Today my heart hurts and I have found myself incapable of humor.
Yes, the mouse died, but why does it hurt this much? It was just a mouse. We rarely even held her because she always peed on us and it was stinky and we’d have to change our clothes.
Sarah Jane has been slowly declining, and today she took a swift turn for the worst. I called the vet and made an appointment to have her put to sleep. I couldn’t stand watching her misery for another day without doing something about it. By this afternoon, her legs weren’t responding, and she kept trying to move, but couldn’t. About an hour before the appointment, I could tell that it was time.
I picked her up and held her tiny little mouse self in my hand and she peed on me. And then she went into convulsions and died. It looked very painful. Before all the convulsing started, I’d called to Boy10 to come say goodbye to her, and he called to Boy7. I wish he hadn’t. Boy7 had specifically said he didn’t want to go to the vet to see her die, and just as Boy7 arrived, the convulsing started. It was terribly disturbing to watch. Boy7 was very upset. Frankly, so was I.
I don’t believe the weight of sadness that I’m feeling is from the one mouse. I believe it’s the cumulative effect of watching 8 pets die in agony. Why can’t they go gentle into that good night? Why do they always have to go into diabetic shock, or have kidney failure, or heart attacks? Their bodies get wasted, their fur gets thin and dirty, they spasm and they die with no dignity.
I loved each and every one of them, and watched each and every one of them die in misery.
I used to love having pets. I grew up in a house with eight indoor cats and three hyper dogs and two cannibalistic gerbils and I loved them all. And I loved being a person who loved pets. It was a large part of my identity.
And now…no more pets. I will not go through this a ninth time.
Picture of the day. The boys wanted a picture to remember Sarah Jane by.