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Welcome to the Cavy Chronicles
Mary's Guinea Pig Gazette

Brought to you by the:
Chocolate, Sundae and Wheeker Gang

Last updated: 26 Jul 96

Cavy Chronicles Features:

Take a quick peek at their home what's new

  1. A Day in the Lives of Three Cavies

  2. Ask the Cavies

  3. Cross-Country Cavies

  4. Cavy Publications (books about guinea pigs) - 10 Mar 95
    (will load 300KB of graphics and Netscape tables used)

  5. Cavy Web Resources
  6. Photo Album Page - archive photos of the Gang.

what's newMake a contribution and we will credit you on our thanks page.

Take a closer look at your hosts:

View Chocolate select GIF file, 155KB.
Chocolate on Steinway.

View Sundae select GIF file, 50KB.
Sundae imitating Shamu.

View Sundae & Wheeker select GIF file, 42KB.
Wheeker imitating Sundae.

View Sundae select GIF file, 150KB.
Grazing on their favorite greens.

View Sundae select GIF file, 150KB.
Sundae snoozing...

View Their Home select GIF file, 138KB.
Here is a picture of Sundae and Wheeker's cage (the little one is in quarrantine for a few weeks and has her own place). We made it using two 15 X 22 inch Rubbermaid clear blanket boxes and ten 12 X 12 inch cubical panels (ones you can use to construct storage cubes). We attached the panels together with twist ties you get with rolls of garbage bags. It is easy to clean and is lightweight.

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The Two Sides of Our New Buddy!

20 July 96

Two Sides of Our New Buddy
Welcome our new addition to our guinea pig family! We found her on Wednesday (July 17, 1996), but we did not bring her home until yesterday (Friday). Since PetsMart opened in San Diego about a month ago, we have been looking at new cavies every week but we found this little one at the newest Petco in Carmel Ranch.

She is quite small ... only five ounces (140 grams) and is already eating us out of house and refrigerator! She has eaten almost everything we have given her (timothy hay, alfalfa hay, oat hay, lettuce, carrots, parsley, radicchio, and even a Mazuri pellet). We have not seen her drink any water yet, but we are giving her liquid vitamin C orally to make sure she's getting enough since she's such a small little one. She does not have a name yet, so if you have any suggestions, please e-mail them to us at We cannot allow her to remain nameless for very long.

As of July 26, 1996, here's a list of the name suggestions received for our newest buddy (keep the suggestions coming ):

Terpischore - Greek muse/goddess
Polyxenia - Greek muse
Cassandra; Roxanne and Alexander - the Greek conqueror and his wife
Cicero, Cato, Marcus - Roman orators
Telemancus; Zeus; Cedric and his real son in English history, Wilfred
Penelope, Andromache - (who gave the ball of string to Odysseus to go down the labyrinth to slay the minatour)
Aurelia - gold
Melissa - goddess of honey
Mellona - protector of honey
-- Greek names submitted by
Phoebe and "Phoebe's mom"

(They aren't fancy names, but they all go with "Barr.")
-- submitted by Cyrano and Penelope the guinea pigs

-- submitted by Erin Torpin

Sofia or Sophia
-- submitted by Susan

Sweet Piggle
-- submitted by Tex Green

Lucy (for Lucille Ball)
-- submitted by Peter and Alisa Spivak

half-pint (small carton with some milk in (on) it!!)
-- submitted by Lisa F. Leard

-- submitted by Laura Braz

Fudgie (looks like a hot fudge sundae)
-- submitted by Jasper the guinea pig

Cutie Pie (CeePee for short)
-- submitted by Debbie Otero

Vista (because she's a beautiful view)
Ashanti (the name of an African tribe, I just like the way it sounds)
Waterfall (with that white blaze down her face)
Neskahi (the name on someone on my Paul Winter CD)
-- submitted by Karena Kliefoth

Karena also suggested that I put all the names in a hat and let her pick one out. She said the only drawback might be that she might eat it before I could read it. With the way her little mouth moves, it would be a definite possibility. 8-)

Sweetums (she also looks like a little sweetie pie)
Sweet Tart (keeping with a food tradition (except for Wheeker))
-- submitted by Judi Lainer

-- submitted by Barb Rokitka


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My First Buddy !

