November 25, 2003

Requiem for All Creatures Great And Small

I apologize in advance for this: I am not Lileks, who I am sure could do this subject more justice than I. I don't usually share much of my domestic circumstances here, but tonight is such a "perfect storm" of pet misfortune that I have to type a few words.

Background: my wife has asthma and is very allergic to cats; somewhat to dogs. But we are both animal lovers and want our kids to learn to be as well. Therefore, we keep a few small pets -- a hamster, fish, and a toad. Our main pet is a hamster, Perky, who just passed away after seeming to recover from a brief bout of wet tail.

I wonder now if it was actually wet tail or just old age, as she was approaching the two-year-old maximum lifespan of hamsters. You don't know sorrow until you have three kids under the age of 10 experiencing this kind of loss for the first time. This comes on the heels of my killing of my second son's two about-to-metamorphose tadpoles last week by using dechlorinated city water instead of the bottled "drinking water" we had been using. Add to that the fact that his wild toad hasn't eaten for the last two weeks, and things look pretty glum in the
Lanius household.

Oh yeah, one of my first son's neon tetra fish (which we just got a couple of days ago) is having major equiulibrium problems (swimming nose-down or upside down) and I am concerned that his days are also numbered.


Posted by JohnL at November 25, 2003 09:58 PM
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