In the beginning, there was Pip.
Pip was a sick, sad little creature. My first attempt at adopting a little friend for Pip went terribly wrong. So, I did what I have only done once: I bought him a friend. Withing moments of meeting each other, they were fast asleep, curled up around each other in Pip’s hammock. Love at first sight.
Where Pip was sick, Min was strong. Where Pip was laid back, Min was feisty. She was tiny, never weighing more than half a pound, but she didn’t let her small stature slow her down. And she was beautiful, this diminutive thing with dark sable fur and bright little eyes.
Min could drive me crazy. I’ve yet to meet another ferret as smart as her. She would get into anything, into and on top of things that there was no conceivable way that such a small creature should be able to. But she did. She would watch. She would learn. The little gears in her brain were always turning, figuring things out. You could even see her looking at something, examining a situation, thinking about her next move.
The night I came home from work and found her near death was one of the scarriest nights of my life. But, she came through surgery like a champ and bounced back with a vengence. Nothing could slow her down.
Without Pip, I’d hoped that Min would still find her way. But it wasn’t meant to be. For the first time in her life, Min lost her strength. After almost seven years, her little body just gave out.
She left me this past weekend, and I put her to rest next to Pip, a second little grave next to the first. Even though she took so little space, the cage seems empty without her there.
The babies are handling another loss very well, but I’m worried about the older kids, Lea especially. She took it very hard when Pip left us. She joined the business only two months after Min, and they were very close to one another. She’s…quiet, something that wasn’t the norm for Lea before Pip’s death. It worries me.
I know that this is the way of things. I’ve had to acknowledge for some time that they’re all getting older. Even the babies are over four years old now, and while their spirits run on high octane, their bodies simply cannot keep up with them forever. These goodbyes don’t get any easier, but I like to remember each one for who they were.
Min was smart and sweet. She gave kisses and bit toes. The weasel boys picked on her because of her size, and loved when she would freak out on them like a maniac. She was a handful, literally and figuratively.
And I was very, very lucky to have this sweet little girl in my life for the past seven years.
Pip, you have your girl with you now. I’ll see you both again someday, my loves.