Pet Care Instuctions

Sometimes I think maybe I have too much free time on my hands.  Following is a recent e-mail exchange between my mother and I about caring for Vance’s Guinea Pig while we are out of town.  You be the judge.

From My Mother:

Pet Care Questions –

Guinea Pig:
1) Awakens at_______________.
2) Likes human sound and companionship from__________(am/pm) until____________.
3) Prefers tap or filtered water?  Cool or room temperature ?
4) Is usually kept about ________degrees Fahrenheit.
5) Sleeps with/without light in room?
6) Is generally left to sleep peacefully around _______ o’clock.
Please email or write full feeding program, so I may refer to it each day.
Please provide information about proper housekeeping, special treats, and oddities I should be aware of.
If you feel veterinary care may be necessary please provide the name and phone number of your preferred Vet.
I need to know your $ Max in case of emergency.
I look forward to taking care of your critters.
I know it is less involved, but think about the same things for the Kitty Creatures👍😃🐥

My Response:


Guinea Pig info:
     His name is Jerry but we call him Piggie and he seems to be okay with that.
     1. He usually wakes up and gets fed around noon.  If he gets hungry before that, he will squeal very loudly to let you know.  He’s pretty fat, so if you are an hour or two late on feeding him, he won’t likely die of starvation.
     2. He never likes human companionship.  Unless you are giving him food.  Then it’s okay to stick your hand in the cage…but not to pet him.  It can be done, but it’s like trying to catch a greased pig at the county fair on the Fourth of July.  Also, if you hear him “purring” like a cat, it’s not a happy sound.  I’ve read on the internet that it is, but the internet can be wrong.  For Jerry, purring is akin to telling you off.  Don’t make him purr.  You won’t like him when he purrs.  Petting him is one sure way to make him purr.  He doesn’t mind if you talk to him, but don’t watch him while he eats.  It makes him nervous.  I’m pretty sure he thinks you are fattening him up to eat him.
     3. He drinks bottled Kroger distilled water.  Room temperature.  We will supply water for him.  When you fill his water bottle, you have to completely top it off to overflowing in order for the suction to be correct to keep the water from leaking out.  We’ve never had that problem with this water bottle, but we’ve always topped this water bottle off, so who knows what happens if you don’t.  Don’t let him get wet.  You won’t like him when he’s wet.
     4.  He should be kept at a “normal” temperature…like 68 – 70 degrees I guess.  But we can never get the temperature right in Vance’s room, so it’s usually either 54 degrees or 89 degrees.  He seems to be a pretty hardy pig.  Usually temperature swings are hard on them, but he’s survived many…pretty much daily.  Don’t let him get cold.  You won’t like him when he’s cold.
     5.  He usually has a light on from sunset until about 10:00 pm or so.  Then all the lights go out except for the neighbor’s light which Vance complains shines through the blinds and keeps him (Vance, not Jerry) from sleeping.  He also has blue dots flashing through the night from the router on the computer.  So if you have any blue dots that you can leave flashing for him, he would probably appreciate it.  Otherwise, I think he will be okay with normal sunrise to sunset light.  But he probably shouldn’t be left in direct sunlight.  That might bake him.  Don’t let him get baked.  You won’t like him when he’s baked.  (With sunlight.  We’ve never actually given him a joint, so if he happens across some piggie pot and he gets baked, let me know if you like him when he’s baked.  Maybe he’d be less likely to purr?  I don’t know.  Sounds like a science experiment to me.  Let me know your hypothesis and results if you decide to try it out.  On the other hand, I don’t know where he would happen across piggie pot unless one of your dogs is a dealer.  If that is the case, then you have bigger problems than a baked pig I think.)
     6. Is generally left to sleep peacefully around 8:30, after his evening meal.  He’s getting old, so he sleeps a lot.  Sometimes you have to watch his side to see if he’s still breathing.  Don’t let him get dead.  You won’t like him when he’s dead.
     About noon give him about an eighth to a quarter cup of dry food.  About 8:00 pm give him one green bean, one slice of bell pepper cut into bite size pieces, another eighth to a quarter cup of dry food and a quarter cup of hay.  As long as he has water, he should be in good shape.  He really is pretty old, so if ANYTHING happens that he goes to the big cavy spirit spring in the sky…bury him deeper than the dogs would dig, burn some sage over the grave, chant something spiritual and then don’t worry.  I kinda forced him on Vance because I didn’t want Vance to be sad when Guinness died.  Vance has already let it be known that when it is time to say goodbye to Jerry, he is going out of the guinea pig business.  There’s just no money in it anymore.  Hard as you try, you just can’t milk a cavy.  Sad but true.
     For the cats – we will leave out plenty of food and water.  If you could check on them on them a couple of times while we are gone I would feel better about leaving them.  Of course you need to be on the defense against Satan, aka Ruby.  She will probably be very angry that no one is there to let her stand at the door for 20 minutes seventeen times a day to decide if she wants to go outside…or inside…or outside… …  … or…inside… … … … …orrrrr… … … …outside?  If you are coming to town to run an errand and want to let her out to peruse her perimeter or just to give poor Ferb a break from Ruby’s bad attitude, Ruby is usually happy to be outside a lot as long as it’s not cold or raining.  They like to have a can of wet food split between them each evening but all they do is lick the gravy off of it so if they don’t get that they won’t die of starvation either.  If they need more dry food, the bag for that is in the laundry room.  If they need more water, they can drink tap water.  I can’t afford bottled water for all of them!  Maybe if the Guinea Pig would cut back his food intake by half then I could afford it, but until then the cats will just have to make due.
     If they have a vet emergency please don’t spend over $25 on them.  That’s really being generous because they were both free so at the point that you’ve spent that much, we’re just losing money on them.  So other than that call us and we will decide if it’s best just to turn them loose near Asian Royal Buffet.
     I hope I’ve answered all of your questions completely.   TMI?  If so, let me know.  I’ll try to edit for efficiency.
I hope you’re doing well.  Miss you.  Love you!  Thank you for looking out for our fur babies!

2 thoughts on “Pet Care Instuctions

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