i take the red lid off of the jar and flash it over the surface of the water. Roentgen darts out from under the plant and begins his display. i drop in one pellet, watch him as he surfaces and chews, then add another. five today. he was hungry.
i get the feeding syringe and mix up another spoonful of critical care. an ominous name, ni pointed out. i call to Fuggles, but he's hiding from me now. he's sick and he hates being force fed.
"next time you should get a pet sea turtle. something that will outlive you." ni suggests.
"we are all dying." i tell him. mere mortals, it's just what we do. it's ok to be sad when our friends are sick, and to mourn their passing, and miss them when they are gone.
but today i am trying to save Fuggles.
it's worse now that he is feeling better, he's much more squirmy and squeaky. it was easier when he didn't put up a fight. but at least i know he is getting better. i check the dosage. point 04mL. i try and give the antibiotic to him after he's managed to eat some lettuce or pear on his own.
"good boy. good bite Mr. Fuggles." i tell him as i watch the feeding syringe. 5mL, ten more to go.
i wipe food off of his beard and he gnashes his teeth and paws at the hankie. he's angry and upset with me. i let him hide under a towel for a minute. then i take his chin in my left hand and poke the syringe back in his mouth and squirt in another mL.
"you should use your l33t html skillz and make a website." ni suggests, after realizing that i was learning to code at the same time he was, and that my html is as out-of date as his is.
"you can make a little page for each of your pets, so you never forget what is special about them."
"i remember them all."
"but we might not someday. remember bindi and ringo?" he prompts
"yes! ringo the beetle was very nice. bindi was a hideous crustacean."
"what?!? some of my dearest friends are crustaceans! take that back!"
i roll my eyes at him. bindi really was hideous. triops longicaudus aren't the most attractive beasts. i loved it just the same. "remember how much bindi liked carrots? and how if you put your finger in the water bindi would clutch on with all its tentacles and bite at it?"
ni recoiled in horror, and shuddered. "ugh. i'd forgotten that part. tentacles. maybe it's for the best if you don't remind me of it."
we feed and weigh the guinea pig again. 1121g. not as good as last night, but some food must have gotten in and he's not as dehydrated.
i remember my hedgehog, spiny the elder and his illness, bravo and alpha, the degus, dromiceiomimus the house gecko, all the cats - shadow and cinders, socrates and cebes, indy, so many good friends.
but Fuggles isn't done yet. i think he'll pull through. i hope so. i hope this treatment works.
shemale is doing laps slowly around the terrarium. i almost forgot to give her more lettuce. i check the hygrometer, refill the soup bowl he now uses as a bath and marvel at the snail's huge, beautiful spiral shell. shemale has 10 potential years. who knows how long it will live, who knows how long any of us will live.
get well soon everyone.
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