Laura Romney loves animals. She grew up around exotic snakes, alligators, rabbits, and dogs.
There’s one animal she goes “hog wild” for.
“He’s my wacky little sidekick. He’s my Gaston”.
Laura got Gaston, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig from a farm in Mississippi when he was only a few weeks old.
Now Gaston’s grown to be a healthy 75 pounds, and lives with Romney in the front room of her Lower Garden District home in New Orleans.
When folks pass by, they can’t help but stop and stare at her big piggie.
“I just wanted to see the pig in the yard,” Sabrina Brooks said.
“It’s crazy. We were just walking by and there’s a pig in the city,” Jeremy Jackson said.
Hamming it up on the streets of the Lower Garden District is a daily thing for Gaston. He’s definitely a traffic stopper.
“I’d like to think it’s me, but most of the time, it’s the pig,” Romney said.
She said Gaston loves the city life. Gaston goes to the vet once a year, and must get his tusks trimmed down. She said he’s not expensive to keep as a pet.
“He’s always been a little city pig.”
Not surprising, but this “pig in the city” is always on a constant search for food. He doesn’t like kale, lemons, limes, or onions. Fruits, veggies, and tortilla chips please Gaston’s belly the most.
Sometimes his snout gets him into mischief.
“He ate my leather jacket. He knew he messed up because he saw his mama crying. Another time, he got into a pack of chewing gum. He was chewing for like 45 minutes,” she said.
Being a New Orleans city pig, of course he’s going to love seafood.
“He tried to protect the crawfish for like 30 minutes and then he decided it’s time to eat him and he chomped him.”
Speaking of pigging out, I had to ask Laura about her eating habits.
“I’m not a vegetarian. I just don’t eat him, I don’t eat this pig or bacon,” she said.
Laura’s a protective mom that wants what’s best for her big piggie.
“I can tell what he wants and when he wants it, based on his oinks.”
From the looks of it…New Orleans is the perfect city for Gaston, because in NOLA, “we live to eat”.
Gaston lives on Felicity and Camp streets near Coliseum Square Park.
Stop by, say hi, and while you’re at it…bring him some tortilla chips!