So, I’m thinking of adopting/rescuing a pair of bonded guinea pigs. I imagine their names would be Lenny and Lester, or Maggie and Milly, or Alex and Pat.
Part of me wonders if this is a good idea or not, based on how my last pet ownership adventure went. I had two sister kitties that I loved to the moon and back – they were with me for 8 years, through an abusive relationship, a move across the country, and my divorce. I decided to re-home last year at the end of December, after a year of going back and forth on my decision, because of space and time limitations.
Because I had to move back into my father’s home for the next 2.5 years to afford school costs, I knew I wouldn’t have the proper space to accommodate them, since my dad and step mom already have four cats of their own. Knowing that I’d be out at work for 8 hours a day – in addition to running around with social obligations and whatnot – made it difficult for me to feel like I could provide them with the right amount of attention that they deserved. So, I re-homed them with a young single mother who wanted to give her 7 year old daughter the gift of two wonderful kitties as a belated Christmas gift.
I re-homed them while I was actively drinking. I felt guilty about leaving them at my apartment while I went out BY MYSELF to the local bar to get drinks. There was no real reason for me to go out by myself to drink, other than to feel like I was out doing something. If I really needed to drink, I know could’ve at least stayed in with them and sipped a beer while they napped quietly in my lap. But I was restless and anxious. I could feel the crossroads approaching, where I’d have to make a big decision about what I was going to do about school, finances, my living situation, and the kitties.
So, I re-homed them. I still maintain that it was the best thing for all of us at the time, based on the limitations of my living situation and my time constraints. But goddamnit I miss them something fierce. And I feel lonely sometimes, wishing I had a little critter to give my love to, especially now that I’m leveling out and reaching a better place in my sobriety.
But, I don’t want to make the same mistake of getting a pet and then having to re-home it after several years. I want to know that I can be a good pet owner and provide the little piggies with the best home possible, for all their days. I wouldn’t want to just buy some random cage and let them hang out there all day, all cramped and bored – I’d want to build or buy a nice big cage with ramps and plenty of places to burrow. Maybe a cage that has a couple of different levels, with enough room for two piggies to hang out and socialize together and run around as much as they want. I could definitely find the time to give 30 minutes to a full hour of my time each day to the pigs, to play and cuddle and clean their cage. Living at home with my dad and step mom also has the added benefit of a built-in petsitting service for the times I am out of town.
But am I ready? Is this something that I can really commit to for the next (at least) 5 years, if not more? Do I feel confident and competent enough to care for two more little buddies? Or am I just trying to cover up the sadness of losing my two kitties by adopting two smaller, slightly easier to care for little critters (who will still have their own time and attention requirements from me)?
I need to reflect more on this and educate myself on what I’d really be getting myself into. Oh, and of course, I’d have to check with my “landlords” to make sure it would be okay. And maybe commission some help from my dad to build that awesome cage. There’s just so much to think about.
One thought on “Day 83 Alcohol Free: The Guinea Pig Question”
Congrats on day 83! Tough decision on getting pets, and I hope your reflection leads you to clarity on the matter. Guinea pigs are so cute and cuddly!
LikeLiked by 1 person