I’m in the mood for some animal stories.

We are an animal-loving family with five kitties and two guinea pigs. We have a full house and our pets are family. I know people judge us for the amount of pets we have because we don’t have a lot of money. The truth is, they’re a huge monthly expense but we couldn’t imagine life without our animals so we make it work. One thing that has really helped us is we found a nonprofit community vet where the cost of services is a lot lower. I am so grateful that they are making pet ownership more affordable for people in our city. They really saved our butts when one of our kitties needed her leg amputated.

I grew up out in the country with a dog and a million cats. My sister even had a horse for a while. I’ve always been around animals and I can’t imagine life without them.

It’s surprising how expensive guinea pigs are. They eat so goddamn much! In addition to hay and pellet food, they require fresh fruits and veggies daily. Our piggies are particularly fond of carrots with the greens still on them, basil, and yellow bell peppers. Recently we discovered that they also like dandelion and cilantro. Thankfully, we have found a local fruits and veggies store that sells produce really cheap. We can buy a mountain of food there for twenty bucks! Happy piggies!

This is Nugget. He’s the more outgoing one of our two piggies. He has two different colored eyes — one blue and one brown.

I really like talking to our piggies. They make the most interesting sounds. I talk and they squeak back. They stare at me and I really feel a connection with them. It’s so cute!


I want to hear about your pets! Are you like us and can’t imagine life without animals around?


  1. Katydid says

    Just a reminder that cats are obligate carnivores (meaning they must get virtually all their calories from meat), which also makes them expensive to feed. Trying to save money by feeding kibble or cheap canned food always backfires with health issues later.

    I love animals. I fostered for a rescue group for 30 years, and have had my own pets. The dog of my heart came into my life when I had a 5-year-old and 7-year-old both in sports, was fostering 4 cats, was working full-time and also finishing up a master’s degree. The dog came into rescue when his elderly owner passed–she’d gotten him as a puppy after her husband died, and he was about five years old when he came to me as a foster. You’d expect a dog coming from a loving, quiet home would not cope in such a busy household, but he folded himself right into the family and could read my mind. He was my dog and he loved me with everything he had, and when he passed 12 years later, whew, it brought me to my knees.

    My current dog (also a foster failure) is a wonderful dog, but not the dog of my heart. He’s an eternal toddler and I have to watch him like a hawk or he will get into trouble. He’s a bit exhausting, but his heart is as big as big can be.

    I’ve also had a cat-of-my-heart, and a number of cats who I loved and cared for–when you foster, you go into it knowing older cats never get adopted, and so they become yours.

    Our next-door neighbors have had a rotating collection of guinea pigs that they love and care for. Guinea pigs don’t live as long as dogs and cats, but they have their own personalities and likes and dislikes. It would kill me to say goodbye so soon, so I don’t have any.

    • ashes says

      What do you feed your cats? Our cats prefer wet food. We keep dry food out during the day but they really chow down when they get their wet food at night. We go through a case of wet food every week which ends up being around 30 dollars a case. They also really like broth packets and treats. Is there something else I should be feeding them?

  2. robert79 says

    As a kid, I used to have guinea pigs (several generations actually) and a dog.

    Our dog, a Siberian Husky, looked *HUGE* (think: dire wolf from game of thrones) although that was mostly fur, if she jumped into a pond she came out tiny!

    Our dog would chase off (or catch… although she never really knew what to do after catching…) most of the local wildlife. Rabbits, squirrels, and deer mostly. But for some reason she was *terrified* of our guinea pigs. If we let the guinnea pigs out of their cage and let them wander about the room a bit, our dog would jump into a corner or dart off to another room.

    • ashes says

      That’s so funny!

      I’m really surprised our cats don’t bother our guinea pigs. Every once in a while they will sit and watch them, but most of the time they’re just not interested.

  3. Katydid says

    So, I’ve been cat-less for 9 years now (last cat passed away of old age). I don’t remember what I was feeding them, but it was mostly named meat. Perhaps Blue Buffalo or one of those brands?

