We fell in love with my friend Angela’s guinea pigs while we were gp-sitting them. Guinea pigs are cute, easy to take care of and they purr! As far as pets go, they’re pretty low-maintenance. They’re happy as long as they have fresh hay, pellet food, water and some fruits and veggies. They like space to run around and places to hide.
So we decided to get guinea pigs (they’re social animals, they live happiest in pairs).
At first I looked for guinea pigs on Craigslist, but the more I thought about it, the more I disliked that idea. Guinea pigs seem easy = people give them up when they get too expensive or messy = lots of irresponsible owners trying to offload their pigs on Craigslist rather than relinquishing them to a rescue (which is the more responsible thing to do, in my opinion). I ended up finding several guinea pigs at Carolina Pet Rescue, which is run by a veterinarian in Durham, NC. I applied to adopt two, and we went to choose our two on a Sunday.
For a cage, I decided I wanted to make a Cube and Coroplast cage, at least 2×4 cubes. This is when it helps to have My Chemical Romance around. Because we’re renting our house, he doesn’t get to do the home repairs that he deems necessary; instead we call the rental company and they send out someone to do a band-aid job and whatever it is breaks again in a week or two. I knew he would channel all of his DIY energy into making a kickass cage for Splash and Summer.
First I bought the cube grids at Bed, Bath and Beyond. (Note: the cube grids don’t come with enough connectors to make a cage, so using zipties becomes necessary.) Then I got the coroplast from a sign store in Apex. Coroplast is like plastic covered cardboard, and it makes a great cage for guinea pigs. Then I got the Uhaul furniture pads and the fleece fabric to make the bedding.
Yes, that’s right. I chose fleece bedding. The idea of washing soiled guinea pig bedding appeals to me because (1) I’ve been washing cloth diapers for over seven years (2) overall, it’s cheaper than pine bedding (3) it’s less messy — no aspen pine all over the floor (4) you can choose cute fabric!
My Chemical Romance got to work on measuring, cutting and sewing. Yes, you read that right. His craft skills are vastly superior to mine. (I just hate that.) We made it a family project. (I love that!)
My Chemical Romance made two pads, so that there’s a spare when one is in the washing machine. In the end, the cage looked like this.
Between the coroplast and the fleece bedding, I put a layer of newspaper, which gets tossed every time I change the pad (every 2-3 days). I really like the set up, the guinea pigs seem to like it, and the kids LOVE it (and them).