Martha the Guinea Piggle
This is Martha Nussbaum.
Not to be confused with the feminist philosopher, this Martha is quite clearly a guinea pig.
(Since I named our cats, Matt, a student of philosophy, gets to name our guinea pigs.)
We got three little girl piggles last year, and sadly lost two of them in the last few months. They were young, so I’m not really sure what happened, but they were sisters so it was possibly something genetic. We also have a male who was kind of abandoned here, named Chad. We looked after him last summer while his owner was overseas, and he just never picked him up. Chad is a independent man, so he’s ok with living alone, but Gertrude was a lonely lass. I thought about rehoming her because we were thinking of moving to Melbourne next year, but since that’s no longer happening we decided to get her a friend.
I found Martha when I went for a walk through my neighbourhood. I saw a little sign on a gate and took it as the universe telling me I should go back a couple of days later to claim a piggy.
I have mixed feeling about so called ‘backyard breeders,’ because I was one and I think it’s so very important for children to experience the mating, birth and death of animals. So I suppose I would say I’m against uncontrolled backyard breeding, where males and females live together and breed constantly. That’s not good for the females, and the males tend to fight when there’s girls around. When I was breeding them I had several cages and only bred them once a year. I also kept stud books and studied their genetics. It was fascinating, and I can’t wait to do it again when I have more room! The home where Martha was living had a similar set-up, the girls were in the front yard and the boys in the back. They had tonnes of room, and were all very sleek and healthy looking, so I had no problems with buying from this particular backyard breeder, who happened to be a pre-teen boy who obviously loved his pigs.
Martha and Gertrude haven’t decided they like each other yet, every time I check on them they’re in boxes on opposite sides of the cage. But I’m sure in no time they’ll find something to chat about and be the best of friends.