No, I don’t mean it like that. These rodents are not old and decrepit, but young and hot-blooded with heads full of adventure and muesli. We release them into the garden once the grass starts growing, so they can gallop and jump and dine al fresco throughout the warmer months.
The transition from indoors to outdoors takes the guinea pigs a while to get used to. For two days, they hid in silence, and the only sign of their existence was the furtive movement of apple and carrot into the dark interiors of their bedrooms.
Twogoose was the least cowed by the change. He stuck a whole nose out of his bedroom.
On the third day, they suddenly seemed to forget they had ever lived indoors, and started grazing the lawn and patrolling their territory boundaries as they had last year.
Here are Barry (left) and Colin (right), letting each other know that they are nearby and so the other one had better not try anything funny.
Last year we learned the importance of putting fencing along the territory boundaries of each pair or group, so that they could swear at each other through the mesh rather than tear chunks out of each other.
They say guinea pigs are social animals and that they should never be separated from each other or they will die of loneliness. In Sweden, it is illegal to sell single guinea pigs for precisely that reason. Our guinea pigs have clearly not heard about this Law of Nature. They tolerate each other in an angry sort of way, but their affection is reserved solely for rabbits.