Pet guinea pigs offered places at Lucy Cavendish

Give me welfare puppies – but make it edgy

Andrew Jameson

You by Week 5 TAVU/ composite: LEILA SACKUR

It’s important to be edgy when choosing your pets. This week, Lucy Cavendish took that ideology to its logical extreme when they bypassed welfare puppies and looked instead to the rodent variation. Their reasons for doing so are numerous; the guinea pig’s Latin name is Cavia porcellus, (or ‘cavy’ to their mates) which, like Lucy CAVendish, has ‘Cav’ in it – the college needs a new and innovative way to build its national brand.

Secondly, according to Senior Tutor Jane Greatorex, “we are dedicated to promoting mental wellbeing amongst our students, and numerous studies over the years have shown the benefits of owning pets including stress-relief and getting outside to enjoy our beautiful gardens. We hope that our new cavy friends settle in quickly and help relieve any stress over the approaching period of exams.”

We hope that our new cavy friends settle in quickly and help relieve any stress over the approaching period of exams

Other welfare provisions taken by the college include ice-cream and massages. The only way they can up this now is if they put all of them together – I don’t know quite how that would work but we can dream.

I just want to be held LUCY CAVENDISH

Lucy Cavendish believes it is the first Oxbridge college to adopt guinea pigs, making this a pretty momentous occasion – something that will be spoken about in nostalgic tones for years, perhaps, decades, to come. Although this isn’t an entirely new venture for the college which previously owned guinea pigs in 1972. However, those ones were used to help with the gardening – an employment decision that caused controversy among many Cambridge animal rights activist groups.


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The names of the four guinea pigs were chosen by the students and they are Emmeline Squeakhurst, Virguinea Woolf, Ruth Bader Guineasburg and Oreo. At Violet, we can’t help but feel Oreo may be slightly miffed about this arrangement. Then again, given that they are guinea pigs who probably haven’t quite mastered the English language yet, I doubt Oreo knows or cares. When we approached him for comment, he sort of awkwardly scrambled away.

Student Union Officer Laura McClintock said that “in the short time I’ve been here I’ve missed having pets. I think it’ll be good for us to care for them, and a welcome distraction from deadlines!”

Violet wishes the guinea pigs all the best at their new Cambridge home.