The pets I’ll always remember: Pudding and Popcorn, the guinea pigs who saved me throughout lockdown | Life and elegance

The therapeutic results of getting a furry pal are nicely documented; many individuals made the most effective of being at residence throughout the Covid lockdowns by welcoming a brand new cat, canine, rabbit or rodent into their residence. That is the place I discovered myself within the autumn of 2020. I used to be dwelling alone for the primary time, having left the hustle and bustle of London for rural Hertfordshire with my two guinea pigs, Pudding and Popcorn.

I met the boys throughout a go to to This Little Piggy, a guinea pig rescue run by volunteers in Richmond, south-west London. I used to be launched to massive pigs, little pigs, assured pigs and shy pigs. After I met these two, I realised they have been those. As they licked my fingers and leaned in for a cuddle, I knew that I needed to take them residence.

After I had moved into my flat, I had envisioned travelling into London often to work and see my associates, however the actuality couldn’t have been extra totally different. As Covid instances rose, I turned more and more remoted and ended up spending many months with none human firm. Pudding and Popcorn have been a lifeline. I put in their cage in my front room and allowed them to roam free for many of the day, solely shutting them in once more after I went to mattress.

Julia Mitchell’s guinea pigs, Pudding (top) and Popcorn
Pudding (prime) and Popcorn. {Photograph}: Courtesy of Julia Mitchell

They completely liked the setup and spent a lot of their time nibbling on hay beneath the couch, or sleeping at my ft whereas we watched tv. At time for dinner, the boys would chase me over to the fridge, climbing on to my ft whereas I ready their night veggies, squealing on the prime of their lungs.

If you’re questioning whether or not guinea pigs will be potty-trained, the reply is: form of. They nonetheless spent a number of time of their cage and I positioned litter trays strategically all through the room; another messes have been simple to wash up, as I had laminate flooring.

Lockdown was extraordinarily troublesome for me. I actually struggled with a relapse of despair. They weren’t a substitute for human contact, however having the guinea pigs round meant that I used to be by no means really alone. I’d chatter to them all through the day and cuddle them after I was feeling low. They even licked my tears as they rolled down my face, though which may have been due to the salt.

I met Pudding and Popcorn after they have been two and a half. They died immediately at 5. Whereas no animal will be changed, I’ve since acquired two new guinea pigs with totally different personalities, Toffee and Domino. I simply can’t think about my life with out guinea pigs in it.


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