September 29, 2005

The Circle of Life

It is with great sadness that I have to post that our Fair Fiona is dying. She will probably pass tonight. I can only speculate what has caused it, but I’m going to say that I think her female parts just aren’t working right. She is hemorrhaging off and on.

The boys brought it to my attention this afternoon when I picked them up from school. I called three vets. Yes, I was on the phone calling frickin’ vets over a hamster. But nobody could see me today, so I placed her in a box with some paper towels, she huddled in the corner, and I let the boys stay with her in her final hours. Kind of a death vigil for a hamster.

Good grief that sounds ridiculous as I say it in my head to type it. Lord only knows what it sounds like to read it on a blog.

Anyway, Son#2, my tenderhearted son was a mess. I think he cried for 2 hours straight curled up in my lap. Bones started to cry near the end, but I think it was a case of ‘crying is contagious’ because when I mentioned a few minutes later that if he wanted, we could hairspray his hair red, something he has been begging to do since the boys convinced me to buy colored hairspray, he quickly quit crying and said, “Really?! Today?! You’ll make my hair red! COOL!” and off he bounced to find the spray.

Not so much grieving there. His biggest concern is that I’ll make them wait a long time to ‘get a new pet’.

Son#2, however, built this shrine to her, that big fuzzy thing that looks like a sheep is Fiona:

Fiona Death Vigil.JPG

(Click to Enlarge)

In between sobs he said to me, “Mom *sob*, I know when we get another hamster *sob* what we should name her *hiccup sob*.”

Me: What buddy? What should we name her?

Son#2: *sob sob sob sob* FIONA 2!!! *hysterical sobbing*

So much for origination.

Son#1 is taking it really hard. He’s 10. He fully understands that you cannot replace a life with a life. Fiona had almost become more of his pet. He helped me clean the cage, he fed her, and carried her around everywhere. He took her out on the back porch, had her sit on his shoulder, and every morning right before school, he snuggled with her in his hands. It was a morning ritual.

He has watched this whole ordeal stoically, not crying at all, until tonight. His bedtime is later than the other boys, so as I was putting her back in her cage, finding a good soft corner that she could lie down in die in, he saw her blindly hobbling around… obviously she is near death, and the sight of her struggling to walk and breathe was more than he could take. I laid in his bed with him, wrapping my arms around him while he put his head to my chest and worked through his grief of watching the end hours of his beloved pet’s life.

Her ‘casket’ has been picked out. The leftover shoebox from back to school shoes will do the job. I’ll be looking to make a tiny wooden cross for her. Funeral arrangements are being discussed amongst the boys.

Our hamster is going out with class. Now I just have to find a good place to create her grave and make sure I dig deep enough so that she doesn’t get eaten by some animal. That would just take the cake to see her gravesite desecrated by some animal grave digger. There’s been enough damage in this house today. I DON’T need that. For sure.

Posted by Boudicca at September 29, 2005 10:23 PM | TrackBack

Sorry to hear about the little lady. She deserved more time with the people who loved her. I hope the next hamster is more healthy.

Hugs to your little guys.

Posted by: caltechgirl at September 29, 2005 10:34 PM

I am so sorry, for you and the boys and Fiona.

Posted by: Suzi at September 29, 2005 11:19 PM

I am really sorry to hear Fiona is so sick. It's just awful when a pet dies - and especially when you try and the vets just don't have time... *sigh*

{{{HUGS}}} to all of you.

Posted by: Teresa at September 29, 2005 11:41 PM

Well, shit...

Let them know they've got a really big kid up here that's feeling their pain...

Posted by: That 1 Guy at September 30, 2005 12:48 AM

I am so sorry to hear this happened. I am also happy to hear you have enough sense to bury it deep. Please give your sons a hug from me.

Posted by: vw bug at September 30, 2005 07:37 AM

Oh no!! I am so very sorry....

Posted by: Richmond at September 30, 2005 08:11 AM

There are only a few things worse then loosing a pet. Poor guys.

Posted by: Contagion at September 30, 2005 08:48 AM

That is so sad.

Losing a pet, especially when your young, is very hard.

I'm crying over here and I've never met her.


Posted by: Machelle at September 30, 2005 01:27 PM

Poor little dudes. *Big Hug* (maybe I should make them a card) ;-)

Caitin is like son #2 in this respect. When our dog Shiloh passed away from cancer, there was a similar conversation about the next pet...and many many tears.

Posted by: Sissy at September 30, 2005 02:28 PM

I am really sorry. Losing a pet is so hard. Big hugs to everyone.

Posted by: pfb at September 30, 2005 02:30 PM

Sorry to hear about Fiona. Such short little lives.

Posted by: Napster at September 30, 2005 05:13 PM

with all sincere saddness......poor sweetie, I am glad the funeral arrangements are going well. You sound like a good shoulder for the boys.....

Posted by: ArmyWifeToddlerMom at September 30, 2005 09:49 PM

*knocking at door to leave violets for Fiona, and a pan of brownies for the boys.*

Posted by: ArmyWifeToddlerMom at September 30, 2005 10:23 PM

Oh man. I know it is tough on the boys and I am sorry for the. Please tell then that for me. But I am sure that with Fiona # 2 they will soon only have happy memories of Fiona # one.

Posted by: GUYK at September 30, 2005 10:59 PM

I am so sorry to hear about Fiona. It's tough when you have to watch your children grieve. One of the tough jobs of being a mom.

Posted by: Sticks at October 1, 2005 06:03 AM

I'm so sorry; please let the boys know that my heart goes out to them at this sad time. {{{Hugs}}}

Posted by: pam at October 1, 2005 10:46 AM

Awwww :(
You probably remember I watched Zelda slip away last year and that was heartbreaking too, and I'm in my 30's and wasn't anywhere near as close to the animals as those kiddos.
That's the tough thing with hammies - they're cute & fuzzy and easy to get attached to - but have short life spans :(

Posted by: S at October 1, 2005 11:19 AM

So sorry to hear about Fiona. Your boys are precious -- hugs to them!

Posted by: Marie at October 1, 2005 04:04 PM

Aww ... poor boys, I really sympathize. One of life's sadder lessons is that our furry friends die much too soon.

Posted by: Barb at October 1, 2005 05:41 PM

Bou: Good grief [a death vigil for a hamster] sounds ridiculous as I say it in my head to type it.

Not to another mother it don't.

Posted by: Doyle at October 1, 2005 07:25 PM

Awww, that made me sad. Reminds me of when my cat George passed away about 10 years ago - I could tell for a day or two that he was fading fast, and I'd already done the vet thing and my credit cards were maxed out, so I could do nothing but watch him and try to make him comfortable.

Poor Fiona... and your poor little guys. :(

Posted by: songstress7 at October 2, 2005 10:33 PM