Hi I’m gonna ramble about my guinea pigs. Drama, action, suspense and much more
So, as some of you may know, I have two guinea pigs, named Bergerac and Poirot, both named after fictional detectives. And while they do share some characteristics of their namesakes, they lack one very important thing. Brains. Now guinea pigs are never particularly smart, but I think my two are a special case. Especially Poirot, as you’ll soon see.
When I first got them, they all shared a cage, Bergerac, Poirot and also their sister, Murdoch, who is sadly no longer with us. For the first couple weeks this was fine, they weren’t adult sized yet and still nervous enough about their surroundings that they didn’t bother to argue with one another. This ended abruptly when Bergerac lost her shit entirely and tried to murder her sisters. I remember being called downstairs, running into the room and being met with the sight of my father holding Bergerac against the wall of the cage, because he was unable to pick her up. She was staring with these wide, manic eyes and snarling. The other two were huddled together in the opposite corner. I managed to get Bergerac out of the cage and into a separate one, and both sides calmed down pretty quickly.
Things continued with two guinea pigs in one cage, and the other in a separate cage with no issue. Bergerac seems to prefer being alone, and she still got to socialise when everyone was out on the lounge floor. That included a lot of chasing and lunging but you’re not supposed to break up fights or they’ll never sort themselves out. And it never got too violent, no one was ever hurt.
Sadly, as stated before, Murdoch passed on, nearing a year ago now. We still plan to get a new friend or two for Poirot, because she is very much better off with company. But right now we have the ridiculous situation of two guinea pigs in two separate cages.
And a new problem has arisen. You see, originally, all was fine because while Bergerac was alone in her cage, she still got to see and interact with other guinea pigs during the day. But Poirot has decided she’s not going to be submissive anymore, and has started fighting back. Bergerac is an absolute beast of a guinea pig, absolutely not going to lose a fight, but Poirot is rather fluffy and therefore decently protected against attacks. She’s also impressively dumb. She’s lovely but lord is she dumb.
Poirot won’t back down, and Bergerac won’t back down. They have been fighting constantly for about a month now. We’re not particularly sure what to do, because if we left them in the cage together, we’d just end up with one dead guinea pig. And they get plenty of time to run around on the floor, chasing each other, chattering teeth, lunging, snarling, huffing, rumble strutting. It’s incredible to watch but also annoying. Sometimes Poirot gets reduced to hiding in a corner and screaming, at which point we pick her up and stop the situation.
Neither of them are getting any proper positive social interaction because they hate each other. Occasionally we can get them to calm down and sit on a cushion together, and it’s the sweetest thing when they do. Lying flat on their sides and dozing. But even that usually ends in nips and growls.
I’ll figure it out. Poirot should be getting introduced to some new cavies at some point in the near future, so maybe that’ll calm things down. It’ll at least lessen the need to have Poirot interacting with Bergerac.
I’ve heard that adding a male guinea pig to your herd can stop females from trying to be so dominant, so perhaps that’s a solution. Though Bergerac is a total nutcase and has tried to intimidate humans before, so we’ll see.