The end came without much warning. Is that not always the way?
This past week, Sausage, my daughter’s pet hamster of two years, died in his sleep. A mere two days later, her friend across the street, lost his pet guinea pig, Reggie, who died in the bath tub. Both deaths were a complete shock. Everyone is thinking it, but they’re all afraid to say it out loud: it was a suicide pact.
These poor tortured pocket pet souls had so little time together. Still, I knew they were kindred spirits the first time Sausage laid eyes on Reggie through the green haze of his hamster ball. You know, in these days of mammalian social media (that hamster wheel was squeaking out some kind of a code, I just know it), I wonder if something more sinister was not to blame for the tragic passing of these furry family friends.
They were such good boys, and to face such senseless deaths; it breaks my heart. Why did this have to happen?
Oh, who am I trying to kid? From the get-go, Sausage’s life was one traumatic event after another. First, upon being adopted, Sausage is brought home to a family with 2 large menacing dogs. Then, the solitary closet confinement when guests complained about his noise. Looking back there were signs: the numerous attempts at running away from home, the hunger strikes after we ran out of pumpkin seeds, his endless days of sleep. We should have realized we needed professional help for his PTSD following The Great Cottage Cage Mishap of 2011 in which he lost an appendage. If we’d only done something then, all this might have been avoided.
On the other hand, why Reggie should suffer a similar fate is such a mystery. He had a life of privilege and entitlement. His was a swanky, open-concept loft cage overlooking the kitchen in the heart of SoPo (South of Potter). His family took him outside for fresh air, exercise and exposed him to cultural events (er – band night). It just doesn’t make any sense.
None of this makes sense.
With aching hearts we gathered on Friday after school to pay our respects. The memorial service was held at 7pm by the trampoline. People came to pay their respects from as far away as the family room. The altar was tastefully adorned with freshly-picked red impatiens. My daughter spoke a few words about Sausage, and her friend offered a touching eulogy for Reggie, who was – yes, we know – bigger and stronger than Sausage. I sniffed into the tissues thoughtfully left under the patio chairs for funeral patrons, while Funeral for a Friend played mournfully on the iPod.
And then it was over.
The memorial service…
Pop and chips were served at the reception.
Hindsight is 20/20 they say, so I will always ask myself, “Was there any more I could have done?” Maybe if I hadn’t said “no” to the hamster-powered sports car, Sausage would still be with us today.
All that’s left of their lives now are little gravestone markers and our memories.
…and the 50%-Off coupon from PetSmart.
We bid farewell to Sausage, our pet.
Whose death has made us quite upset.
His 3-toed distinctive feature,
Made him an amazing little creature.
And the friendliest, furriest and funniest pet yet.