May I introduce you to my pets?



Nelly, who I named after my sweet grandmother, is my kitty. It wasn’t until I took her to the vet and we checked her adoption records for the first time that I realized she shared my grandmother’s birthday. What are the odds? So she is extra special to me. I got her from a shelter when she was only 4 months old. Nelly is a very independent cat, which I appreciate given my busy schedule. She likes to do things on her own terms, like cuddling and letting others pet her. Nelly loves to nap with me. I call her “Moo-tee” which is a baby way of saying “Mushi,” which is how people call cats in the Dominican Republic. But my honey calls her “Moody,” which is also accurate.

She turns 11 years old this year. I hope to enjoy her company for many more.



This is Layla, who is now 8 years and 4 months old. Someone used to tell me she would outlive everyone else because of her tough attitude. She has for sure outlived her guinea pig years. Someone gave her to me, along with Basil, her hubby. They were both about 3 months old. Layla is very demanding. She used to drive Basil insane, to the point of him hitting himself against the walls of the cage. She also had some issues with her baby, Bingo. Sadly I had to separate them all. (Too much bullying.) Perhaps they just needed their own space. Don’t we all?

Layla loves to eat lettuce, Italian parsley and blueberries. She loves cuddling with me.

The following two piggies are no longer here but this post wouldn’t be complete without them.



Basil, who I used to call “poopilandia” because of his excessive amounts of poops, was my second piggy— given to me with Layla. I also called him “handsome fella,” because he truly was. He had a little streak of grey hair at the top of his head that made him look exceptionally handsome. Basil enjoyed taking road trips with me. He also had a special look – he would tip his head down and shine his eyes at me sideways, like he was flirting.

Basil was quiet. He loved his celery, grapes and raspberries (not recommended to feed guinea pigs too much fruit, only little pieces once in a while).

Next is my very special piggy, Bingobella.

Bingo 3


When I got Layla and Basil I thought they were both females. But, Basil’s behavior made me wonder.

I soon noticed that Layla seemed bigger than usual. I blamed it on her diet. She could eat a whole bowl of salad.

One afternoon, after a fun time at the park with Basil and Layla, I got home and to my surprise noticed Layla jumping (we guinea-pig-people call it “doing popcorn”). I got closer to the cage to make sure she was OK. Then, I noticed she was giving birth! I could not believe my eyes when the baby’s first instinct was to reach out for the celery and cucumbers, which turned out to be her favorite treats. Layla wasn’t even done cleaning her up.

And that was Bingobella — who grew up to be bigger, stronger and louder than her parents. And her name? As I said, her arrival was quite a surprise to me, so I thought naming her “Bingo” was appropriate. But I also felt that the name needed more of a feminine touch so I thought of combining both of her parents’ names into one: Ba-la — Bella. And that’s how I came up with the name, Bingobella. She was also beautiful which of course is “bella” in Spanish.

I don’t have children but I see my pets as my babies. They really become your family. And they were all a great support for me during my cancer mess. It made me happy to see them. They were also a reason for me to put up with the treatments.

Both Basil and Bingobella have left an empty space in my heart. I miss them a lot.

But I believe in the Rainbow Bridge.

About thesmallc

I'm Rebeca. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. But there's more to my story: I am an animal lover. I love to cook. I have a wonderful fiancé who doesn't mind walking my rocky path with me. We currently live in New York. ---------------------------------------- “Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.” ― Viktor E. Frankl
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16 Responses to May I introduce you to my pets?

  1. The Accidental Amazon says:

    Where would we be without our fur babies? They helped me stay sane, especially through the cancer sleighride. Thank you for sharing their stories. xoxo

  2. poly says:

    Maravillosa descripción de tus pets tienen gracia Y personalidad.
    Se lo importante que son para ti Reb
    cuidalas mucho

    Dios te bendiga

  3. Amanda says:

    Your pets are just gorgeous! Love to them all xx

    • thesmallc says:

      Amanda, thank you so much! Your fury baby is very gorgeous too (want to kiss that nose!). I wish I had a dog but I work too many hours and live in an apt. Maybe one day in the future.

  4. nancyspoint says:

    Thank you for introducing us to your pets. As you know, I’m crazy about animals and write about my pets from time to time too. I’m sorry you only have one member of your little guinea pig family left. How long do they typically live? I didn’t know guinea pigs like to cuddle. And your Nelly, I can see why she is so special, and with that connection to your grandmother, that makes her all the more so. Pets are so wonderful to have around during the good times and the bad. Great post. Thanks again for sharing.

    • thesmallc says:

      Nancy, the life span of a guinea pig is 4-8 years (8 is not common). I personally know of someone whose piggy lived to be 10! I wish mine lives this long. Typically piggies don’t like to be handled too much, but it all depends how much time you interact with them and how long they’ve been with you. Bingobella did not like to be handled and was very aggressive. Basil was cool with anything. Layla just seems to love to cuddle and falls asleep on me. She is also lazy.

      Animals are the best! They mean so much to us. It hurts a lot when we lose them. I hope yours live a very long life.

      Thank you for your comment.

  5. what wonderful furry friends and stories 🙂 I am glad you have had pets who feel this close to you. their characters and stories sure put a smile on my face 🙂

  6. I’m a pet sitter and cannot even imagine not dealing with all this cancer (and aftermath) without my furry babies. Wonderful!

  7. Pingback: In loving memory of my pet Layla | The small c

  8. Pingback: 2018 Summer Blogging Challenge | The small c

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