It’s Eid al’Fitr, a national holiday, and today I celebrate the first time our pet guinea pig Moonball got Lap Time!

Every day my sister and I would scoop her up and give her some liquid vitamin C via syringe, and at first she would struggle. Eventually I got the hang of handling her by the shoulders so she wouldn’t slip from my grasp – I’d wrap her quickly in a soft face towel and Joy would feed her the vitamin C. Moonball is a warm little thing, with a little round belly, so I try to be as gentle as possible and not give her a fright.

While I was out having lunch Joy discovered that she could pet Moonball on her lap if she gave her carrot peels to munch. Moonball allowed herself to be stroked and occasionally nodded off. Naturally my little niece Lilo was delighted; her hands were too little to hold Moonball properly, so she just patted Moonball while she was on Joy’s lap.

This afternoon after returning from errands Joy surprised me by putting Moonball on MY lap. She ate two or three little pieces of carrot peel and snuggled on her face towel. I loved stroking her! She purred and chirped and made these little sounds of contentment. She even fell asleep a while. “We just have to get her used to the idea that she will get carrot peels whenever she has Lap Time,” Joy said. We figured twice-a-day Lap Time would be sufficient. Before this she was a frisky little thing that kept trying to evade us unless she smelled grass in our hands.

We used to have dogs, and I miss having them, but having a little guinea pig to pet is almost quite as good.