I’ve decided to update my blog at the beginning of each month - hopefully I’ll find the time to stick to it.
King Boofhead has had a traumatic experience and he’d like to share it with all his fans. He's been blind for years, but has slight vision in one eye.
A few months ago, Boofhead started making strange noises that sounded like a loud heartbeat. It seemed to come from his diaphragm and out through his throat. He was also wheezing, but that came from his chest. The two sounds together, made an unusual noise and went on for hours without a break. Here is a link if you would like to hear it:
He’d never made a sound like that before and we’d never heard our other guinea pigs make noises like that. It was constant and he sounded distressed. He also lost his appetite, causing weight loss.
I took Boofhead to the veterinary surgery and the vet treated him for a respiratory problem and gave him a course of Baytril antibiotics. (By the way, never let a vet give you’re guinea pig penicillin.)
After a long course of the antibiotics, Boofhead stopped wheezing and his appetite improved, but the loud gumping sound persisted. Then last weak, whilst watching TV, we noticed some little black things moving around the carpet. When I turned on the light, we saw two, newborn baby mice. They were eating biscuit crumbs from under the table. (Okay, so I only vacuum once a week. I have to write, you know.)Well, if there are babies, there has to be adults, right? So, I set a safe trap and caught six baby mice, but no adults. I gave the babies a feed, then I released them in the bush down by the riverbank. (I couldn’t kill the little critters, could I?)
The adult mice managed to get in the safe trap, eat the food and get out again. We couldn’t seem to trap them and we realised that they must have been going into Boofhead’s cage at night and eating his food. (The cage sits in the corner of our lounge room.) We pulled the cage away from the wall, and there it was. A nest - made out of grass, hay, and small pieces of food. The mice had probably been living behind Boofhead’s cage for months. The only thing that separated them was the steel bars and mice could easily walk through them. Boofhead must have been trying to tell us, but we didn’t understand him. I’ll never underestimate a guinea pig again.
We searched for the hole where the mice had entered the house. We found a tear in one of the screen doors, but we still hadn’t caught any adult mice. My husband decided to set a death trap. I wasn’t very happy about that, but we couldn’t have mice running around the house and traumatising our King Boofhead, giving him lice and diseases.
I woke one night to find a mouse, walking along the top of our brick wall just beneath the ceiling. When he saw me, he dropped to the floor like an alien and disappeared under the bed. Yipes! No wonder Boofhead kept gumping, he was trying to ward them off. We ended up catching four adults, some in the safe trap, which we released, and two in the death trap. Poor little things. I hated that because they’re such smart and intelligent little beings and have such pretty faces. They look like miniature guinea pigs to me.
However, two of the adults were too smart for their own good, and I wish they had gone for the food in the safe trap, and stayed there. They could have gone to the riverbank with the rest of their family. I feel guilty now. Yes I do. :(
Now the mice have gone, Boofhead has stopped gumping and he's eating like a horse. He’s gained weight and is back to his usual self, pop-corning and wheaking for tomato.
Here's the last villain, a baby mouse I caught and released at the riverbank. Isn't he cute?
He's so adorable. Look at his tiny paws and feet.
Of course, there’s another story here. Boofhead’s already a main character in one of my Molly Gumnut Adventure books, so he’ll be back for another episode. It won’t be exactly like this post because Molly has a mind of her own. I don’t know what she’ll do when the mice invade her home, but I can’t wait to find out. What about you?
Please, leave a comment and let me know.