She's only two months old, so she's still very shy, but she's slowly starting to get comfortable (and curious!). I have to confess, as of this past Saturday morning, I knew nothing about guinea pigs. After talking to the pet store clerk (who has two of her own), reading a book called Your Happy Healthy Guinea Pig, and doing tons of online research, I've concluded that guinea pigs as a species are terribly misunderstood.
Did you know you can litter train guinea pigs? You can. Did you know you can train guinea pigs to walk on a leash? You can. Did you know you can teach guinea pigs tricks? You can! Guinea pigs love companionship and bond very easily with their humans. They learn to recognize their humans' voices and learn to respond to their own name.
Right now, Molly is very small - about the size of my hand - but she'll grow to be about 8-11 inches. (She should continue to grow until she's about 14 months old!) Guinea pigs also have a life span of about 8-10 years, with the oldest known to have lived over 14 years (according to Guinness Book of World Records).
Guinea pigs are found wild in Peru and live in herds. They have all kinds of weird sounds and movements which they use to communicate with each other and their human owners. So far, Molly squeak-talks a lot, especially when she's exploring a new toy. I've only heard her squeal in fear once - I put her in a big box for some running around time. Not a good idea. She freaked out and tried to climb out of the box, despite the fact that guineas don't climb and hate having their feet off the ground.
She also purrs when she's happy or content. She loves a soft rub on the lower part of her back. Another things that makes Molly purr is listening to music. Who'd have thought she's a musical pig!?
Guinea pigs also need fresh fruits and veggies to supplement their diet, but they can be picky about what they like. Molly doesn't care much for strawberries or spinach but she loves oranges and parsley. The cutest part about a little guinea is a phenomenon known as 'popcorning'. Basically, when guineas get excited, they start jumping up and down like popcorn popping in the pan. I saw Molly do it for the first time today when I gave her alfalfa hay. Apparently she really likes alfalfa hay!
Alright, I think I've chewed your ear off long enough about our little Molly. I have a feeling she'll make a few more Big Mario appearances. So far I've only been able to sneak a few phone photos (with the horrible flash) but when she gets more comfortable in her new home, I'll introduce her to the big camera. She'd better get used to the life of a model.
Molly exploring her new toys: