Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why My Eyes Are All Red

Mouse funeral, Buddhist style. Delta died yesterday morning. The veterinarian said that it was likely congestive heart failure. We were worried that it was something contagious and that Epsilon could have caught it; she (Delta) was having trouble breathing, and we were afraid that it was a respiratory infection. She was two-and-a-half years old. (That's pretty old for a mouse.)

Every week on Sunday I put the mouse food for the week in one of those seven-compartment pill boxes that old people put their medicine is (so it's easy to tell whether or not the mice have already been fed). This morning I started crying again when I only had to cut up half as much mouse food as usual.

We'll wait a week or so to be extra-sure that it wasn't some sort of disease that Epsilon caught before possibly getting her some new mouse companionship. But as she is also two-and-a-half years old, I'm not sure what the best option is. I don't want her to be lonely, but I also worry that she might have a hard time getting along with new mice. And I'm not sure how many mice to get. I guess that will have to be sorted out next week.

On the plus side, she died before The Topologist went on his multi-day hike. This week is spring break, and since he is faculty, he gets a week of vacation. (I am staff, so I have to go to work.) Delta was not that sick on Friday night, so it wasn't clear how this was going to play out. I hate funerals and ritual, so instead of building a pyre, I would have buried her in the back yard.

And because I am a terrible person, I am much more upset by the death of a one-ounce rodent with a brain the size of a pea and a penchant for biting people than I was when a central person at work died about three weeks ago.