RIP Horatio Sheridan

Gods, I'm so tired of writing these good-byes. Yes, another sweet ferret of ours crossed the Rainbow Bridge sometime Tuesday evening. Horatio has been acting oddly since we lost Sebastian. We weren't expecting him to be the ferret we needed to cradle and cuddle through Seb's death.

Horatio has been stumbling and wobbly, tired and lethargic. Some advice has suggested he was having a glucose problem, but I just wasn't sure. I've snuggled him extra, loved on him and watched him play with Samuel and Raphael (though not as much as he used to).

During a late round-up, Nick came to us with the news that Horatio was dead. I hate that he keeps finding the babies like this. Horatio was cold and stiff, gone maybe 6-8 hours we're guessing. I don't know why he died, I just know I've got another hole in my heart... and soon, another urn on my desk.

Horatio "shares" with me

We did an abbreviated version of our usual wake, bringing the babies out one at a time to sniff their cage mate and brother and recognize he's gone. After just updating a profile tonight to say we're down to seven ferrets, suddenly it's only six.

And then the double whammy hit. We can't find Samuel. Randy remembers seeing him at the door when he came home late tonight. He remembers "toeing" Sam away from the door... but we can't find where he's hiding since then. I only hope we can find him in time to let him say good-bye to Horatio.

I hate to say this, but I've realized that as much as I love my ferrets, I can't adopt any more. This just hurts too damn much, coming one on top of the other like this. I'm going to love the ones I've got, to the very last one. But right now, I don't see me adopting any more.

Horatio, love, you've broken my heart again. I hope you're at least happy over the Bridge, my sweetling.

RIP Sebastian Donovan Ferret


Today we said good-bye to Sebastian. He was diagnosed with massive tumors in his abdomen which had been pressing against his intestinal tract. A barium-contrast series of x-rays proved he had no blockage (like a piece of rubber or some such thing) in his GI tract. Our vet felt that operating, while an option, would only buy us a couple months, putting Seb through much pain and discomfort for very little return benefit. We elected to take him home and spoil him rotten. That was February 23rd. The vet said he didn't expect Seb to last a month.

Sebastian's GI tract with barium, 15:12

He was right. Last night, Sebastian just seemed to be so wasted away, both physically (which has been painful to watch) and finally, mentally. He licked at some guacamole (his favorite food) but didn't really seem to care much any more. Instead of trying to run off with the chip and guac, he walked a few inches away (without the treat) and just sacked out. The tumors were obviously pressing and making things uncomfortable. He would wake up and pee almost immediately -- no matter where he was. He clearly hated this, but had no strength left to do otherwise.

This morning, we took him in to the vet. We weren't able to see Dr. Funk, but one of his colleagues was just as kind to us. She administered the shot and he was gone in less than two minutes. I'd even say he was gone in under a minute. He just took a couple last breaths and was gone.

We brought him home, as we've learned to do, and I gave him a bath. Since he couldn't bristle his fur and fluff it dry, I used my hair dryer on the "cool" setting, to fluff him dry again. It was hard seeing how this once-vibrant and feisty ferret had been whittled down to barely skin-and-bones by that fucking disease called cancer. I'm so sick of cancer stealing from me and mine.

We called Rowan, who knew we were going in today, and he came up to sit with us and cry. When all the animals and the humans had been given a time to say good-bye, I collected a small snip of fur for Rowan and put it into a glass vial.

We are having Sebastian cremated, like all our other ferrets have been. But I know he's really no longer here, but across the Rainbow Bridge, frollicking and nipping the toes of all the ferrets who have gone on before.

Sebastian, we'll see you again someday.

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