For two days straight, rain fell without stopping from a dark, grey sky. We couldn’t even get out to splash in puddles or go for a walk through the neighborhood because of the constant rain. By the third day, we had to get out. The saying, come hell or high water, finally made sense. We. Had. To. Get. Out.
An obvious destination was the grocery store as we were getting low on milk and puffs, but running through the pouring rain with Mr. Baby on one hip just to get through the parking lot did not appeal to any part of me. I had to find a location with covered parking or a spot close enough to the door to run through the raindrops and limit the drenching.
We ended up at the Humane Society with front row parking and a few seconds long jog to the door.
I told Mr. Baby, “Its just like the zoo, but we can take these animals home.”
He was more interested in the way our umbrella turned the wet, grey sky into a beautiful, dry red with the push of a button as we left the car for the shelter’s door.
We cautiously strolled past cages of barking, snarling, cowering, shivering and apathetic dogs that were sausage shaped, bony, three legged, one eyed, and scruffy. All of the animals shared one trait in common, they were ready for their furever homes. Unfortunately, with no creature catching our attention to melt our hearts and to start the adoption application, we headed back towards the door.
Rain pounded the parking lot, hitting so hard that the water bounced up from the ground as though it was falling upside down. That’s a definite no, I thought, and redirected our tour towards a stack of cages behind a glass wall filled with scroungy cats.
And there in the bottom corner of the stack was the heart-melter, the animal just waiting to join our family, the pet we never knew we needed, a huge, white guinea pig.
“Excuse me,” I asked an older woman with a volunteer tag around her neck. “Could you help us with this guinea pig?”
“We have guinea pigs?” she drawled in the typical, slow Tennessee accent.
Much to her surprise, she followed where Mr. Baby’s finger pointed and peered through the glass.
“Well, look there, it is a guinea pig. Go sit in one of the viewing rooms and I’ll bring him into see you.”
What a serendipitous day this was shaping up to be, we were going to be guinea pig owners. My mind leapt to the supplies that the animal would need and where it would sleep, followed by a concern with how my husband would feel about our new roommate.
“We have to be gentle with the guinea pig, ok?” I coached Mr. Baby while we waited for the volunteer.
He didn’t agree or disagree, rather, he just looked inside of my purse and started pawing through it in search of snacks.
Mr. Baby was thrilled when the guinea pig was delivered. He squealed in the animal’s face and poked its nose, then he raised both hands in a maneuver that he usually reserved to smash oranges. I scooped the terrified creature up into my hands, and in that instant, I knew he wasn’t ready for a guinea pig.