Friday, 12 November 2010

Death of a gay icon

Yesterday marked the passing of our guinea pig, Bolton.

He must have been 6 years old at least as we'd had him for over 5 years and got him from a guinea pig sanctuary (yes, there are such things) as an adult. I suppose he'd had a good innings and was only ill for around 16 hours. I noticed early evening on Wednesday that he was listless and taking little interest in the celery and broccoli I'd given him earlier but we got some water into him and he seemed to revive a little but by yesterday morning he was hardly able to move and was refusing water. The writing was on the wall, and whilst he was still just about alive at 11am, by 11.30 he'd gone. Not sure what did for him but he'd suddenly developed a bald patch on his back which might mean some form of common but often deadly lice infection. Yuk.

Still, why Bolton and who is this gay icon? The answer to those is one and the same. Let me explain.

We initially bought 2 female guinea pigs about 7 years ago: Squeaky and Scarlet. A few weeks later after conspicuous weight gain one of the ladies gave birth to 6 little guinea pigs - all hairy and like tiny adult guinea pigs. A month or two after that she gave birth to six more. Clearly Scarlet was no lady and as soon as we realised squeaky was preggers again he was whisked to the vets to be neutered.

Unfortunately Squeaky died a few months later by which time we'd given away the offspring leaving scarlet alone. As a result we went and got another male to keep him company - a confirmed bachelor and a widower sharing accommodation in their dotage.

The newcomer didn't know what to make of a neutered male so upon meeting him he did a little courtship dance and tried to shag him. An act he kept up for a day or two before finally getting the message. By this time we'd jokingly decided he was gay, and as we'd heard a news item that morning that said Bolton had the largest ratio of gay and lesbian residents of any UK town or city we opted for the name Bolton. It was fate.

After a year Scarlet died suddenly leaving Bolton alone but we moved him to the kitchen so he'd be around people all day and he seemed perfectly happy.

Its funny how we give our animals personalities they don't necessarily warrant. To us, Bolton was lovably camp and his cries of "Reet, reet, reet, reet" whenever he heard the rustle of a plastic bag (which to him meant lettuce/carrots/celery or some other delicacy) we decided to interpret as clear evidence of his Yorkshire dialect.

When Scarlet had died I quickly popped him into a carrier bag and chucked I'm in the wheelie bin. What it lacked in dignity it more than made up for in practicality. This time Bethan has said she wants to bury him so today I need to dig a hole. I don't think that's a bad thing as it'll help her to understand death. For the same reason I encouraged her to see him and stroke him to say goodbye. Unfortunately she has a terminally ill grand parent and may have that and her mother's grief to deal with in the coming months.

A sober end to what I hope was a fairly buoyant tale of a well loved piggy.

Its the second day where I've gone completely off script blog wise but I promise that tomorrow will be better. Just for reassurance though - yesterday's prescribed cross training and resistance training were duly completed and the diet remained good.


Laura said...

Sorry to hear about your guinea pig. It sounds like he had a really happy life though.

FatToLean said...

Aww poor wee gerbil! RIP

runningcupcake said...

Poor guinea pig. Although it is hard I think it is better if children get to understand death through a pet, as oppose to family members (my limited experience is down to teaching and having various discussions with children). So understanding how to say goodbye, and how to hold on to memories can be an important lesson.

Alison @ Running From, Running To said...

Guinea pigs v farm pigs? ;-) Sorry to hear about Sue's mum though..

Looking forward to the running updates :-)

Running Rob said...

So am I - its her dad! ;)

oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online, nike outlet, ugg boots, michael kors pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, prada outlet, nike free, polo outlet, kate spade outlet, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, christian louboutin uk, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, ugg boots, nike free run, jordan pas cher, longchamp outlet, tiffany and co, prada handbags, jordan shoes, replica watches, christian louboutin, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, burberry pas cher, oakley sunglasses, uggs on sale, nike air max, oakley sunglasses wholesale, sac longchamp pas cher, tiffany jewelry, tory burch outlet, nike roshe, polo ralph lauren, replica watches, chanel handbags, gucci handbags, longchamp pas cher, longchamp outlet, louboutin pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, air max, christian louboutin shoes

oakleyses said...

nike air max uk, nike air max uk, ray ban uk, north face uk, michael kors outlet online, true religion jeans, polo lacoste, nike air max, nike tn, michael kors, michael kors outlet online, nike free uk, uggs outlet, oakley pas cher, coach purses, ralph lauren uk, replica handbags, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet, uggs outlet, converse pas cher, coach outlet store online, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet, vans pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike air force, sac hermes, new balance, hollister pas cher, lululemon canada, timberland pas cher, true religion outlet, mulberry uk, hollister uk, burberry handbags, kate spade, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet, michael kors, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe run uk, guess pas cher, north face, hogan outlet, michael kors outlet

oakleyses said...

gucci, p90x workout, nike trainers uk, new balance shoes, insanity workout, oakley, reebok outlet, nike air max, hollister, nfl jerseys, babyliss, mont blanc pens, valentino shoes, celine handbags, ferragamo shoes, converse outlet, wedding dresses, hollister, asics running shoes, hermes belt, north face outlet, lancel, timberland boots, nike roshe run, chi flat iron, instyler, beats by dre, giuseppe zanotti outlet, ralph lauren, nike huaraches, longchamp uk, abercrombie and fitch, louboutin, ray ban, bottega veneta, vans, soccer jerseys, mcm handbags, mac cosmetics, ghd hair, jimmy choo outlet, nike air max, baseball bats, iphone cases, lululemon, vans outlet, herve leger, soccer shoes, north face outlet, hollister clothing

oakleyses said...

pandora jewelry, karen millen uk, ugg uk, canada goose jackets, canada goose uk, moncler, replica watches, louis vuitton, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora jewelry, ugg, wedding dresses, canada goose outlet, canada goose outlet, pandora uk, moncler outlet, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, moncler, louis vuitton, supra shoes, moncler outlet, moncler, toms shoes, thomas sabo, doudoune moncler, canada goose, montre pas cher, hollister, ugg pas cher, louis vuitton, links of london, juicy couture outlet, canada goose outlet, swarovski, pandora charms, swarovski crystal, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler uk, coach outlet, moncler, marc jacobs, canada goose