How Eno found Us
My friend Jodi and I were off goofing around while our boyfriends were practicing with their band. There wasn’t much to do in McKeesport, Pennsylvania in the early 1980’s, and we pretty much had done most of it one evening. We decided to go for a walk around the aisles of the local Murphy’s.
In the back of the store they had a tiny pet department of the sort one (thankfully) doesn’t see very often anymore. Crowded fish, sleepy hamsters, hermit crabs that may or may not have actually been alive. (Who could tell. They were shells.) On the bottom row, an aquarium with cedar chips*. As we passed this section suddenly a broad black snout popped out at us from the top of the bottom aquarium, then two bright twinkling eyes. I crouched down to look at what we had here: a beautiful young Abyssinian guinea pig! He was up on his hind feet, just stretching up to get our attention. I was able to scritch him on the top of the head as he looked up at me with that please-take-me-with-you look. I was smitten. Who doesn’t know this feeling?
On the way back home from practice that night I could not stop thinking about this little animal who spoke to me. I kept a lid on it and didn’t mention him to Bob, my boyfriend, as we lived in an apartment whose rules we were already flouting with a pair of white doves. Plus, we worked all day and were out in McKeesport several nights a week for practice, we wouldn’t have time to give a guinea pig the deserved attention he required.But one day, about a week later, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I carefully brought up the guinea pig that had reached out and grabbed my heart at Murphy’s. Bob was reluctant to give an opinion. Actually, he avoided the subject as best he could. He did not want this rat, no matter how cute I said it was.
Well folks, we all know how this story ends; I did talk him into getting our new friend. I went to the store, heart in my throat at the thought that he might be gone, but there he was, waiting. The employee wasn’t too crazy about having to reach in to get him for me, as he tore round and round the aquarium to avoid her grasp, flinging wood chips and poo every where. She refused my offer to catch him.
The band was making a recording that night, so I took the Heinz pickle carton containing my new buddy right over to the studio. Bob opened the box and looked in. I was sure he would smile, nod, say something kind and go back to his bass, but instead he reached right in and picked the cavy up. He was surprised at what he saw, since he thought all along I was getting a tiny, wiggly hamster. (Tsk!) I will never forget the look on his face.We named him Eno after Brian Eno, the master of interesting electronic noises, which seemed like the sound that guineas make. We took him everywhere: to practice, the store, for rides in the country and walks in the park. He only lived in the cage a few weeks when he let us know that he would be happy to potty on a piece of newspaper in exchange for the opportunity to live free on the carpet.
We didn’t know it at the time, but Eno was the start of something that would affect our future. From the day Bob lifted that squeaky furball out of that pickle box, we would be hooked on his species. We have since learned a lot about guinea pig care thanks to wonderful Facebook friends and from Guinea Pig Today, and look forward to the day we get another pig, as we have been without one for a while now. Somewhere out there are two pigs looking for their forever home**.
* Aquariums and cedar chips are not recommended for your cavy. This was once common practice but there are now better ways to house your guinea pig. We suggest a C&C cage with CareFresh bedding or fleece.
** Guinea pigs are available from rescues and shelters now more than ever. Please consider adopting a guinea pig before purchasing one at a store.
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