I remember being the first one to scoop him out of the box the day he arrived. I expected him to run away, but he was fearless. I cradled him in my arms like a baby. He belonged to my brother really, but I knew I would always be his protector and supervise his care.
I was the one who spotted the dry skin beneath his ear, and was later praised by the vet who diagnosed the ear mites.
There was a time when I swore he knew my voice, and would come rushing to the bars of the cage whenever I was near.
I didn't know him much during old age. I moved away six months before he died, but last time I saw him I think I knew he wasn't far from the end. He was perfectly healthy, although clearly older, slower, frailer.
And sure enough, on Saturday night I learned (via Facebook) that Fudge, the last family guinea pig, had passed away, at the respectable age of 5 and a half.
May 2005 - 20th November 2010