Here are Orkney and Colin helping me to clean out the multi-storey apartment block I built in the autumn as winter housing for our seven guinea pigs.
Orkney is the ginger one. He helps by scurrying around and panicking. He has a highly nervous disposition, and has lately had to be housed on his own, because his companions were stressing him out. When he’s stressed, he sits on top of a wine box and trills like a canary. It sounds sweet and musical, but we don’t want the poor wee chap to suffer. That triangle in the corner of his floor was a hole, which has been blocked off to prevent him from being invaded from below.
Colin is the one in the bucket. He helps by eating the old bedding. He got into the bucket by climbing up to the first floor (second, to you Americans) and taking a wild leap. Colin is the most confident guinea pig. He is also the loudest. At dinner time, he will stand in the middle of the living room, paws akimbo, and squeal the house down. For some time, I was taking his squealings as my cue to feed them all, since my conception of time is very poor. Then yesterday, I realised that I have been feeding the little beggars four or five times a day, and Colin is a big fat liar.