Memento Mori

We are an animal-loving family. Currently, we have two rabbits, a hedgehog, and a gerbil. Last week, it was two gerbils.

This is the part of pet ownership that I hate.

My youngest daughter got Remy and Pearl from my Mom for Christmas 2007. Remy was the calmer, light gray one. Pearl was more aggressive and black.

They were fun to watch scampering around their cage, climbing on each other and devouring toilet paper tubes or anything else thrown to them. They loved to eat seeds fed to them by hand.

Last fall, I noticed Remy tilting sideways. This continued, and I did some looking on the internet and determined she either had an inner ear balance problem or had had a stroke. We had been through the inner ear thing with a rabbit earlier, and thankfully my husband is a pretty good amateur vet. He got out some animal antibiotics and fed them to Remy with an eye dropper. This didn’t seem to improve her tilt, so I assumed she had had a stroke.


About the same time, she also developed a wheezing and spent most of her time sleeping. She seemed near death, and more internet searching revealed that indeed, respiratory infections could quickly fell gerbils. The antibiotic treatment resumed, this time for 2 weeks, and Remy rallied.

One thing that was different was that I think Remy was now blind. The way she ambled around the cage and didn’t scamper to my hand until I touched her seemed to confirm this. Still, she seemed happy enough.

It was cute to see Pearl “helping her out” at the water bottle, since she still had her distinctive tilt.

gerbilsBut when I cleaned the cage last week, it was obvious Remy was in decline. She barely raised her head when I lifted her out of the cage. She would only drink when a dropper was put to her mouth. She didn’t even want a coveted seed when it was offered. Occasionally, Pearl would run over the top of her as she ran about the cage.

People have drugs and hospice. Animals? They got nuttin’.

Did I mention, this is the part of pet ownership I hate.

Saturday morning, I found Remy along the side of her cage, her suffering at an end. Do animals go to heaven? I hate to say it, but I can’t think of anything in the Bible that would lead me to believe so, but I have to believe they do, because it’s just too sad to contemplate an eternity without them.

She now resides beneath a special tree in our yard.

sick gerbilRIP, Remy.

4 thoughts on “Memento Mori

  1. Even though animals leave me C O L D – that was touching.

  2. I feel your pain. Coming to the end of a relationship with a pet is a very difficult thing!

  3. It’s always hard losing a pet… sending hugs. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of Remy and Pearl.

  4. Oh Sue, I am so sorry for you loss. I agree, pet ownership is tough. I lost my precious bunny at the end of 2009 and then my dear gray kitty in January 2010. I have to believe that my pets are waiting for me in heaven. As you said, I cannot bear to think of eternity without them.

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