Life After Oinky: Death Of Adopted Maltese Piglet Leaves Owners Feeling Devastated
'It is so quiet and empty without him'
Losing a beloved pet is always going to be hard, but one Maltese woman's dedication to her recently-deceased pet piglet Oinky shows just how strong a bond can form between woman and pig.
Leila Scott opened up about living with Oinky, and moving on without him, in a powerful Facebook post. Her emotional story illustrates the incredible relationship that the human and the pig formed in just months, with them even developing a form of communication unique to them.
Oinky was adopted after around 35 "abandoned" pigs were found in Ċirkewwa around two months ago, one of which was pregnant and soon gave birth to the tiny piglet.
Here's Leila Scott's Facebook post in full:
On Sunday Dec 2nd, Oinky passed away. It came as a shock as he was a happy, healthy piglet who had been growing stronger over the weeks. I cared for him the best I could, but in the end, it wasn't enough.
Oinky's mother, while pregnant with him, was destined to the abattoir along with 13 other pigs. Thankfully myself and a group of other activists fought hard to save their lives. It wasn't an easy task but we succeeded.
My boyfriend and I were supposed to foster Oinky only for a short while, but we both fell in love with him and were planning on moving to a place that was better suited for him so he could have a wonderful life. He was too special to ever give away to anyone else.
The reason I am making this post is to share my first ever experience being so close to a piglet.
First and foremost, it was a true honour to get to know him, and I will always treasure the memories of the month we shared together.
Oinky was lovable and affectionate. He loved kisses, cuddles and being snuggled up on my lap or chest under his soft, cosy blanket.
Oinky spoke to me every day in his own language, and I knew exactly what he was saying. Sometimes he would say 'Leave me alone, I'm trying to sleep!' or 'Mummy, I'm hungry, make me breakfast!' or sometimes when I returned home, 'Mummy, where have you been? You've been gone for hours!''
When I knelt down on the other side of the room and called his name, he would come running, tail wagging, and smother me with kisses all over my face with his pink, wet snout.
Whenever he needed the toilet, he would climb out of bed, go to his litter tray, do what he had to do, and then go back to bed. He was such a good boy.
He was ever so curious. When the rabbits came running in, he would approach them and want to befriend them. When they ran away, he would chase after them as if to say 'Hey! Wait! Where are you going? I thought we could be friends!'
When Oinky was sleeping, he would dream. He would make noises while he slept and twitch, like something was going on. Maybe he was dreaming about food, other piggies, who knows...
He was incredibly communicative. When he was happy he smiled and grunted with pleasure, and when he was tired, he yawned with heavy eyes, then lay his head down to sleep. Sometimes he had spurts of energy and ran at lightening speed all around the room, before running into his bed and settling down for a nap.
I would make him oats with pieces of banana and dates with soya milk, or rice with tomatoes, or lentils and peas. He loved it! He would eat it with pleasure, tail wagging, grunting with joy, and then give me kisses afterwards as if he were thanking me.
What more can I say? I am still devastated that he has gone and it will take time to get used to him not being here with me every day. I cry tears of happiness that we spent such a precious month together, and tears of sadness that he died so young.
I will never forget him, and I hope that in his memory, people will come to understand that pigs are loving, sociable, intelligent and gentle-natured individuals who deserve nothing less than kindness and respect shown towards them.
Oinky has given me more of a reason to fight for the most abused beings on this planet, animals. Billions of piglets, just like him, are enduring immense suffering as we speak. All cruel, all needless, all unnecessary. Please think about it. Don't be the reason for their suffering.
R.I.P Oinky. You were such a special little piglet and I will never, ever forget you
Leila said the vet was not able to determine what led to Oinky's death
"I had taken him to the vet on Friday as he was having some difficulty breathing, like he was choking, and was foaming around the mouth," she said.
"The vet gave me liquid paraffin to give him which I did, and it seemed to work. He was eating and back to his usual self. Saturday was also fine, he seemed in good health. Then on Sunday he started vomiting a little in the morning, but was still running around. I went to the fundraising event from 3-8pm, and when I came back, he was lying dead on his blanket. I'm hoping he died in his sleep. We buried him the same evening. Now it is so quiet and empty without him. I miss him so much."
Friends who had played with Oinky expressed their condolences - and put out a ray of hope
One woman who had adopted two of the Ċirkewwa pigs asked Leila if she was interested in adopting one of the nine piglets they've since birthed, with Leila replying in she might very well do so soon enough.