It's been one of those mean summers, where it seems friends, acquaintances and close relatives of friends and acquaintances are passing at an alarming rate. At times like these, it always makes one a little self-conscious mourning a pet, but the heart does what the heart does, and our ferret Grimble was very much in our heart.
Grimble passed away yesterday. We were not expecting it, but it appeared he suddenly contracted lymphoma – he already suffered from insulinoma, and both diseases are common in ferrets – and it had apparently spread to his spleen and liver. We held onto options throughout the day, but eventually we hit a point where our only other option would be to keep him alive and miserable through palliative care for what would likely only be days or weeks, and at that point, we'd clearly be doing it for ourselves, not him. Saying goodbye to him was devastating, but when he finally went, he was in no pain from the medication, and was happily devouring a mountain of Nutri-Cal, which was his favorite treat.
We acquired Grimble after he was being fostered by one of our vets. He'd been found as a stray, and clearly had a tough time of it. He was the hugest ferret we'd ever seen, but he was smart, sweet and affectionate, which trust me, are not always qualities found at the same time. He liked to be held, and he liked to sit with his monkeys. (That would be us.) When we got him, we had an elderly ferret named Kismet! Ferret of Destiny! Grimble was terribly in love with Kismet, and followed her everywhere. Kismet wanted nothing to do with him, but eventually came to tolerate him. He was, after all, comfortable to sleep on. When Kismet passed away at a ridiculously old age, Grimble was sullen for a while, and while he eventually perked back up, he became even more codependent.
Now he's gone, and it feels weird shuffling around the apartment without him. We don't plan to adopt another pet at this time for various reasons, but the place feels a little too quiet without his joyful puttering about. We miss him terribly, but we're glad he came into our life, and I'm pretty sure he was glad, too. We're pretty sure he was happy, up until the end.
Mostly, the only good pictures we have of him were from when he was sick a while back, which was the only time he slowed down enough for us to take a picture: