Odd Oliver: Interesting Behaviors of a Rescued Guinea Pig

oliver hidingImage courtesy of Ginger
My guinea pig, Oliver, is a good boy but he is very weird sometimes. We call him Mr. Spaz. He is the hardest of my six to catch when it’s time for cage cleaning. He makes me wait until he decides where he wants me to put his pellets. Sometimes he wants them in his hut, other times his pigloo. He allows his cage-mate Ms. LuLu tell him where he’s going to eat and how much; if he was losing weight, I’d worry. He’s 1100 grams – he’s not starving although he’ll be happy to tell you otherwise.

I was holding him yesterday and he appeared to be snuggled on my chest, sphinx style, when without warning he pops up and does a 180 degree spin only to settle down, sphinx style, and give me a look that says, “What are you looking at?” He scared the bejeezus out of me.

Oliver is my ‘tunneler’ meaning if there is no tunnel or large fabric hut for him to go into, he will dig. He will dig until he gets under the cage pad and then makes a huge mess chewing up the newspaper, and of course, poop is everywhere. When I put their cage together after cleaning, I have to allow room behind everything for him to run behind it because, if I don’t, he flips it over and gives me the stink eye.

odd oliverImage courtesy of Ginger
My favorite thing he does is when he rumblestruts and stretches out to nearly 50% more of his length and just walks around after Ms. LuLu rumbling and rocking back and forth; making his intentions known. She puts him in his place but secretly I think she likes it.

When I come into the living room and start talking to him, he freezes like a statue as if I’m some huge monster coming to get him. Then without warning, he begins darting all over the cage. Ms. LuLu gets very upset with this activity. Oliver and his neighbor, Killian, often try to get at each other through their cage bars; I have waffle house sections blocking the two exterior walls so they can’t but it doesn’t stop them from trying. One time, when all of them were on the floor at once, he ran into a pigloo and stayed there. I had to drag him out to put him back into his cage.

When you look at him head on, you get the sense that he’s ‘divided’ just like the coloring on his face. I have often wondered what his life was like before he came to Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue and how that may play into his behaviors. All of my furry babies came from a rescue; it’s something I’m proud of.

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Ginger S., Writer, GPT

Ginger has been a pet owner for over 30 years and guest writes for Guinea Pig Today. She volunteers with Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue and supports several bunny rescues in her area.

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May 2012
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