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
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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