Death in the Family

Apologies for the static and the feedback from the unused microphone that has been my blog as of late. Drama has ensued in the house of White Girl. Last breaths were gasped. Tears and sorrow flowed. A grave was dug. A sweet memorial service was held. Words of compassion were expressed. A cross was erected. Flowers were placed.

I should have reacted more quickly to the first signs of trouble.  “His eyes look like they are sticky, Mama,” Lola announced.  Then she followed it up with, “I think he has diarrhoea.”  Ugh.  I don’t have time for this, I thought. This selfishness may very well have sealed his fate. Lola’s sweet hamster pet, Ruffles, was suffering from a common disease to his kind called wet tail. Unfortunately, for Ruffles, he was living in the house that is governed by an ignorant overlord wielding a scepter of procrastination. If I had done something at the manifestation of the first symptom, Ruffles may very well have survived his troubles.  We had tracked down a vet in the area, but his prices for just the consultation could have bought us 3 new Ruffleses. The internet is rife with tips and tricks on how to deal with disease without a vet’s intervention. However, I left it for too long and by the time I tried to Google-hack the crap out of the treatment, Ruffles was too far gone to save.

Lola and I sat on the edge of her bed as I held Ruffles in his final moments. When Dr. White Girl called time of death, Lola’s eyes grew wide in realization that her pet had left this fine earth. Her face crumpled and she threw herself into my arms. Heartbreaking sobs racked through her tiny body. How painful to watch someone you love go through pain that you can not ease. I can put polysporin on a cut; afterbite on the fire-pain of an ant bite; ice on a burn. There is nothing but arms of compassion for emotional pain so deep.

The memorial service was sweet and timely for those in attendance. Grandpa and Grandma had flown in the night before, and another friend was visiting on a layover. We gathered around Lola as she cradled the small jewelry box with Ruffles’ remains. We each recounted a favourite memory of Ruffles and our visiting friend offered a verse of comfort. Lola put Ruffles to rest in the ground and Charlie heroically filled up the hole. A moment of silence and then…

We went to see the Lego movie!  To which I laughed my head off, and Lola’s sadness eased.

Laughter is the best medicine.

We will miss you, Ruffles. You were a good pet that brought a lot of happiness to my little girl. Thank you for that. Rest in peace, fine fellow.