It was a sad day in the Smith household as we woke to the discovery that 3 year old Mitch (previously known as ‘Creature’, ‘Pip’ and ‘Brian’) had ‘expired’. During his demented little life he loved biting our fingers; often drawing blood, but we smiled because he was tiny and furry and once we’d got past that he was lovely to hold and stroke. He liked sunflower seeds and parsnip peelings best and we often experimented with food to see if it changed the colour of his poo. It rarely did, however the consistency was noted.
His most notable skill was his ability to twitch his bum whilst racing around his home. At times he reached astonishing speeds and had the dexterity that left our eyes amazed. Night after night after night he would attempt jumps, flips and spins which lead us to believe that he was a parkour champion!
There he was on his back, on his bed. His arms and legs stretched as far away from his body as his little paws could reach. Stuck solid. It was almost like he’d passed during a dream where he was competing in a star jump contest.
We scooped him up gently with a little of his bedding and held his tiny cold rigid body. We all gave his tummy one last stroke and said goodbye and then the questions began…. ‘Why are his eyes closed?’, ‘Do all dead things have their eyes closed?’, ‘Is his brain stiff too?’, ‘Is he in limbo now?’, ‘Can we do an operation on him to see if he had a full tummy?’…
I think he did have a full tummy because his food from the previous night had gone, but he wasn’t so sure. At the back of my mind I wondered if this was indeed the opportunity of a biology lesson but decided almost instantaneously that if we were going to dissect an animal it wouldn’t be one that was an expired pet.
The ceremony was brief.
Later that day, in an effort to prevent him from digging up the guinea pigs; which died 5 years ago, Mitch was suddenly reincarnated into a fish which we bought from the fishmonger.
Not sure he totally has the idea of sad. I guess feelings, like parkour, takes practice.