It has been a week since Ginger had left us.
In the mid of moving to our new home, Ginger passed away peacefully in his sleep on 10th December 2010, around 9.30pm. I remember checking up on the boys half hour before that. I guess he just wanted to leave quietly.
His sudden departure is still a shock to us all at home, including his companion, Wiggley. It took me a week to come to terms with not having Ginger for this Christmas, for my wedding next February, and for the years to come. Thanks to Petrest for their sensitivity and help.
This post is a tribute to my boy. He was full of life and sass. In his 5 years and 7.5 months, Ginger probably outdid any ambitious corporate achiever. He’s the guinea pig who shared a blog with Wiggley. He traveled between two homes in the last year and even travelled to Alpine in the Southern Highlands for one Christmas.
Ginger was the wise one. He helped us stay focused, I think - kept us earthbound and reminded us of what was important. He’s taught me about patience, love and kindness. He gave me so much joy in photographing him that he inspired me to photograph other pets. He had a sense of fun too. Ginger loved Baroque and Hard rock music. He had perfect pitch because he would not hesitate to let me know when I was out of tune practising the cello. Also he could squeak till the cows came home!
Amongst his companions were cats Matilda, Mr Big and PF, chooks Naomi, Laura and Dora, a Yorkshire Terrier named Princess (we dog-sat for some time), not to mentioned the Magpies and Currawongs in our neighbourhood. When we fostered two other rescued guinea pigs, Ginger was their leader and taught them to socialise with other guinea pigs and humans. He boarded at the then Australian Cavy Sanctuary branch in Wollongong and with Uncle Vinnie while we travelled overseas.
He survived two surgeries to remove his tumours. He loved his strawberries, cherries, parsley, and was very interested in his vegie garden which was a ceramic pot of herbs. Ginger was most curious about the products I purchased, especially his bedding made of recycling paper.
He let me dress him up in silly Christmas hats. He loved to play hide-and-seek and ‘follow the leader’ (it’s a guinea pig’s game, where two or more guinea pigs form a train and they follow the leader anywhere s/he goes).
Every year, he participated in Earth Day, watched Eurovision and the New Year’s Eve fireworks on tele. He even didn’t mind following two of the Australian elections and I suspect he voted for Kevin Rudd and was an admirer of President Obama. He paid tribute to Michael Jackson. Ginger met his fair share of human friends - who adored and loved him to bits.
He has watched many movies and TV shows with me: all 6 HP movies made during his time; all of Wallace and Grommet's series (his all time favourite); Peter and the Wolf; E.T.; G-Force; Caved In (that he lost interest in half way through); 60 seconds and many more.
I am missing his constant supervision of my knitting project, his big beadie eyes, punk rocker hair style, and his big and generous personality. I hope he had a good life with us.
He’s one little guy whose spirit will always be with us, close to my heart.
Here’s a compilation of some of Ginger’s life with us - images that I have made since 2004.