Screaming Banshees and Sick Pigs

One of my least favourite ways to wake up in the morning is to the sound of high-pitched, screeching tires, with a touch of wailing as if the person (or thing) is in extreme pain.

Unfortunately, I wake up to this noise more than only once in a while in this household. The cause of this noise, you ask? My children, of course! What else?

Em and Dee often get up on school days before I manage to fumble my way out from between my warm blankets and to the bathroom to put in my contact lenses so that I don't stumble down 20 stairs and break my nose. They don't really need me any longer to come down and make their breakfast, make sure they're dressed, etc. They're pretty much self-sufficient, but I still like to make an appearance to show them I care, to make sure they eat something and brush their teeth, and, on some days, to ensure that they don't kill each other.

Such was the situation on Wednesday when I awoke to the screeching banshee sound and knew that either someone on the street had just lost half their muffler and a transmission, or one of my children was about to die. So, while I jumped out of bed faster than you can say, "Holy s*&t! What the f#$k is going on?!" and rammed my lenses into my eyeballs so that I could save the day, Mr. Handsome rolled over and kept sleeping, although he claims he actually heard the cries, and ignored them. Not sure which is better -- sleeping through the noise, or hearing it, but pretending not to?

Anyway, no one died. Apparently, Dee had ripped Em's bread into little pieces, so Em slapped him upside the head, which caused Dee to begin the Banshee Scream of Death. I'm sure there's much more to the story than that, but I will probably never know. And do I want to know? That is the question, folks.

Both kids ran out of the house earlier than usual to get to their respective schools, which I didn't mind in the least, except that it was minus-1 out there (that's Celsius), and that means COLD, and Em had forgotten her winter jacket at school yesterday, so she was leaving the house in only a hoodie, and Dee thought it was "weird" that it was "so cold", even though he's lived in this climate for all 11 years of his young life.

I then stood there, in the quiet of our home, and tried to remember whose idea it was to have kids in the first place. Damn it. It was mine.

I then went to feed our animals, Gryphon the dog and the guinea pigs, which is supposed to be the kids' job, but since they had both left and didn't have what I would call a "good start" to the morning, I decided to just do it. And I'm glad I did, because I noticed that our older guinea pig (one of our "originals"), Furry, was totally ignoring the fresh green pepper that I put down in their cage, which is very odd, because if you don't know guinea pigs, they are just that: pigs with a capital 'P'. They eat all the time. And they love their fresh veggies, which we give them twice a day. Furry rarely ignores the vegetables we put in front of her. So, I watched, and after she sniffed the bowl, she turned around and faced the wall. And then I got all worried because we lost a guinea pig almost a year ago, and that's sort of how she started to go downhill, and I know it sounds all weird and crazy, but you really do get attached to these little rodents, and although I know all about the life cycle and all that, but it's still really hard to deal with.

And Furry is my favourite guinea pig. She always has been. She just has this personality that makes her more like a tiny little dog than a guinea pig. She can play with you, and she actually notices you when you come up to her, and she gives you little kisses. I love that little pig.

So, I took her out of the cage that she shares with her new buddy, Mo, and sat with her on the couch, trying to figure out whether she was actually sick, or just not wanting green pepper at this moment. I didn't have a good feeling about things as I watched her just sit there, not moving, just snuggling deeper into the crook of my arm. And then my stomach did the weird dip it does when I get scared, and I felt like I was going to puke. Story of my life.

Mr. Handsome eventually came downstairs, and I asked him to bring me some lettuce to see if she'd eat something else. I'm happy to report that yes, she ate the lettuce, and then a cherry tomato. But she still wasn't quite her jolly old self.

So, now I'm on Guinea Pig Watch, because guinea pigs (like all animals) hide the fact that they might not be feeling well, and guinea pigs can get very sick very quickly. I'm not sure what we'll do if she is indeed not well, because she is almost six years old, which is old in guinea pig years, but I don't want to think about it.

Now do you see why I'm not working?


ReformingGeek said…
Poor wittle piggie. I hope it's OK.

You should probably NOT get a job at a vet.
I think your household is quite natural Mary as I think back to the days when my three were living at home.They DO seem to get worse as they get older (Sorry) but with different sort of problems.
Hope the guinea pig is OK,
I did enjoy your post, read it with a huge grin on my face.

Minka said…
All the things parents do...

Poor piggie! I, too, hope she's feeling better.
I feel your pain, and am with you on the animals being a legitimate excuse/reason for not working. Will send good thoughts to Furry for his recovery from the mysterious ailment, and you as you wait to see how this will play out.
~*Jobthingy*~ said…
aww.. i hope she is ok. i get attached also. that is why i dont have too many pets. i would be a basket case
♥Trina♥ said…
Oh, I hope Furry is ok! Maybe she was just getting off to a slow start herself.
franzi said…
i hope furry is better now? i once read that most animals when they are terminally ill turn to walls or corners to just "sit it out". our hamsters, piggies, and my turtle did...sniff...

hope furry is ok.


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