Over the years we’ve had an abundance of four- legged friends living under our roof. So many that we have now started naming them after deceased relatives such as Nethel, Mabel, Gladys, Wendol... As my husband and I stood in the checkout line at PetSmart, we realized we’d been suckered again. I walked out with our latest family member, a guinea pig. The lady standing behind me was kind enough to share, “ Ya’ know, they’ll give ya’ ringworm.” Ahhhhhh, music to a mother’s ears. Might as well go ahead and stop by the pharmacy for the Tinactin.
We loaded up the cage, bedding, food and chew toys in the family suburban and headed home to surprise our 5-year old daughter for her birthday. He had brown, white and strawberry colored spots just like “Napoleon” ice cream. Until I got married, I never knew the real name for that frozen delight was actually “Neapolitan.” My father had convinced me otherwise.
And, so, the adventures of Napoleon began. He had the honor of being dressed in Build-a-Bear outfits; everything from a ballerina to a kitty cat to a karate dude. The neighborhood kids came in droves to see him. That rodent had accumulated more miles on him than my car. Napoleon also had a special fondness to our Shitzu, Spencer. The “EEEEEEEE” when Spencer sache’d by his cage was like the Charlie Daniels song, “When the devil went down to Georgia.”
One memorable Saturday morning as my daughter and her friends were playing. The laughter turned into whispers and then to complete silence. That was our clue. My husband hollered, “What are y’all doing to that guinea pig?!!!” Two little innocent voices chimed, ”Uhhh…Nothing NOW, he’s stuck in the Barbie house.” My husband proceeded down the hall with electric screwdriver in hand to set him free from total humiliation. Just last week my poor husband had to leave work early to come home and rescue Sir rodent from the Little People Barn Silo.
Napoleon, the guinea pig, much like Napoleon Bonaparte, was quite small in stature, yet left behind a huge legacy.
Quote for today: “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”-Clairee/ Steel Magnolias