14 June 96

Many people have asked me how I got interested in guinea pigs. The first guinea pig I had back in 1973 was really my older brother's birthday present that he lost interest in. Sammy was a beautiful red Abyssinian boar. My siblings and I took him to school so many times that he started doing the "Pledge of Allegiance" with the class. He would stand with his forepaws on his food dish and look up at the flag. Another remarkable behavior was that he would sit on a piece of newspaper on the floor while his cage was being cleaned and would not venture off of it.

Here I am with Sammy. You really cannot see him very well since my father really was not trying to take a picture of him. Sammy gpig
This was the very first time I held a guinea pig and this is where my love for the little critters began.


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A Week with Wheeker and Sundae - Wheeker Responds !

23 February 96

Thumbnail of SundaeHi! My name is Wheeker. A couple weeks ago, my roommate, Sundae, introduced us and wrote about my first week at home. Our humans finally let me get on the computer to write about this subject. They thought I would chew on the strings that are coming out of the computer and nibble on the keys, but now they sort of trust me. Mama is hovering over me, making sure that I put nothing in my mouth.

Sundae is right when she says that I like to follow her and copy what she does. She is like a mother to me. She is really ... old. You know, she moves really slow and likes to sleep alot and gets grumpy when I want to play.

And I did cry the moment I came home. Well, I was just taken from my four brothers and sisters and six friends. I was put in this dark box and had a loud, bumpy ride in this thing called a car. Then I was given a bath and put into this little box all by myself. I was really lonely and scared, so I did the only thing I knew I could do. When my new humans put me with Sundae, I felt a little better because Sundae licked my ear and purred at me.

Sundae taught me many things that first week. She told me that our humans were actually pretty fun to be with, but I really did not like them holding me very much. I did not like being away from Sundae for so long. But now I sort of enjoy the time our humans call "cuddle time."

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A Week with Sundae and Wheeker -
February 1996

Thumbnail of Sundae Hi! My name is Sundae. I am two and a half years old. My favorite foods are romaine lettuce, sunflower seeds, and timothy hay. My favorite time of the day is in the evening when my humans come home, pet me, and take me out for floor time.

My roommate, Wheeker, is six months old. She loves radicchio, endive, and spinach. She also loves to eat anything that I am eating at the moment. She also likes to follow me while we are having floor time. Every once in awhile I just run away and hide so she cannot find me.

The night Wheeker came home for the first time, she cried and cried and cried. My humans decided to let her stay with me and she stopped crying. The next day at floor time, Wheeker cried every time I went off by myself so I kept running to her to see what was the matter. Nothing was wrong, but I tried to be patient with her since she was a baby.

When it was time to go back home, I jumped right in like usual, but Wheeker did not know what to do. I jumped out and showed her how to jump in a few times, and then she tried. It was too high for her so she fell backwards. My humans gave her a very yummy cardboard step stool and, after a few nibbles, she jumped on top of it and got into our house.

A few days went by with few incidents. I taught Wheeker who was boss ... me. My humans fussed over her and ignored me until I got in between them and her and demanded attention. Then, after several days later after floor time, Wheeker decided to jump home before I did. She jumped and bumped her nose on the cage walls! Silly baby! She didn't wait for our humans to lift the cage top before jumping!

Anyway, that was the first week when Wheeker came to live with us. Stay tuned for other stories about us.


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Ask the Cavies

11 Jun 96

Zelda ( Hi Wheeker and Sundae! I am Zelda, a 2 year old guinea pig. I have a story for you. I was bathed twice and both times my owner got in trouble. She wasn't supposed to take me into the bathtub but she didn't care so I was swimming laps around and around because I was so nervous. I could have won a gold at the Guinea Pig Olympics.

The second (and hopefuly the last time) I was bathed I was so annoyed I sneezed out some white stuff at my owner's aunt while she was drying me. And for 2 days I stayed in my box whenever Violet (my owner) came near me.

Sundae: Hi Zelda! I'm 2 years old, too. Actually, I'm almost 3 (in October). One time one of my humans, mama, took me into the big bathtub and made me swim laps ... but I absolutely hated it. When mama put her hands in to catch me, I jumped up into her arms and got her all wet. She hasn't put me in the big bathtub ever again, even though I get put in my bathtub every week. Wheeker has never been in the big bathtub, but mama's been thinking about trying her in it now that the weather's getting warmer.

Piggle & Wiggle ( Our names our Piggle & Wiggle. We are brother and sister, or sister and sister, or brother and brother ... our humans don't seem to know and we don't care, we just want to eat. We love to eat, sounds like you do too.

We used to be really fat, but our human moved us from the ocean to the mountains. I wonder why we are thinnner here in the mountains. Do you know why?? We didn't join Piggie Craig Weight Loss Center!!

