- Carpe Cavies
You started your life without me. When you were about four months old I found you in a pet shop with your sister. I knew you were already pregnant; but I took you both home anyway. You were frightened of your new home and me at first. I got the extra large hutch for you both to use as a hidey house and your sister threw you out. I had to get a cardboard box for you that night. Then you learned to eat fresh veggies. Your favorite was kale.
I put a small shelf in the cage because your sister wouldn’t let you into the hidey house during the day. Once you tried to climb up and lost your balance. You swung like a pendulum and fell flat on your back. I was so scared for you even though it was only a six-inch fall. You had trouble getting upright because you were so pregnant and I was afraid to help.
Your sister surprised me by delivering 3 live pups. I never thought she was pregnant as well. Two days later you also had three live pups. Sadly, one of your sister’s pups died the next day. You were a great mom. Your sister was scared by all the babies but not you. You just sat still and let them all nurse. Your sister learned to be a mom by watching you.
Sometimes when she was stressed you made sure the babies were with you so she could rest. Most of that time you were very sleepy from caring for five babies. I made sure both of you had lots of food to provide milk for the “little herd”. I took you all to the vet to be sexed and treated for mites.
You were all together until the babies were three weeks old. Then I separated the two boys from your group. The boys cried a lot a first but soon came to enjoy their bachelor pad. At two months old I adopted the boys to a loving home and also sent two girls to another family. They knew they had loving homes waiting but they were very sad. You and your sister looked for them for a couple of days. I was able to keep one baby girl and you and your sister taught her proper piggy manners.
I was concerned because sometimes you would have a very wet chin but the vet said you were fine. Sometimes I thought you slept too much.
I tried to get you toys but you were not interested. You much preferred inspecting the cage if I was cleaning or hopping into the dirty bedding bowl as I was cleaning. That was your favorite trick. I was teaching you simple commands but you only responded for fresh peas. Bribery was the way to your cooperation.
When I built your new cage you were the first to inspect and approve the new home. You showed the others how to have fun doing laps. You would wait for my signal and run if I asked.
On your first birthday we gave you both many of your favorite veggies. You were very pleased. I let you out to play and you managed to find the only glue mousetrap in the house. You came running to me and let me clean your feet off. You did not event bite or nip. I was very careful after that to make sure your play area was safe.
Five months after your first birthday you were rushed to the vet. Suddenly you had a head tilt and would not eat. The vet diagnosed you with severe Otitis Media and said thing didn’t look good. For two months you had medication twice a day. Slowly you recovered and got your appetite back. After two months the vet said you were better. You did not run and play as much but still ate and came to greet me each day. A month went by this way and then you fell over and could not get up. I rushed you to a different vet. They said you had been given the wrong medicine last time and the infection had flared up. For two weeks you were OK and then you stopped eating and drinking all together.
I force-fed you as much as I could. I could not bring you to work because one of the employees was not stable and would have harmed you. Then the vet told me I had to do SQ’s. I am frightened of needles but I learned how for you. You went back to the vet again and he did more tests. He said you would be exhausted that day but would be better the next. I took you home and you did not look right. I could not get you to eat even a little. I decided to sit with you on my chest all night. You hardly moved.
The next morning you were not able to hold your own head up and only whimpered a little. I knew you were dying. I would not leave you in misery. I let your sister see you and she came to sniff. You could not even greet her. She knew you were in pain. You were so weak you lay in my lap for the car ride and did not move. I called the local vet and he let me hold you until it was time. I told you how much I loved you. I told you how important you were to me. I blame myself for your death. If I had made the vet look further maybe you would be alive right now in my lap. When you were dead I brought you home and let your sister see you again. She knew you were gone and nudged you gently then left you with me. The baby was frightened and would not look at you.
I buried you in my front yard with your hay, bedding and a cherry tomato. I never even took a photo of you - I thought we hads years left.
I am sorry I let you down Patch - you meant so much to me.
- Thanks for the Memories