Guinea Pigs do have feelings. And this is a serious post about some signs of depression I have. Feel free to pass it to those who believe a Guinea Pig it’s just a fluffy living toy, but not smart enough to have feelings.
I feel like something is not quite right with me for several months now, but I thought it will pass if I’ll throw myself in contests and a glamourous life. But it hadn’t. And lately is turning worst, so I feel I should speak about it and maybe help other Guinea Pigs.
I used to be a happy boy. Not quite the “popcorning all the time” style, but once per day I would have run all over the place being happy and showing to my humans how funny I can be. I have a big butt, so popcorns were possible from time to time and just at a low high. But since March 2014 my life changed drastically: two new boys joined us and The Gang was formed. If before I was the only one to get cuddled in the evenings (Spock is not really the type), now my human’s attention was divided to four of us. Everywhere I went I felt their scent and, as male that I am, I feel disturbed and I would like to impose myself.
Than Worf and Data started to have small medical issues and the humans were very attentive towards them and their feelings. Although I was getting some attentions, it was not the same. Plus the stress I felt from the possibility of losing my supremacy… I’ve tried to act cool, to reject all those negative feelings, but it didn’t quite work.
So, at some point I’ve stopped being happy. No running around in the cage, no popcorns, no quiet moments with my human. Even when she picked me, I was always sniffing around to smell treachery or to make sure no one else was there before me. On top of this, her idea of making us living close one to another was not a happy one for me. She thought that it would be better for us to be able to meet in a common corner, but that means I get to see Worf all the time. So I spend my days chewing on the bars that separate us and trying to get to him. I have no idea what I would do to him; I just know his presence is a stress factor to me.
Lately I have developed a skin condition: I have a rush on my paws. First the human thought this is because of some mites that were stubborn and not willing to leave us alone. But it’s getting worst and it looks like a fungal infection. I would get treatment, this is not a problem, just that it seems to be a reaction to stress.
I had a long conversation with my human the other day (it helps having a human with some psychology studies in her background!) and we’ve decided that in three weeks’ time, when we will move in a new house, she will put some distance between me and the others: she will line up our cages so my only neighbour will be Spock. This way the skittish Worf gets some privacy also and he and Data would have also direct access to the room to check the surroundings. I’m already used to have Spock on my left, so we will see how it goes.
She even considers, in case the above solution is not working, to split us: me and Spock in one part of the house, Worf and Data in another spot. But let us hope this won’t be the case. Anyhow, she is preparing the new cage layout to be more versatile and allow changes like this.
Now, between you and me, after talking with my human, I have the impression she is on the verge of developing a stress based condition herself. She is so worried about me! She told me she is truly unhappy because of me being unhappy and she wishes most for the four of us to be happy and healthy. So, let’s hope it will work and I will go back to being a happy piggy. But, for now, I’ll keep being stressed and chewing the grids.