Watch a brand-new episode of The Cute Show! featuring these squeezable balls of fur later this month on VICE.com. Photo by Malou Tan.
Guinea pigs are those chubby-faced mega-hamsters that squeak when you squeeze them. They were domesticated when 16th-century explorers brought them from the Americas to Europe, where they quickly become a popular pet for the upper classes. Meanwhile, people living near the Andes mountains continued to enjoy cooking and eating guinea pigs as they had for centuries. But enough about that nonsense. If you happen to find yourself in the Netherlands, there’s a small guinea-pig village where you can adopt one of these creatures yourself—to eat (please don’t), squeeze, or whatever else you wish. All day long they roll around on a plush lawn dotted with tiny windmills and miniature gnomes holding saxophones. There’s even a separate, less busy area where older guinea pigs spend their retirement amid a floor of golden hay sprinkled with ripe veggies and poop. It probably smells like shit in there, but if given the chance we’d hold our breath just long enough to put one guinea pig in each hand and tenderly stroke them across our faces till we sneezed.