Pet of the Day

May 8, 2002

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Ticochon, the Pet of the Day
Name: Ticochon
Age: Deceased, Two years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Angora Guinea Pig
Home: Switzerland
   Ticochon died one and a half years ago. No need to say that I miss him to tears. I have a special reason to miss my previous guinea pig. These animals are more able of communicating with us humans than we may imagine - in one word, they are more intelligent than we judge them to be. I think it all depends on the quality of contact we establish with them.

    Ticochon understood a certain number of words. When he wanted something, he looked up very intensely in my eyes - as if he wanted to tell me something. So I approached him with my hand and gave him a list of words he knew, like: salad, seeds, cucumber, bread, water, watermelon, pee (when a guinea pig is in our arms, we risk being sprinkled, but they always warn us before, if we are able to interpret their warning) - and also scratchy scratchy? (they like to be scratched where they cannot reach themselves). This with my palm up - when I said the word he expected me to say that was what he wanted from me, he tapped his little paw twice in my hand - and was so happy and uttered the sound brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (one of the typical sounds of these little darlings). Actually, he was the one who made me try this out with my palm, one day he was staring at me so intensely, so I came closer to him and put my hand at his reach, and when I said the word (salad) for the first time, he tapped twice his little paw on my palm, and he was so, but so happy, he uttered the longest brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr and put up his head so I could stroke his neck - he was really happy that he could communicate with me.

    I am an unconditional fan of these little animals who smell so nice, who are so tender, who utter so sweet sounds (they almost constantly express themselves through various sounds). I miss Ticochon.

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