Last week my “little girl” Trouble passed away. As a pet owner, it’s hard to deny the evidence that our animal family has some sort of sixth sense. My husband and I both had the day off from work, something that never happens outside of holidays, and so we were able to be there with her — the day before or after, we wouldn’t have been. At about 11:30 in the morning I went to take her out for some playtime, and found her cold and mostly unresponsive. I warmed up some chicken baby food, her favorite, but she had no reaction to it. A little Vitacal on her gums, in case it was a blood sugar crash, also had no effect.
We had already been planning on heading into Rhinelander that day, where her vet is, but I knew that if we took her on the half-hour trip it would only be to help her say goodbye. I remember the look in Trick and Trial’s eyes when they told me they were ready, and I could see it in hers. Instead, Brent told me to go on, and he would stay with her. She had always been more attached to him, so I agreed. Wrapped in a towel, she snuggled on his chest, and they put on the movie channel. She passed quietly around 1:00 (right before the big polar bear fight in The Golden Compass).
Of course I had to agonize over any signs I might have missed. She had been diagnosed with adrenal disease, a sadly common condition in ferrets, about two years ago, and we were keeping it under control with Lupron and melatonin implants. Because of how well she had responded to the treatment, and how suddenly she left us, I don’t believe it was that. Having lost Trick and Trial to different cancers, I know that is a possibility. She slept a great deal and ate a little less over the past several months, but that isn’t uncommon for an eight-year-old ferret. Whatever happened did so literally overnight, a mixed blessing.
We buried her on the hillside by the lake, alongside her two best ferret friends (and my childhood cat, and eight rats, and a dozen mice, and four lizards — that part of my parents’ yard holds a lot of memories!). She and her kisses will be dearly missed, but I can say that her life was long and happy.