One Last Goodbye.
Shadow was the last surviving mouse of our mouse ranching experience (which you can read about here and here). She had survived several cat encounters which had taken out other members of the herd and the mass thinning out we did in the Summer in order to stop impacting greenhouse gases.
If you’ve ever cleaned out a mouse cage, then you know what I’m talking about.
Shadow was an amazing mouse architect, tearing into cardboard tubes with a creativity that seemed well beyond her rodent brethren. There were times I was tempted to save one of her creations just because she’d done so much work on it. But she was a mouse that preferred working with a blank slate, pushing aside her creations when they were done.
Sadly, a mouse life span is pretty brief, comparatively speaking. Shadow developed a tumor this fall and I knew that some days she was miserable.
Mireya watched her huddled in the cage and we talked about what she was going through. And she made the very grown up decision to let Shadow scurry across the rainbow bridge with Cricket, our lizard, and Pepper, an earlier mouse.
So I made an appointment with the vet.
“The vet? Are you kidding me?” my husband said when I told him. “Surely we can do this ourselves. It’s just a mouse, for crissake.”
We went over to the cage. We looked in at Shadow, who was carefully rearranging her shredded paper towel and torn cardboard tube. We looked at each other.
“So when’s the appointment?” he asked me.
“Good,” he said and took off for sites unknown.
It amazes me how these things are a mom’s job.
The funeral was a quiet affair, and Shadow was laid to rest wrapped in her favorite medium, a paper towel. Mireya said a few words about how fast Shadow was in her rolling ball and how she really liked grapes.
Our rodent life is down to a single hamster, although there are intense negotiations for a ferret. A FERRET.
I don’t know what you’re hoping for in 2010, but I’m guessing it’s not a ferret. Trust me, it's not on my list...