Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Even When It's Expected...

A while ago, we adopted a couple of mice.  They have been surprisingly fun pets.  They have also provided the life lessons expected.  Jacob learned to put their needs before his own.  He feeds them every morning before his own breakfast.  He takes time out from weekend fun to clean the cage.  He carefully protects them from Claire's enthusiasm.
And last week, as expected, Patches died.  I'd noticed a few weeks ago that she was looking a little rough around the edges.  Jake and I talked about it.  He had already noticed and started making little changes to make her life easier.  He put the food on the floor of the cage so she wouldn't have to climb to reach it.  I noticed mid-week that she wasn't running around the cage.  I actually thought she escaped.  I eyed every corner of the cage and couldn't find her anywhere.  I spent the week surreptitiously looking behind furniture.
On Sunday, I reminded Jacob to clean the cage and broke the news to him.  "Patches is missing.  I can't find her anywhere."  His eyes widened and he ran to the cage.  Then he found her as he was taking apart the cage.  He handled it so well.  I found a box.  He took her out of the cage and buried her in the garden.  Then he cleaned the cage and worried about Peanut.  He told me that she looked upset.  I thought maybe it wasn't Peanut that was upset.
Later, in the quiet of the evening, Jacob commented that he wasn't feeling well.  I asked him if he was sick or upset.  "I'm just a little sad about Patches," he said in a tight voice.  I'm a little sad about Patches too.

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