Our lovely old boy Arkwright has gone to rejoin his cagemate Luther at last. I’m sure he missed Luther and will be happy to be reunited with him.
He’d started to develop a bit of hind leg degeneration even before Luther died, but at first he clearly wanted to soldier on. He shared a cage with the mad girls for a while, until they got too much for him (and we wanted to be sure that he didn’t have to compete for food). So for much of the last month he lived in solitary splendour in a single level cage, with towels and fleece squares instead of paper bedding because that was easier for him to walk on and nest in. Gradually the regular dried food was completely replaced by soft mushy stuff that he could manage better, though he’d tackle a grape almost to the very end.
On Saturday morning he tucked into his breakfast as usual, but by the evening it was clear he was deteriorating. Saturday evening we felt sure that he would not be with us on Sunday morning, but he was – barely, sleeping more than he was awake, his breathing so shallow you could barely see him move. Then every so often a twitch and a blink. We tried to get him to take food and water, but he pushed us away. Sunday night we said goodnight in the certainty that it was his last, and this time we were right.
We have a place for him – a blue glazed pot, and a golden cupressus to grow over him. He’ll be snug and warm there.