Darling Creatures: Guinea Pigs
I must give my highest recommendation to guinea pigs.
My little Vladimir is chocolate colored, with a caramel tummy and a white neck and white swirl like a lightning bolt on top of his head.
He runs away when I try to pick him up, but once I do pick him up he is sweet and and gentle and makes little purring, trilling noises when I rub his forehead or his chin. He clicks his teeth and chatters when he would like to be put down again.
He is an independent bachelor, although he loves to beg for treats and attention. He is near-sighted, and startles easily, but he almost never bites. I get the feeling he knows that he is a tasty little morsel, a pork chop cloaked in the colors of a chocolate truffle. Farmed as livestock in South America, they are charmingly good-natured, humble, and little nervous. However, he is willing to risk befriending me, as long as I keep giving him little baby carrots and neck scratches.
He is not a gerbil, or a hamster, or a chinchilla, a rabbit or a mouse. He is a guinea pig.