This is Audrey. My wife Tamara gave her her name. She named her after Audrey Hepburn because of the black and white outfit and because she was so svelte and petite.
I remember taking this photograph. We were in our living room and as Tamara and I moved away from the coffee table and the upturned fez, Audrey got pretty freaked out, raised her little head and gave out a heart-rending screech.
We rushed back and comforted her and told her she was OK and that everything was OK, and she was happy to pose for the rest of the photos we took.
Unlike other guinea pigs who would squeak for food when they sensed it was on its way, she used to squeak for food after she had eaten her fill.
Audrey died a few weeks ago. She was just over four years old. I remember when we bought her. She was a tiny black and white bundle in a big plastic cage with other black and white bundles.
We took India, our other guinea pig, along to see how the two of them would get on. India’s companion, Spiffy, had died just a few days before and India was pining and needed another companion.
When we put Audrey in the box with India, she snuggled in like it was the best and rightest place to be in the whole world.
When we returned to England that summer, we couldn’t bring India and Audrey with us without them having to sit in quarantine for six months. So we gave them to a family where the mother (Eve) worked with animals and where we knew they would be OK and happy.
And they have been OK and happy.
We have kept in touch with Eve and she has sent us photos.
So all in all, life has been just as it should be. A bit sad – but that’s OK.