Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pet News

There’s been quite a bit of turnover with our pets this month.

On the down side, we still haven’t located Tria and after two and a half weeks hopes begin to dim. The girls have been coping with this as best they can and doing a good job of it, but it is a sad thing and it is appropriate to be sad about it, so we let them. It isn’t any better for the grown-ups, and that seems to help in a “we’re in this together” kind of way. If things don't change by next month we will probably have some kind of memorial and look into getting another cat, if only to keep Mithra from losing what few marbles she retains.

And today we confirmed that The Oldest Living Hamster In Captivity has vacated her title. This, at least, was not unexpected. Hamsters have a lifespan of about 18 months, on average, and we’d gotten this one full-grown 26 months ago. For all we know she was older than we are - a Victorian lady hamster adrift in the modern world. We’re still not sure whether it was Hammy or Vee, but it seems kind of moot now.

She had a good life.

Every dinner time she’d come rocketing toward the edge of her cage, looking for a handout, and every dinner time we’d give her one. Seriously, why not – at some point you have to stop trying to watch their health for the future and just let them ride. If I make it to the magical age of 90 I will spend my last years living on Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and black tea so sweet it would cause cavities in statues. So we let the hamster eat grilled cheese and veggies and rice and chicken and whatever else we were having for dinner. And she would eat whatever we gave her, too – she’d grab it eventually (we’re pretty sure she was blind at the end) and sit there chewing and doddering. She actually doddered.

We had a simple burial service out in the rain this morning. Godspeed, little one, and may you find nibblies wherever you are.

On the plus side, though, we now have two rabbits.

There is a little black one named Milo after the main character of The Phantom Tollbooth, which the girls and I are reading together now. He’s a tiny little thing with short stubby ears and soulful brown eyes, and his great joy in life is melting into a puddle in the arms of a child. Can’t fault him for that, I suppose. The other is a larger brown one named Hazel, who is about twice the size of Milo and has a ruff around her neck but otherwise looks much the same.

They like to come inside and hop about the living room, much to Mithra’s dismay, although so far she hasn’t tried to eat either one of them.

Milo and Hazel are part of Lauren’s 4H project this year, although neither of them is likely to be a show rabbit. Hazel is too old and fat to show (which, frankly, makes me sympathize with her a bit more than I otherwise would), and Milo is not a purebred bunny with papers.

In other news, there are purebred bunnies with papers.

So they live in a big wooden hutch out by the garage, and so far they seem to be doing just fine. We’ll see how that goes come wintertime.

Lots going on around here.

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