Welcome Home
December 21, 2005, 7:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

One of the worst ways to return home from a long weekend is to walk in and discover your daughter’s guinea pig unresponsive as she is stuffed into the corner of her cage. Chaos awaited us upon our return last night. George, our hugely obese orange tabby cat, is always pissed when I return from a trip. He doesn’t enjoy solitude, he prefers to have constant company to ensure that his food bowl can be filled multiple times throughout the day. Last night, being no different, brought George to the door mewing and thrashing about as he demanded food and fresh water from the tap. Our shithead dog, Mouse, was bouncing around and wrestling with George, who is much bigger than he. So I went immediately to check on the pig because I didn’t hear her whistling and jumping in the cage. Finding her in that unnatural position, I let out a gasp that caused three young heads to instantly swivel my way -all with perfect oh’s upon their faces. Knowing what was about to ensue, I quickly covered the cage and started directing: food for the cat, water for the dog, gate on the stairs, turn up the heat. Once done, I pried her out of the corner to find her completely paralyzed but breathing -albeit labored breathing. Devon started giggling and dancing as he saw me carrying the inert cavvy, he loves Whinny the Guinea. He went over to the cage, grabbed some hay to feed her and started making his pseudo whistling sounds at her as he waddled over and snuggled his head against her fur. Cassidy began crying buckets. Loren had stayed with my parents over the weekend and had been feeding Whinny. He started crying as it dawned upon him that his actions might have lead to her demise. I assured him that he in no way had done anything to result in the ever siffening pig. We wrapped Whinny in a towel and started telling our favorite pig stories. About that time Matt came home from work and we filled him in on events. Matt is tall, 6’6″. He scooped Cass up into a huge hug and wrapped his other arm around Loren while I went to put Devon down for the night. When I came down Matt was explaining the process of letting go and remembering the good.

Later I tucked Loren into bed, he appeared to be at peace with the evening and saying goodbye to Whinny. Cass was drained and shivering from so much emotion, and she ended up snuggling into bed between us for the night. I rubbed one arm as Matt rubbed the other. He talked to her again about the honor of sharing life with an animal and the inevitability of letting go of a shorter life. We both watched as her eyes became heavier and heavier and she let go of the day altogether.

This morning Loren got up and went snowboarding with his best friends. Cass and I discussed Whinny’s burial plans, a difficult task since the ground is frozen. She is more upbeat as she anticipates the excitement of the next few days. From time to time I see a shadow pass over her, but the resilience of childhood coupled with the Christmas season seems to be bouying her. Devon keeps going to the cage and looking for the pig. I am going to remove it and try to explain that she has gone bye-bye.


4 Comments so far
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Comment by jen-o-rama

You know, with this post, what you did really effectively was show about Matt his really good, tender, and strong side. And you guys all connecting as a family. That was nice.

Comment by jen-o-rama

Glad you are back! We are trying life without pets for a little while because they are so devastating…..and so much work for the mother of the house. Just call me lazy and mean! Mom, can we please be your best friend have a……Sugar glider? No. Guinea pig? No. Fish? No. Cat? No. Dog? Maybe. We thought about getting one for Christmas morning but I couldn’t commit.

Comment by the girl i used to be

Kim, what happened to your dog? Your old dog?

Comment by jen-o-rama

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