My human built us a really cool habitat. We live on the floor the spare bedroom. She put a tarp down and then covered it with yummy hay. Then our human put logs all around the edge of it and some really cool ones inside. The best part is that half of it has a bamboo top over it, we really like that because we LOVE to hide out in dark places. We feel very comfortable in little hiding spots.

Our human took us to her garden and we ate ourselves to oblivion. It was scary though because there are birds of prey in the sky, and if you don't already know this, we are definately PREY. That is why we hide so much. What about you guys? Do you like to hide too? Do you have a little dark spot in your cage?

We are glad that you have each other during the day. Please write back soon. -- Piggle & Wiggle (

Sundae: Hi Piggle and Wiggle. Wheeker's eating as usual. You must like your big house and your garden. We have a pretty nice house and we have a gigantic grassy lawn that is fun to hide in when papa doesn't cut it for weeks. I really don't get scared much, even when I'm outside since I know that mama is watching out for me. But Wheeker gets scared at every little sound and runs into me. Mama doesn't give us things to hide under, but we do find places to go under (like our cart, papa's desk, the piano, etc.).

Chris Moore (from Compuserve) wrote: I have two Guinea Pigs called Toffee and Fudge. They have had the skin disease Mytes and I would like to know how to stop them getting it again.

Sundae: Mama, I don't know how to answer this.

Mama: Well, I'm not an expert on guinea pig diseases or problems. Most of mine (thankfully) have never had a disease or major problem. Sundae did have mites when I brought her home from the pet store and the vet gave her two shots (ten days apart) of Ivermectrin. I also cleaned out her cage thoroughly every day between the shots as well as after the last shot since part of the mite's lifecycle is off the animal. She never had them again after that.

I've heard that some mites live in bedding, especially wood shavings. If your guinea pigs are continually getting mites, you should consider getting a different bedding or getting it from another store.

Chris (if you're reading this), I was unable to send a response to your question via e-mail because your return e-mail did not seem valid. If this was done unintentionally, please contact me and I will reference your proper address here and in thanks.

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Ask the Cavies

30 Mar 96

Ann Marbourg ( writes: "My one year old guinea pig, Posy, likes to chew on the bars of his cage, and I saw him this morning chewing on them. Suddenly, he squeaked and ran back. I then noticed his tooth had fallen out! I was wondering if this is all right."

Sundae: I have never had any problems with my teeth, but then I do not chew on cage bars. I used to, but papa would squirt me with water and mama would say "NO" every time I tried, so I stopped. They think it is a bad habit and not very pleasant looking. Mama has never had a cavy that lost a tooth, but they will grow back eventually. Just keep watching the teeth and file down the one that is still growing if it gets too long. If you feel uncomfortable with doing this, you can have a doctor do it. Mama says there are special doctors for cavies and you should look for one who knows us, not just dogs and cats.

Samantha ( writes: "I have a piggie named Pepe whose stomach seems to be big. It's not like her sister's tummy. I'm afraid she may be pregnant. I've heard of stories about stupid pet stores who don't know male from female and sometimes end up with a pregnant cavy. I'd like to know if you knew anything about pregnant piggies and how I would know Pepe is pregnant. I don't want to go to the vet next week and find out she's not getting everything she needs because I've had her for a month already. Anything you could tell me would be appreciated."

Sundae: I have never been pregnant and neither has Wheeker. Mama says it is true that some pet stores do not know very much about cavies and brothers and sisters are left together and make babies together. Babies usually are born after nine or ten weeks. Whether or not Pepe is pregnant, she should be getting lots of yummy food high in vitamin C. You already know my favorite foods. Other foods that some cavies like that are good for them are kale and dandelion leaves. The important thing is variety. Sometimes mama forgets about that and we get bored of having the same thing every day.

The important thing to remember is that if you are worried about your cavy because he seems different (he is not as active as usual, he is losing weight, he does not eat or drink as much as normal, etc.), you should take him to the doctor. Although I do not like to go to the doctor and have him poke and prod at me, he really is a nice human and I usually feel better after I see him. Last time I saw him, he gave Wheeker and me a handful of yummy meadow grass because we were munching on our records and he wanted them back.

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Ask the Cavies

15 Mar 96

Selena Simonetti ( asks, "Wheeker and Sundae, what are your favorite vegetables besides what was mentioned on the list?"

