Adopted: July 2013
Passed: January 2017
Personality: crazy, sweet, enthusiastic
Special skills: purring, stands up for her vitamin every morning
When we lost Noriko in 2013, we wanted to get a friend for Saki, since she had never lived alone. We went to the pet store one evening just to look at what guinea pigs they had, not expecting to have our hearts stolen by tiny little Tatiana. Never has a pig felt so rightfully ours within the first minute of meeting them, so we didn't hesitate to bring her home with us. Now, we've had guinea pigs for a long time, but we have never had one as small as Tatiana was when we first got her. She weighed only seven ounces and fit through a toilet paper tube, which she memorably and adorably ran through and rolled over in one of her first days with us.
After her quarantine ended, we introduced her to Saki, and Tatiana was so interested in meeting her. Saki was so old at this point and didn't quite know what to make of this tiny ball of enthusiasm. We have some videos of their first meetings of Saki sitting calmly and Tatiana bouncing around in the background, and that sums up their early relationship perfectly. Once the two started living together, they ended up being a very well matched pair. Saki was so mellow that she wasn't bothered by Tatiana's boundless energy, and Tatiana proved herself to be the most nurturing pig we have ever had. Since Saki was so old, she wasn't doing a very good job of cleaning herself up, and Tatiana took up the task herself. She would clean up the area around Saki's eyes and always got nervous when we would take Saki out of the cage.
As with her split color face, Tatiana also had a split personality. She could be the sweetest pig in the world, like when she took care of Saki, and also the rudest pig we've ever had. She didn't much enjoy being out of her cage, but she loved to be petted and was the best purr-er of all of our pigs. However, her first reaction to something surprising her was to retaliate with a bite, never more than a nip, but you had to pay close attention when you were petting her. She'd also grab hold of sleeves to make you pay attention to her if you were petting another pig instead of her. Tatiana was also a scaredy cat. She was loud and full of personality when she was around the two of us, but if anyone new was around, she shut down and retreated into herself. One time, Liz brought her to the vet and she described Tatiana as becoming a blob, which was the furthest from her normal personality.
Tatiana was an oddball who thrived on routine and was always alert to what was happening around her. She had had several roommates throughout the years that she was friendly enough with, but she liked to let them know that she was the boss. She and Harriet generally just coexisted together, but they didn't ever have any major issues, so they made a good pair. We're so glad that we randomly stopped by the pet store the day that we got her because Tatiana was a joy to have in our family and it was hard to imagine a time that she wasn't our pig.
Tatiana passed away unexpectedly in January 2017 while we were on vacation. It was a very sad day when we got that news, and it was also very hard not knowing what had happened. We've never had a pig quite like Tatiana, and she will always hold a special place that can never ever be replaced.