While the vegetable stew simmers on the hotplate, Ines enjoys the antics of her guinea pigs, sisters Ginny and Molly. And as they hover round their feeding trough and watch her expectantly, she offers them a little red beet. It’s supper time in the Mertens household.
For Ines, the kitchen was the perfect place for the guinea pig sisters. Draught-free, light, not too hot, not too cold, and surrounded by people. “You notice straight away when they’re hungry,” Ines explains, “and you can leep a close eye on their health, their behaviour and the state of their pen.”
A pair of guinea pigs in the kitchen: why not? “We clean their cage once a week. Twice a week during the summer, sometimes even more often. Fortunately, it doesn’t take very long. Guinea pigs are clean animals. They don’t cause any bad smells, they don’t make a mess, and they’re genuinely full of curiosity. Isn’t that right, Ginny?”
“They also know very well that they’ll get some fresh vegetables while I’m cooking, maybe some iceberg lettuce, cucumber, pak shoi, peppers, parsley and chicory”, smiles Ines. “But before, I occasionally forgot to top up their water bottle on time. Since I’ve been using this glass drinking bottle that doesn’t happen any more. That funny little carrot in the bottle means that I can see at a glance whether they still have enough water. And it’s much easier to look after glass than plastic. It can even go straight in the dishwasher.”