The Herd

For about 5 years, I had up to seven guinea pigs at a time. They were spread over two cages (so that the boys didn't fight over the girls) and the membership rotated a bit. They were a wonderful bunch and very full of personality. Sadly, I pretty much had to adopt them out when I moved out of Boulder to Minnesota (and I'd been less able to interact with them once I'd gotten Chiana). Hopefully, they found good homes, but I do miss them.

Members

Adrastea

Adrastea (Tea, for short) was the first of the new Herd. She was a mostly-white Abyssinian (her left ear was cream colored). She was also bosy and very athletic. If there was something she wants, she would generally use brute force to get it. And she usually succeeds. On the other hand, she was generally quite docile about being picked up or petted. She also liked to indicate that she had had enough floor time by sitting by the grating to the living room and staring up at her human.

Adrastea was named jointly for the innermost moon of Jupiter and for one of the nursemaids of Zeus. No particular reason, it was just a pretty name.

Metis

Metis was a grey and white mostly-English coated guinea sow. (She had two whorls about 2/3 of the way down her back and she had some ridgeback tendecies, too.) Metis joined Tea about a month and a half after the latter moved in. Metis was about a month younger than Tea and a lot less agressive and physical. In fact, she was downright shy and tended to spend a lot of her time hiding. But she was also a clever little piggy who knows how to outsmart Tea in quite a few ways. Additionally, she was the mother of Pallas due to a pet store goof involving her, no fewer than three boars, and the same cage. However, she proved to be an excellent mother, so it all turned out well.

Metis was named for the next moon out from Adrastea as well as Zeus's first wife, the Titan goddess of wisdom. (The latter is also the mother of Pallas Athena.) Given the grey eye, this seemed appropriate.

Pallas

Pallas was Metis's son. He had an English coat, with white and brown markings. While his markings weren't show-quality, I think that he had the best coat in the herd. He was a frisky little fellow who loves to run and jump around the floor. He was born a large pup, and he continued to stay ahead of the usual growth curves. (As an adult, he was larger than normal. Then again, so were the girls, so it doesn't mean much.) He had some of his mother's ingenuity, but he's a lot more assertive and brave. After his little operation in April of 2004, he was allowed to move in with Tea and Metis, where he was very happy. He particularly loved sleeping in the hammock.

Pallas suffered an accident when a clumsy oaf stepped on his head when he was a week old. Little trooper that he was, he got through it despite the obvious pain and suffering. The only long-term effect seemed to be that his nasal passage seems a bit constricted. (The nasal bone was broken in the accident.) However, this did not stop him from leading a full life of wheaking, eating, sleeping, and trying to score with the girls.

Pallas was named for several things: asteroid number 2, a (male) Titan, and Pallas Athena, daughter of Metis. (At the time of his naming, I didn't know his sex. So a gender-neutral name seemed best, particularly this one.)

Mneme

Mneme was adopted from the Boulder Humane Society in June 2005. She Was pretty timid of people and quick, making her difficult to pick up. Once in your hands, you have to be ready for her to squirm, because she will. But she was sweet and very pretty, so we forgive her.

Puck

Puck was about a year old when I got him. He had an English coat with grey and white coloration. His eyes are very red and not a little demonic. That, combined with the fact that he's fairly mischevious, earned him his name. I suspected that Puck may have been blind since he rarely showed any kind of reaction to visual stimuli. (When he did, it's not clear that he wasn't reacting to sound, smell, or a sense of touch somehow.) Still, he was a very active little pig, dashing around the floor or his cage willy-nilly and exploring everything he encountered.

Puck was the only pig I know who would walk right over my feet when he's having floortime. (Tea will walk UP to me and put her forepaws on my feet, but she never walked over them.) Puck also likes to put his forepaws up on my lower-leg and ask for a treat. And he's quite a squirmer, even more so than Mneme. He tried to get of your hands no matter how high up he is. If he was on your lap, he'd try to climb off; he often started typing on my keyboard in his attempts to escape.

Galatea

I couldn't resist this one. Galatea (there's a pun there... look it up) was a jet-black pig with an English coat. She was so calm and sweet when I visted her at the Humane Society that I couldn't help but to adopt her. She could be a bit timid at first, but she would generally wander up to a person after her initial fright. And she was probably the calmest lap-pig I had.

Caliban

Caliban was adopted to provide a companion for Puck after Nestor passed away. With Caliban came little Hyperion and there were some bumps on the way: Hyperion attacked Caliban and scratched him up. Caliban also lost most of his top front two teeth in the fight. After Hyperion tried it again, he was returned to the Humane Society as unsociable. Caliban recovered nicely, thanks to an impomptu visit to the vets (who didn't even charge us, nice people that they are). His teeth came back and he was a happy pig, learning the ways of the herd. (Such as: clover was tasty and the big person brought us treats.)

Caliban's temperment was fairly mellow. He and Puck would chase each other around a bit, but they got along well. Caliban tolerated being picked up fairly well and would approach humans if he thought there were treats. He was a reasonably good match for Puck in terms of personality, which makes for a good situation.

Tea lounging in the hammock Metis, shortly after her arrival
Tea lounging in the hammock Metis, shortly after her arrival, eating
Pallas, exploring Mneme, looking cute
Pallas, exploring with his nose Mneme, just after meeting the others. (Yes, she was wet. They all had a bath.)
Puck, just after arrival Galatea
Puck, shortly after arriving Galatea
Caliban
Caliban

Former Members

Tribble

I got Tribble as a birthday gift from Mom and Dad for my 12th birthday. He was a solid black boar of the ridgeback persuasion. (Ridgebacks are not a recognized breed, but he was one. He had an American/English coat except the hair on his back, which ran forward and tended to stick up. Hence the name of the breed.) He was a sweet and patient little guinea pig who learned to play dead on his back. He also used to enjoy playing in the pig pen in the yard. He was still missed.

Tribble was named for the little fuzzy critters from an Original Series Star Trek episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles". A quick look at Tribble and his namesakes reveals why.

Nestor

Nestor and Puck were adopted together. "The Boys" lived together and got along wonderfully. They'd occasionally posture at each other and sometimes even chase each other around the cage, but overall they got along much better than the girls do. (Which I find odd.) I initially had troubles getting them to eat their pellets, but putting Pallas in with them for a few days fixed that. (He showed them that the pellets were good eating. They don't forget once they learn it, apparently.)

Anyway, Nester: Nestor arrive about five years old, so he was the old man of the herd. He was a Marcino pig with white, cream, and black hair. He was fairly laid back and easy to hold and he had a very cute face. He liked to come over the side of the cage whenever a person walks by. Sadly, he died (apparently of old age) a year after his arrival. I like to think think that his last year was comfortable and happy. His friendly, sweet personality sorely missed

Tribble, being held by me Nestor, seeing an escape route
Tribble being held by me, taken from a family photo. Nestor

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Weiss John