an ode to our pig pig

It seems so ridiculous crying over a pig. But he was my Pig Pig, my little Kevin Bacon. I’d wanted a pig my entire life and finally, at 29, I got my pig. I had to drive four hours to pick him up with my sick daughter in the backseat, and miserable the whole time. She had to miss a day of school, but it was early in the year and she would have been home sick anyways, so off we went.

audrey holding kevin when we brought him home

He wasn’t initially the pig that I had imagined; I had always thought I’d have a pink pig, or one with spots. Instead, he was black from his nose to his tail, but as soon as I saw his face I knew that he was the one for us. He was a Juliana pig, which is the closest thing you’ll find to a “mini” or “teacup” pig. They don’t stay tiny forever, we were told he would end up being roughly the size of a bulldog but considerably heavier—70lbs is the average. I felt so horrible taking him from his siblings but I just knew that he would be so loved in our home. So I wrapped him in a black, grey, and white striped towel, laid him on the passenger seat of my Escape—seat heater on, of course—and started the four-hour drive home.

kevin in his towl on his way home

No amount of research can prepare you for owning a pig, and it turns out that no pet store can find you a harness that will fit their weird little neckless bodies either. They are constantly ravenous, and will eat anything—but you must be very cognisant of what they eat or it can make them sick. They are incredibly intelligent, but also the most stubborn creature I have come across. Temper tantrums consist of a weird scream that cannot be described with words, along with stamping of hooves and a quickly swishing tail. They’re lazy—good lord, are they lazy—and they are snuggle monsters. In fact, if you denied him snuggles, he’d stick out his bottom lip to pout as he screamed and carried on until either he was exhausted and crawled into his den of blankets, or one of us gave in and snuggled him.

snuggling and reading with kevin bacon

I’d heard too many horror stories of mouldy feed pellets, so I spoke with vets to figure out what a healthy, homemade slop would be made of, and then made it for him fresh every month. We bought him fresh veggies, making him a colourful and nutritious salad each night. Most days he would honk and dance with happiness when his trough—a glass Pyrex loaf dish—showed up in his pen. He would eat anything except jalapeño peppers, but spinach and red peppers were his very favourite, along with Cheerios of course.

kevin snuggling with taylor's beard

He was not one of those pigs that you see in viral videos—he didn’t run in circles, tap dance on the tiles, or play with our dog. No, Kevin’s very favourite thing was napping in a giant pile of blankets. He would venture out from time to time to snuggle us or check to see if we were eating anything, but then he would burrow his way back into the pile that consisted of my pink crocheted blanket and his black Star Wars blanket.

kevin getting belly rubs

Kevin hated baths more than anything, but if you gave him spinach or cheerios he would at least stop splashing the water everywhere. He loved to burrow his head into your armpit, and he would literally fall over sideways for belly rubs.

kevin bacon in the bath

He was a bundle of contradictions, being both wonderful and awful at the same time, but he was the exact puzzle piece that had been missing from our family. Unfortunately, life only gave us eight months with our little pig pig, because on the afternoon of April 11 he passed peacefully in his sleep, most likely of heart failure.

As a parent, regardless of whether they are human or animal, nothing can fill the hole of losing a child. I’ve lost many pets before—hamsters and birds and fish and cats and dogs—but somehow losing Kevin feels so, so much worse. Maybe it was because his intelligence and personality made him feel more like a toddler than a pet, or maybe it was because he was taken from us so suddenly and in a way that we could never have known or prevented.

And now I’m an absolute mess with mascara tear stains on my cheeks and puffy red eyes. My heart aches for my little pig pig, and I'm still not used to the lack of honking and screaming and snuggling. Wherever you are, Kevin, I really hope they have an unlimited supply of Cheerios and spinach for you, and I hope there is always someone for you to snuggle.

kevin standing in his pig area

I love you, my little piggy boy, and I always will. 

"i still haven't finished my novel" and other thoughts i've had today

  • I'll do the dishes tomorrow
  • I should go for a walk at lunch
  • Is this sweater dirty? *smells it* Nope, it's fine.
  • The tub hasn't been bleached in a few weeks...
  • Is that mole changing shape?
  • Just one more episode
  • If I go to bed now, I'll get x hours of sleep!
  • I forgot to do laundry again. I'll run a few loads tomorrow
  • Does this milk smell funny?
  • I wish the zipper on those boots didn't break
  • OH! There's hot chocolate in the lunch room!
    • Are they talking about me?
    • Do I even know them?
    • They're totally talking about me
    • shit am I wearing pants?!!?!?!?!
    • yep, pants are on
    • Why are they talking about me??
    • Oh they got a piece of my mail by accident.
    • I knew they were talking about me
  • Sorry x a million
  • There's no way these pants don't fit. They fit last week! They must have shrunk.
  • Heck YES I'll have [insert name of baked good in the lunch room]!
    • Why are pants required in public?
    • The world would totally be a happier place without pants.
    • MAYBE PANTS ARE THE KEY TO WORLD PEACEI should get out of bed and get ready for work
  • Ugh this for lunch again? I need to change up my selection of frozen lunches
  • Man, I LOVE the Nashville soundtracks
    • Like, wow, Hayden Panettiere can SING. 
    • She's so tiny. How can she POSSIBLY make that much sound?
    • Is being short the secret to singing like a goddess? 
    • That's totally why I can't sing
    • I mean, I can sort of sing
    • *sings along*
    • Nope. 
    • I totally can't sing
  • Socks are prisons for your feet
    • Good LORD Trump is an idiot
    • Jimmy Kimmel should host
    • And make it a fundraiser for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood
    • Trudeau could totally be the head of state stand in
    • Remember Trudeau's butt? He's a mediocre politician at best, but DAYUM that butt
    • There goes my lunch break
trudeaus butt in tina belchers butt bank
  • My hot chocolate is cold
    • I wonder when my library books are due? 
    • Next week
    • I need to read faster
    • Unless I can renew them...
    • Welp I have five books to read between now and Sunday
  • Is "reader of books to determine which to turn into a movie" a job title? I'd like that.
  • Ok, Nashville, tone it down a little
  • Guess it's time for some 90's music
  • JAMIRIQUAI? No thank you
    • Damnit my phone is dying
    • And OF COURSE I don't have a power cord with me
    • maybe in my car? 
    • NOPE
    • DAMN it's cold outside
  • I can't wait to get home and take off my pants
  • BUT WAIT I have a doctor's appointment
  • Thanks, phone, for reminding me before I took my pants off
  • Britney should totally be a thing again.
  • Can she go back to pre-head shaving breakdown Britney? She was the best