What your guinea pig is trying to tell you
August 29, 2019 3:29 AM   Subscribe

Name checks out.

Eeeee guinea pigs! My favorite little furry weirdos! Last year I got to visit a capybara onsen in Japan and hand out lots of snacks and belly rubs, and that was how I learned that despite being huge, they make some of the same wheek noises!
posted by bowtiesarecool at 4:21 AM on August 29, 2019 [6 favorites]

I half-expected this to be a new account especially for this posts. Wheek wheek wheek, I applaud your commitment, and I also appreciate your previously.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:37 AM on August 29, 2019 [8 favorites]

Our guinea pigs are Pavlovianly conditioned to "wheek wheek wheek" whenever they hear the crinkle of a grocery store produce bag.
posted by jozxyqk at 5:41 AM on August 29, 2019 [10 favorites]

poster is obviously in the pocket of big pig, flagged
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:15 AM on August 29, 2019 [9 favorites]

posted by davros42 at 6:30 AM on August 29, 2019 [6 favorites]

wheek, wheek, wheek is the best sound! No other critter noise is as adorable.>*fact*
posted by mightshould at 6:31 AM on August 29, 2019 [4 favorites]

I got my first Guinea pig when I was around 30 years old, very lonely, and living in a studio apartment. The first time I picked her up to cuddle her she ate a big lock of my hair. She was a funny, bossy, affectionate (big) little pig.

Random Guinea Pig moments:

The apartment building owners decided to update all the unit doors. I came home from my shift and the workers were working on my door. The guy said, "What the hell have you got in there?" I said, "It's just a little Guinea pig!" He said, "Oh my God. As soon as I stepped inside, it let off such a racket. I was scared to go look." The thing is, Clyde (I didn't know how to sex a Guinea pig, and she just looked like a Clyde to me) never made noise when I came in, only when I opened lettuce bags. She had id'ed the worker as an intruder.

When I took her for an exam, as soon as the vet let her go for a second, she RAN across the examination table and leapt into my arms, and my heart melted. Before that moment, I thought I was mainly a lettuce dispenser and a nuisance to her. Which, yes to both of those, but she also considered me a protector!

Awhile after I got Clyde, I met my (now) husband, we moved to South Florida and I got a second Guinea pig. We got an apartment with an enclosed balcony and I thought they would be thrilled to have their own fresh air "room." I put their cage on the balcony, they were fine. We came in and unpacked more stuff, then got ready for bed. They were fine. We turned off the bedroom light and ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE with the wheeking and shrieking. We are not going to be camping out, thank you very much! Come get us! We brought the cage into the bedroom and all was fine again.

So, all that just to say that I loved my Guinea pigs, I still miss them, and I look forward to the day when life is more settled and I can have Guinea pigs again. They bond with humans, they communicate with us, depend on us, they caper and frolic, and they are furry little alarm systems. Highly recommend having Guinea pigs in your life!*

*Downsides are their relatively short lifespan, the smell of barnyard that comes from the hay they eat, and the prodigious amount of (tidy and low-odor) poops they make.
posted by hiker U. at 6:59 AM on August 29, 2019 [27 favorites]

I used to have two guinea pigs named Q and 007 (pronounced "Double-O-Seven," of course). Sadly, when we had a cleaning service come in one day, 007 inhaled some ammonia or something like that and went off to the big alfalfa field in the sky. Q followed shortly thereafter, presumably of a broken heart.

I love those dumb little creatures. I would get another pair, except my rotten cats would dispatch them within four seconds or so.
posted by holborne at 7:59 AM on August 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

Love these little greeping beasts, though never had any myself. And I wouldn't be so sure about the cat murder angle: a childhood friend's cat, a skilled bird hunter, lived in mortal fear of The Pig after losing about ¼ of the tip of its nose after trying to stalk the seemingly innocent herbivore.

My cousins had two pigs that for feeding would get parked on an old child-sized raffia chair that the back had busted out of. A board covered in newspaper would be placed underneath, and a huge pile of field greens put in front of the piggies. They'd happily munch away while pooping wetly and copiously ("brassoing", as my cousins called it) through the hole in the chair: greep greep, monch monch, splat splat
posted by scruss at 8:22 AM on August 29, 2019 [4 favorites]

My tiny but fierce tortie came out of where ever she has been hiding and stared very intently at the general direction of the speakers when I played the Wheeking video. She's now sniffing furiously trying to figure out where the animal that made that noise might be found.
posted by jzb at 9:31 AM on August 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

Don't forget rumblestrutting!
posted by helpthebear at 11:03 AM on August 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

i'm liking this new trend of making posts related to your animal username
posted by numaner at 11:37 AM on August 29, 2019 [4 favorites]

I had these as a kid - lots of them - about 45 years ago. I had forgotten the sounds: the squeaking when I opened the evening bag of lettuce, the purring when being patted. But none of mine ever chirped.
posted by greenhornet at 5:00 PM on August 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

I never realized that their Spanish name "cuy", from their Quechua name "quwi", was onomatopoeic, but that's exactly what they're saying.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 6:16 PM on August 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm reminded of Franklin and Freekowtski's 1987 findings (page 9) that their seeming simple calls are surprisingly structured and information-rich.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:03 PM on August 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

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