Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Pete the Gerbil somehow injured his back left leg last week. We don't know what happened but he was limping and dragging his foot behind when he tried to walk. He couldn't sit up, a natural gerbil tendency, without falling over, and Liz (and yes, myself too) was beside herself with tears. Pete is part of our family, no matter his size, so off we went to the Veterinarians office. An exam and exray later, we were told he has somehow broken his leg up by his hip. Could have been from playing but more than likely from his exercise wheel. A few weeks of isolated quiet time and he should be fine. If not, the next step is a pin to keep the two bones healing nicely. It is a step we will take if need be. A life has infinite value, no matter the pricetag placed by others.
Pete had to be separated from his brother, RePete, for fear of roughhousing. He and RePete (go ahead and laugh) like to chase each other around the cage, ending in a good old fashioned wrestling pile. None of that for now We put a wire divider in the cage; the kind that bird cages are made of. No squeeze room on either side, and rising almost to the top of the cage. Vertical bars so it could not be climbed. Two days pass, and our furry friend seemed to be improving physically, but depressed. His healthy brother was just as depressed. Still, they could sniff and touch each other through the bars... better than total separation.
Fast forward to two days ago. Liz comes home from school, and the first thing she does is go in to her room to see Pete. She has been sitting by his aquarium cage and just stroking his back and ears, since he can't be picked up. I hear this startled cry, and Liz comes running out, blurting "Mom, why is RePete in with his brother!!?!!" She had thought I put them together for some one on one time. I run in to her room with her, and there are Pete and RePete, sound asleep. A fuzzy, furry ball of cinnamon, toffee, white and tan paws and tails. Pete missed RePete. RePete missed Pete just as much. RePete had somehow climbed those vertical bars and squeezed through that half-inch space at the top of the cage, and found his way to his brother. There they were, both on the same side of the divider, all curled up together, a sort of rodent yin and yang, LOL.
We took out the divider. The wheel had already been removed. We left them together, and RePete has not tried once to wrestle. Perhaps he knows his lifelong friend is hurt. Perhaps animals can sense this. Some say not. I say it is ridiculous to think that they don't sense these things.
Pete seems to be improving, although it is a slow progression. He is still limping, but using his leg more than when we first found he was hurt. RePete has gotten very calm and brings over the best sunflower seeds for Pete to eat, even though Pete can get to the food bowl just fine. We did all we were told to do, and the journey isn't over, but these two deserve to be together and perhaps Pete will heal faster with the companionship and care of his brother. Love always finds a way. :)