Friday, September 5, 2008

All Creatures Great And Small


We have quite a menagerie of pets around here. Or rather I should say, The Weasel's have pets of their own. There are caged rodents, 3 cats and 3 toads at the moment. We did manage to get the transient dog back to his owner after about a month and a half. This wasn't planned, it just sort of happened. Most likely due to the fact that Mr. Weasel and I are stupid suckers.

Last year around this time, we thought it prudent to give Middle Weasel a hamster for her birthday if she managed to show responsibility by keeping her fire hazard bedroom clean. She's a bit high of a high strung drama queen, who has an unreasonable aversion to neatness. She could use the responsibility of caring for another life to keep her focused and grounded. Glorified rat #1 enters the house.

A few months later came Monkey Weasel's birthday. Of course she asks to get a hamster too. We weigh this. She's old enough, responsible enough and needs a good reason to clean her slightly less than a war torn area bedroom. We welcome yet another varmint into our home willingly.

All is good. This is working. Bedrooms are kept to a functional standard, vermin are well cared for by the Weasels(a close cousin of the hamsters). WeaselMomma only has to help out when total cage overhaul is needed.

Fast forward a few months. It's around 8 pm. We are trying to get Younger Weasels tucked in for the night. Brush teeth, change into pajamas, kiss goodnight, and try to pre-empt nightly stalling tactics, especially from drama queen Middle Weasel. Just as all is going according to plan, said Weasel comes running to me panic mode(nothing new here). "Midnight is dead!!!!! He isn't moving!". "Calm down, he's probably just sleeping(thinking, what-ever, just go to bed). Mr Weasel, would you go check on Midnight?".

"Yup, he's dead." Comes the official Daddy confirmation. At this point I have to go check for myself as hysterics have all Weasels out of bed and sobbing like they had just filled up the tank on an SUV. "No wait, I just saw him move, look!" I say, and sure enough he was alive.......albeit barely. We wrapped him for warmth in a wash cloth and tried to give him water from a dropper(come on what else could we do for him. I am not taking a $7 hamster to the $80 vet.) and watched him die in my hands. His official burial was held that Friday, coincidentally trash day in these parts.

About a week later, after completely disinfecting all of his hamster belongings we brought another rodent home from the pet store. This poor thing didn't even live through the 2 week warranty period. I guess this is why they reproduce in such large numbers.

Hamster #2 seems to be thriving just fine, so what's the deal? Maybe the 3rd times the charm.
I take Middle Weasel complete with warranty papers and cardboard coffin back to the pet store. We find an agreeable rodent(did I just say that?) and off we go home. It's bitter cold outside and I am protecting this thing with all I can. I wrap him(in his box) into my coat and drive home this way. Mr Weasel has the cage decontaminated and ready at home.

We enter the house and set box with rodent#4 on the counter. We decide to give him 5 minutes of non motion before we transplant him to his new home. The Weasels are chomping at the bit to look at him. It takes all of our threatening energy to keep them from disturbing precious box. Weasels are complaining "we can't hear him, he's not moving!". "he's probably just sleeping(where have we heard that before?). I am a little anxious, but am sure I'm just paranoid at this point. I force myself to wait until we are ready to do the transfer.

Finally, it's now time. I open the box with 12 eyes watching, and I swallow my tongue as the critter in in the corner not moving. Shit! is the only thought that goes through my head. Externally I remain composed. I make eye contact with Mr. Weasel who telepathically tells me that he shares my same sentiment. I reach my hand into the box to pick up the corpse when he lifts his head and starts to scurry. He was just sleeping!

Till this day, he and rodent #2 are thriving just fine. I have to shake my head at how hard we work to keep rodents healthy in our home when everyone else I know would be calling pest control.


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8 comments:

Trish said...

That was hilarious!! Took me right back to when my boys were still home, and we had a gerbil, appropriately named "little rat". He lived to a ripe old age, taunting the resident cat through his glass cage...ah, memories...lol!!
Nice laugh as I watch the rains start....

Mike said...

I'd offer up my rat traps but it seems that you have the killing 'em off part down pretty good...

Bad Momma said...

This is why we have no pets. 3 boys are hard enough to take care of!!!

I don't know how you do it with 5 little Weasels!!!

BTW - The photo shows three little vermin... Did you get another? Will you ever learn???

Weaselmomma said...

Stock photo.

Tara R. said...

My youngun's had hermit crabs for a while, and I did most of the upkeep, feeding, cage cleaning, and playing with them, I think I was the only one upset when each of them died.

Missy said...

I will just have to keep your weasels and rodents in my thoughts and prayers...you might just need it to keep the latter alive and kickin' ;) Good luck!

terri said...

You are a brave woman. I've put a ban on any further pets. We recently lost our 14 year old dog which was a traumatic event for the kids. We still have 2 cats, so I'm in no hurry to find a new dog.

No one here EVER wanted to take care of doggy duty in the back yard, and they run screaming from furballs, so the no-new-pets rule stands.

The Father of Five said...

Wow... Sounds all too familiar...

We recently agreed to having 1 hamster, who then turned into two hamsters (my daughter's friend found out the hard way that they DID NOT have two girl hamsters, and were stuck with several extras - my daughter's core group of friends at school are now all proud owners of hamsters... I call them the "hamster girls" - sort of like the "Golden Girls" only not so golden, and much younger!)

Not to be undone by #4 of 5 (his sister), #3 of 5 begged and pleaded for a guinea pig.

So, now we have two hamsters (who's tails have been bitten of by the hungry team of brother and sister cat) and guinea pig....

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