigs their asparagus after you eat yours.” “Honey, wake up, your guinea pigs need you.”
  4. The feeling of a guinea pig eating a fresh green bean out of your hand is pretty damn adorable.
  5. I’m never going to wonder what to do with the kale that my local grocery delivery service always sends again! Never again will I feel guilty over not eating it before it goes bad because really. What the hell, kale. You are not as good as everyone says you are. But now you can be piggy food!
  6. They’re really quiet. Are they always going to be this quiet?
  7. I didn’t realize they have such distinct personalities. The big one (Luke) is already watching out for the little one (Chewbacca). Luke goes out and explores, then goes back to get Chewy and bring him to explore. Luke is constantly running back to Chewy’s hiding spot and nuzzling him. It’s pretty adorable.
  8. People have strong feelings about guinea pigs. Several people have looked at the photos and think they’re cute, but a few think that guinea pigs are the same as other rodents. I am generally squicked out by pet rats, gerbils, and mice, but I definitely feel a psychological distinction between guinea pigs and other long-tailed rodents.
  9. This has nothing to do with feminism, faith, or liberalism. Am I destined to become a guinea pig blogger now? Are guinea pig bloggers a thing!?
  10. I haven’t actually learned ten things in twelve hours. Maybe I’ll have some new discoveries tonight when I get home and see how they’ve handled their first day