I started off 2015 with a sick, aging 8 year old guinea pig. Then she died. The morning after her death I heard her roommate wheeking all by herself for morning veg and it killed me. That day I brought home another sow from the humane society. She’d been checked by the vet there and I had a free checkup voucher so I took her to the other vet. She was a little underweight, but oddly pear shaped. Neither vet confirmed a pregnancy. It was confirmed after she gained about 300 grams and my pig pen had tiny little things running around. I was not prepared.

So I’d had 2 guinea pigs for a year or two and suddenly I was up to six, with my boyfriend telling me I could keep all the girls. The day after the piglets were born, my Tom did something any cat would do when confronted by a tiny, scurrying, alien of a thing. He got a baby, and we were down to five guinea pigs.

As they grew, the pig pen had to be expanded. I found a huge garbage bag of towels on Craigslist and used it under the fleece in my now 7 foot pen. Eventually I worked out the math and over a four year period with a number of pigs, getting cage liners ordered again would run me just under $5 a month.

Later in the year I got the skeleton back of my deceased 8 year old guinea pig. She’s in an acrylic case on a nice base. Her name was Chai. Now she is the Chainasaur.

One of the cats reached his diet goals this year and is now on a maintenance portion of higher quality food. My alpha bub has been on the same prescription diet since August 2013, and after he finishes his current bag, he’ll be moving to the higher quality food as well, on their portion size for overweight cats within his range.

This fall I got my oldest guinea pig spayed and then the cats started spraying things in the house. First they were threatened by the cats outside as we started leaving windows and doors open. Then we put deterrents in the yard. I bought my oldest cat a calming collar and put up Feliway diffusers in the house. We’ve been cramped for space but I’ve gotten the go ahead from Dismal to add a second litterbox upstairs in my closet.

I’ve been buying in bulk. 25 lbs of guinea pig pellets. 50 lbs of hay. 25 lb sack of bird food. More than 8 bags of Carefresh in the garage. New cat food on sale and putting on auto ship to get a gift card back.

And all Free and Clear came out with laundry detergent pacs this year that are much easier to take and use at the laundromat. When the new year starts, I’ll be going to a new laundromat, as the owner of the one in Chandler does not maintain the machines and the few that aren’t out of order are often taken, forcing me into a higher capacity washer than necessary, and taking twice my money. I wash the piggy laundry outside of the home.

The cats also have my company practically all day since I work from home. It’s terribly fun to maneuver around a cat, trying to read accounts and troubleshoot problems, while they sit in the middle of your desk. Cat after cat…then somebody wants my lap. Holy cow just let me work. Mommy needs the money for paying down the CareCredit account.