On craigslist, there are an abundance of sugar gliders, pit bulls, exotic birds and other worn-out novelty pets looking for their fur-ever homes. Forever or fur-ever, makes no difference. It all means the same thing, a peaceful transition from one home, overrun with unwanted people and pets, reeking of urine and hopping fleas to your home, calm and clean, for now.
Papers of authentication, be damned.
After my normal daily review, I was all set on the adoption of a grizzled, one-eyed tom cat, appropriately named “Winks” when a new posting caught my attention for a teacup pig. I almost wrote that the post caught my eye, but it didn’t feel right after introducing and abandoning Winks so quickly.
There was a picture of a creature peeking out of blanket-nest with a pink nose and a pair of tiny, squinting eyes. The photographer caught the piglet at just the right angle and lighting to appear perfectly charming. It was no bigger than a kitten, fuzzy and pink, certainly no swine.
My heart was won. Sorry Winks, but I’m about to be a teacup pig owner, I thought to myself. This little guy has all the right stuff. It is smart, potty trained, likes to cuddle and loves cats. Could this be too good to be true?
Then, sure enough, I noticed at the bottom of the post a few simple words of warning, “Do your research. While small now, this teacup pig does have the potential to grow larger than a teacup.”
Ah, how the truth set me free.
Teacup pigs are actually baby pot belly pigs. They can keep growing until they are four years old and can get to be 100 to 120 pounds. These so-called teacup pigs can live up to 18 years old and cost several thousand dollars a year for food, vet bills, and proper space. Maybe more than I bargained for?
On a second look at the photo, the piglet was already bigger than a teacup, approaching the size of a mug and soon to be bigger than a gallon of milk.
The writing was on the wall; the pig would outgrow our small house and likely sit on at least one of the cats. It would break down the flooring and furniture, disrupt the peace, and eat up all of our leftovers and snacks in addition to its own pig-food. It would have been a gross oversight on my part to ignore the line of caution and pursue the adoption of Teeky, the teacup-for-now, but soon-to-be-regular-sized-sow.
A pig is a pig is a pig.
With such a clear warning, why would anyone ever bring one into their home and expect something different?