    My last cat also loved tapioca coconut pudding that we got from our favorite mom & pop Thai restaurant. Naturally we didn’t let her have any except maybe a spoonful as a rare treat, but when she did get some, she’d lose her little kitty mind and dive in!

    I had one cat whose plan it was to live forever. He made it to 19, then got stomach cancer and by the time it was caught, there was no point in operating (too old). However, he was full of shenanigans his whole life…like the time he thought it would be entertaining to run to the wall and try to throw up in a light socket. He would also sit and grin at one particular other cat, which would drive that cat up the wall. He was a pro at pushing buttons! He would also sit on your lap (especially as he grew old), but he would make a never-ending production out of deciding to sit. The only way to speed up the process would be to tell him NO, you did NOT WANT a cat on your lap…and then he would rush into your lap and curl up for a nice long snooze. He was quite the character and I miss him.

  4. Katydid says

    Okay, here’s a friend’s cat, now deceased but lived a long and full life:

    About 10 years ago, the friend bought a treadmill for their basement’s workout room. As cats do, that cat lay on the treadmill deck while the friend put the treadmill together. The friend wanted to test the treadmill to see if it was hooked up correctly, but the cat was still lying on the deck. So they turned the treadmill on, figuring the cat would leave a moving treadmill. NOPE! The cat got up and started running on the running treadmill!

    From there on on, the cat would occasionally get up on the treadmill and start meowing loudly until someone turned it on so she could get her run in.

  5. Ada Christine says

    we just got a cat last week, adopted from a rescue in town. everything is going great so far. he seems to be adjusting well to his new environment and family. he’s 3 years old and came from a good home, but they couldn’t keep him anymore. his true personality continues to reveal itself. he’s incredibly affectionate, relaxed, and open to strangers. he’s also a menace and his mood can turn from loving to rambunctious in an instant. he gets a little bitey when that happens, but seems to have a good idea of when to stop. he is a perfect addition to our family and i just love him so much.

  6. John Morales says

    [nostalgia, in memoriam]

    Here’s an animal story.

    Our previous to last kitty was a foundling. Literally.

    Heard this meowing when we went for a walk with our dog, heard it on the way back home.

    Was a kitty on one of the tree branches near our house.

    I clambered up and got it, with the obligatory bonus scratching.
    Scrawny thing, flea-ridden. Piteous.

    Got some tinned dog food (all we had that seemed suitably meaty) and gave her a serve.
    She chomped it right down, actually purred.

    Never again was she not a proper cat (fussy-ish eater).
    After due visit to the vet and acquisition of proper food, she became part of the family.
    Did have her spayed, as one does. Best for everyone.

    We called her Fuat (Found Up A Tree). Lived to be 13.

    Very leery kitty, never ever got fat (our previous was a pyramid cat, bit of a contrast), never ventured far from home, didn’t like strangers.

    (Our current kitty — Clawdia — is also a rescue, but from a shelter. She’s also thin and leery, going on 13 now. Meow is getting a bit croaky)


    Couldn’t imagine life without animal people around. Dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, rats, mice, snakes, lizards, crabs, canaries, love them all. Right now we are old retired people with an ancient big blind dog. This will be the fifth dog we have seen through to the end of life. Mostly she sleeps and pees now. I am glad we are home full time – during out working life we would have had to put her down. Instead, I keep towels staged in every room on the main floor, since pee erupts everywhere, She’s a retriever, so we scatter treats on the patio for her to search for. Dear Lola, we will keep the faith to the end.

  8. Ridana says

    I don’t have any animals (I’m not responsible enough to take care of myself, let alone a pet), but since you have guinea pigs, I thought you might enjoy Pui Pui Molcar. You can watch the episodes (~ 5 min ea) on Netflix if you have it, or on YouTube (any text is in Italian, but no translations really needed).

    The “voice actor” for the molcars was Tsumugi, who appeared in ep 11, but sadly passed away from pneumonia last Sept.

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