The one-eyed homeless guinea pig, or why I have now been disallowed from entering pet stores

I didn’t mean to leave the pet store with a guinea pig.

Another guinea pig.

You see, we already have two. But yesterday, after a long NYC commute-slog to visit one of the inner circles of hell, conveniently located just northwest of Union Square, I was exhausted and needed to remember that life has meaning and value.

Fixing billing errors at the verizon store can make you forget.

So I decided to swing by the pet store, since I had an extra 30 minutes before my next engagement. I thought, I bet they have something special for our guinea pigs, some little treat that the small pet store in our neighborhood doesn’t carry.

Yes, I know pet stores are generally not great places to spend money. I know that when we invite animals into our hearts and homes they should generally be from shelters and so forth.

But I really wanted to see something cute. It was a moment of weakness.

And there she was. She was bigger than all the baby guinea pigs in the cage nearby, so I asked the staff person, a sweet young man named Michael who clearly was attached to all of the guinea pigs in the store, what her story was. She seemed out of place.

“She was brought in by a guy who said he was homeless and couldn’t take care of her,” he explained. “Her hair was matted down so bad we had to give her a hair cut, and she was all dirty, just living in a shoebox. And,” he said, directing me to the gray side of her face, “she only has one eye.”

“Our vet says she is fine,” he said. “Just was not living a great life, was not well cared for. But she’s ok. And…” he added, with a twinkle in his eye, “She’s up for adoption!”

So I left the pet store, took care of all my other appointments for the day, picked up Luke from school, and he and I hightailed it down to Union Square again to pick up the one-eyed guinea pig and a new cage.

She still doesn’t have a name, only going by “Pig 3” right now. Current ideas include Daisy, Thunder, Apocalypse, Nimbus, and Angel. Our other pigs, Quasar and Tundra, have not met her face-to-face yet, but have been slowly adjusting to the new scent little Pig 3 brings.

And my family has now barred me from entering pet stores until further notice. As Lou explained, “April, we don’t live on the farm yet.

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