Sundae: Aha! One of my most favorite subjects. If I am not actually eating, the next best thing is talking about foods. In my introduction, I said that romaine lettuce, sunflower seeds, and timothy hay are my favorites. I also absolutely adore carrots. That reminds me, I have not had a single carrot for several days. Anyone reading this, please remind my mama that this is one of my favorite foods. I think she has forgotten about them. I also like parsley, spinach, radicchio, and endive. So, Wheeker, what do you like?

carrotWheeker: Huh? Crunch, crunch, crunch!

Sundae: What do you like to eat?

Wheeker: Crunch, crunch, crunch!

Sundae: Sorry, folks! Wheeker is finishing her carrot. She pretty much likes the same veggies that I do. She does not try anything unless I eat it first ... actually, she always wants the piece that I am eating, even when she has her own piece. She likes to steal my food and put it into her pile of food.

Question: What vegetables do you not like to eat?

Sundae: I absolutely hate kale, and so does Wheeker. Mama says that there are many cavies that love kale, but I do not like it. When mama puts it in front of me, I put myself into reverse and get out of the way. There are a few other veggies I do not like, but I do not know what they are called.

Selena Simonetti ( asks, "For the owners of Wheeker and Sundae: Did you buy your little piglets at a store or a breeder?"

Sundae: Mama, you really need to have your own "Ask the Humans" page. So, where did we come from?

Mama: Well, Sundae, both you and Wheeker came from pet stores. You came from a store called Parkway Pets. You lived on the floor of a tall bird cage. Do you remember that?

Sundae: No. What was it like?

Mama: The birds were very loud and screeched often. For the longest time, you sounded like a bird. You also had a sister at the store, but I was only looking for one cavy at the time. So I chose you. I also told the store owners that it was not a good idea to put cavies at the bottom of a bird cage, even if the birds never landed on the floor. Wheeker came from a store called Pet Metro. She was in a cage with eight other little girls.

Sundae: Why did you choose Wheeker?

Mama: I thought she would make a good friend for you. Remember how I was out of the house more often and you were home alone and very lonely?

Sundae: Yeah, but sometimes I wish I had my own room again. I guess I am glad that I have Wheeker when you are gone during the day. Anyway, keep those questions coming. Wheeker and I will answer your questions ... when we are not eating or sleeping.

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Ask the Cavies - Inaugural Edition

Question: Do cavies like baths?

Sundae's Bath select GIF file, 140KB.

Sundae: Personally, I love baths. The warm water ... the fragrance of the shampoo ... the attention I get during and after the bath. The only thing I do not like about bath day is that bath day is also nail clipping day. So, what is your answer, Wheeker?

Wheeker: Well ... I do not really like baths ... but I do not really hate them either. I hate getting my hair rubbed the wrong direction ... but I do not mind the nail clipping.

Question: How do you bathe cavies?
Sundae: Well, I think this is a question for one of my humans ... since I have never bathed myself. Perhaps we should have a "Ask the Humans" page. Well, just this once I will let my mama write on this page. So, take the keyboard, mama.

Mama: Thanks Sundae for letting me contribute to your page. I begin by selecting a bowl to bathe the cavy in. It should be large enough so the cavy does not jump out, but not so large that the cavy feels uncomfortable. I usually fill the bowl an inch or two and then lower the cavy in the water back end first. Thoroughly soak their hair, but be careful not to get water on their heads and definitely not their ears. Soap them up (I use a whitening shampoo on Sundae's beautiful white hair ... which is now yellow in most places ... and Johnson's baby shampoo). Then thoroughly rinse off the soap (if your cavy likes getting a shower ... use one of those sprayers). Put the cavy in a towel and dry off thoroughly. A tip: A nice clean cage with fresh hay helps grumpy cavies forgive you for putting them through such an ordeal.

Question: How often do you bathe cavies?
Sundae: My mama bathes us once a week during summer and much less often during the winter. It has been cold and rainy (by San Diego standards), so we have not gotten a bath in quite awhile. We will probably get another bath when the temperature gets out of the 50s and 60s and back into the 70s.

Editor's Note: For a related feature, see Ben Fisher's story about "The Great Guinea Pig Bath"
Well, that ends the first edition of "Ask the Cavies".

If you or your cavies would like to participate or you have questions that can be answered by Sundae and Wheeker, e-mail:

Please contribute your questions and comments, otherwise, this column could get very boring -- we promise to respond to all, as best as we can ! By the way, contributors will be acknowledged on our thanks page.

Copyright 1996 M. E. Barr.

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