This is the story of a girl who wanted a kitty but somehow ended up with three guinea piggies and a hamster...
Yukimo and all my guinea piggies mean the world to me. Dad never allowed my family to have the pets we wanted when I was growing up, so that meant I was never able to have a kitty (my favorite animal) of my very own. Mom always tells me how lucky I am to know that I'll one day be able to have my own place with as many kitties as I want. I know she's right, but I can't help but feel sad knowing that I'll have to wait a few years to live in a place of my own. Because my apartment has a "no pet" rule (with the exception of small animals that don't cause problems, like hamsters), I still can't have a cat. Shawn always tries to make me feel better by telling me that, despite his allergies to cats, I can have as many as I want. I wish Dad could have been the same way; I wish he could have put his dislike for cats and the idea of loving pets aside.
I've received a few messages telling me to write a few random facts about myself. I'll break a rule or two (because hey, it's my Vox, right? ^_~) and talk about a few facts about a specific topic in this entry instead instead of dedicating a whole post to random facts.
Two out of three times when I walk into and out of a pet store, I start crying. The very idea sounds so petty, but walking into a store that has the one thing, a true companion, that I really needed when I was little really breaks my heart. This first started happening after my first guinea pig, Hercules (also known as Herc and Hammy), died. Since Dad was always weird about cats and dogs, Mom was able to get away with sneaking small animals that required little maintenance inside the house. Because I loved animals so much, I tended to throw endless amounts of love into my relationships with my small pets. Having Herc pass away was so difficult-- it was a reality check. After he died, I was given the chance to pick out a pet of my very own. Beth, Kathleen and Mom had usually picked out a pet to call their "own," even though we all loved the pet, but I was finally able to pick one. Going into the pet store only a week or so after Herc left us was so hard. I had to walk past the cage of four kittens, my dream pet. I didn't find a guinea pig that day so I ended up leaving the store without a pet and with memories of our Herc still lingering. When Mom and I got into the car, I burst into tears, unable to stop all the hurt from flooding out. Mom asked me why I was crying, and I mumbled out a response about how hard it was walking away from the pet store without a kitty and how angry I was at Dad for not allowing me, an adult, to have a pet. Part of what I said was focused on those feelings, but a lot of the pain was from losing Herc. It hurt so much!
I ended up picking out the best guinea pig ever and she surprised us with two baby piggies. After waiting about two weeks, Mom and I tried the pet store again. A new litter of guinea pigs had arrived, and I was immediately drawn to the one sitting on top of the food bowl: a tiny girl who was white with dark brown and honey-colored fur. I named her Pixie because of her obvious spunk and low temperment. She didn't like me at first, but I soon found out why she was so bitter towards people. About three weeks after taking her into my home, I woke up one night to strange sounds coming from her cage. I warily took Pixie out of her cage and held her at arm's length, afraid that she was going to explode. (Of course, I had to pick the "defective" pig!) With Pixie in my arms, I ran to Mom and Dad's room, tearful, because I thought Pixie might be dying. Mom rushed her to the bathroom and had a closer look. A tiny buldge was coming out of her lower body. O__O Mom, being the nurse she is, wasn't afraid and pulled out the buldge. Inside the water sack was the first baby, a little boy.
I was in shock. Out of all the guinea pigs at the store, I had picked the pregnant one. A few minutes later, Masamune's baby sister came into the world. I named her Rini, which means "little bunny" in Japanese, and Masamune was named after two sword pieces in the video game Chrono Trigger. Without even thinking about it, the two babies stayed with us and their mommy, Pixie. To this day, they all still live at my parents' house.
After Pixie's pregnancy, she warmed up to me, yet she didn't express the same amount of warmth to anyone else. I made sure to go out of my way to express my friendship to her. She had felt threatened by the presence of the two new piggies, even if they were her own children, but with a little extra love, she learned how to show affection. To this day, she only talks to me and cuddles up to me, and no one else, because of the extra attention I gave her after that night. We have a special bond.
Since I didn't want to put all the piggies in shock (small animals are less resiliant with change), I decided to leave them at home when Beth and I moved to our apartment. We still see them whenever we go home, and we try to shower them with as much love as possible. After Beth started going out more, I realized that I was lonely at the apartment. Shawn's solution to that was getting a new baby for the place: a hamster. That's how Yukimo came into the picture-- she's my savior! So now I not only have three piggies at my first home, but I have a sweetheart I get to have with me 24 hours a day at my second home.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night just to hold little Yukimo. Because I'm such an introvert, I find comfort in having smaller friendships, like the one I have with Yukimo. If I have a bad dream or I just feel like having company, I'll wake up at night to hold Yukimo. Since she's nocturnal, she likes walking around to displace some of the pent up energy from being in her cage while I sleep. It's amazing how pets will make all the bad seem good.
Yukimo and Pixie are the little I love yous that I need for comfort. ^__^
Note: The photos of Yukimo in this entry were taken by Beth. I held Yuki while Beth snapped away!