Men are often overlooked in the communities that support tiny animals. We know some men who will tell you how strong and loving the bond between a guy and his tiny friend can be.
Mautrice adopted his first guinea pig as a pet for his daughters. Common story…but his has a twist. When Mautrice met his piggy (who would be named Mordecai), “He was nervous and sought refuge in the pocket of my hooded sweatshirt. He was lively and kept poking his head out from each end. I instantaneously fell in love with him.” Mordecai went home with Mautrice, and there the friendship began. “He is truly a god-send and too hilarious. My ideas about guinea pigs changed the day I met Mordecai. I went from knowing nothing about these little guys to loving everything about them.”
Mautrice adopted a second guinea pig, since he learned that guinea pigs are social animals and need the company of another pig. So now Mordecai has a brother, Malachi. Mautrice and his piggy friends have some things they like to do together. “We clown around a bunch. I have actually, taken Mordecai on road trips with me and we have dates on the front porch in the swing. He loves to listen to music and tries to nibble and text on my phone!” says Mautrice. “It is pretty cool to see their different personalities and watch them interact. If I remove one from the cage and not the other, the one left behind will wheek until the other one responds. And, when both are back in the cage, they immediately meet up and start communicating. Almost, as to say ‘Hey man where did our human take you and what did you all do’? Both, of my guys like to be held but they also like TV. They get quiet and watch shows with me. And, believe it or not they like Jerry Springer, Maury, and the Lifetime channel. They will actually sit down in front of their food and snack on it while watching these shows, almost like they are at the movies eating popcorn.”
Mautrice says it all so well: “I’ve learned that guinea pigs are not that different from us…they live, love and fight like we do. These fellows are family. I can’t see life without them now and have asked myself numerous times why I never considered guinea pigs as pets until now. Most, people are like WOW you like guinea pigs and I have to quickly correct them and say WOW I don’t like them, I love them. These guys have helped me through some tough times. I am a Marine veteran who was stationed in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. I been living with the symptoms of PTSD for over 20 years and I have to admit that Mordecai and Malachi were gifts from GOD as far as a means of pet therapy. I truly, love them in every aspect and will do anything for them.”
Norman shares his life with three rabbits. He and his wife had originally gone to the shelter to adopt a dog or cat, but when Norm saw the rabbits, he felt drawn to them. There was an event, called a Bun Run, going on, and so Norm went in to see what all this rabbit stuff was about. One rabbit (Flopster) followed he and his wife around, trailing them around the room and batting away any other rabbit who tried to come near. It appeared Flopster had adopted Norman, so home they went.
Good choice, Flopster! Norman says “I would read aloud to her so she could learn my voice and I would eat lunch with her every day.” Norman and his wife have since added two more rabbits to the family.
“Aside from learning about rabbit care, most of what I’ve experienced has been just been confirmation that they’re just like any other being in that they’re individuals – no two alike.” says Norman. “We co-exist as family. Sometimes we spend a great deal of time together doing specific things, other times we just belong in the same room. They seem to enjoy company over specific activity. Flopster and Randy like watching TV and listening to music. I get Randy to hop on the couch and give me kisses for a treat. Lexi always licks my face hello, goodbye, and goodnight. I also try to read a book with Lexi every evening. She spends most of the reading time trying to eat the book or licking my face. Flopster and Randy sit by my feet as I work during the day.’
Norm is right there with his rabbits for the hard times too. “Whenever they are sick, I do everything in my power to never leave their side and to ensure their health returns. When Flopster suffered an E.C. infection, I slept by her side for over a month.”
As far as other people’s reaction to Norman having rabbit friends: “Most are curious or supportive but some react as if it’s some sort of joke – a non-serious pet. It’s a great way to figure out who is a terrible person. Anyone that judges you for having rabbits is someone you can afford to not know.”
We hear that, Norman!
Let’s all celebrate the men in our community, the men who understand that being a personable and engaging individual has nothing to do with physical size, and that all beings are worthy of respect and love. Big hugs to Mautrice and Norman!
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