Two dramas in one week: Drama 1

Last week I had the heavy cold that was doing the rounds, and by midweek had raging sinusitis and sniffles – which I hate! Happily the herbs pushed this through quite fast but it meant that I had 3 days of feeling sorry for myself. On Thursday night I thankfully sank into bed at the end of the day and was relaxing with a DVD when Nel popped out to Tesco.

I heard a strange noise and paused my DVD to listen for it. It was a sort of high pitched sound but although I stopped to listen for a good 5 minutes it didn’t come again. Timmy was on my chair and had his ears pricked up so I knew I hadn’t imagined it. It seemed to come from above me. Just as I was about to give in, I heard it again, very briefly. OH MY GOD!

Tiny Squishy

Somehow, my brain managed to put 2+2 together and realised that was a hamster squeaking in distress and as I bolted out of my sick bed and up the stairs, I heard a cat jump down from somewhere! I crashed in to Nel’s room and sure enough, there was Zara with little Squishy, the tiny Roborowski hamster, in her mouth! I yelled at her and thankfully she dropped him and I chased Zara and Zeb out of the room and slammed the door shut and then ran to where I’d seen Squishy. There he was and without thinking I tried to catch him – Roborovskis are very fast and don’t like being handled so of course, as I scooped him up, he scrabbled off the edge of my hand and was off behind the bed. Stupid me! (Stupid as well for handling him when I had a cold – human colds are dangerous to hamsters.)


I went to the other side of the bed and happily I spotted him huddled in the corner behind Nel’s desk so I sat myself down and didn’t take my eyes off him. The cats were meowing pitifully at the door, my phone was in my own room so I couldn’t call Nel and no-one knew I was in her room to come looking. I hoped she wouldn’t be long – especially as Squishy appeared to be recovering from his fright and might be on the move again soon! Then Billy called me and I eventually managed to tell him to come in the room without letting the cats in. When I explained, I asked him to try calling Nel – but there was no answer. He and Raji decided to go hunting for her and I just prayed Squishy would stay put until she got home.

Alas, he was now starting to scamper around the area and though I was relieved to see that he was apparently unhurt, I was worried he’d disappear – he is such a tiny little thing and the bare floorboards probably had a few little holes which he could fall down! There were certainly plenty of corners and cupboards he could get into! Finally, Nel came home though hadn’t seen the men, but she let Zeb in the room as she entered so I had to try and yell what had happened and get her to catch Zeb. He came straight over to the hamster – who promptly shot off behind the bed – before I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and got him back outside.

Argh! Squishy was nowhere in sight! We hunted with a torch and couldn’t find him anywhere so we had to put the two bits of his cage on the floor, leaving him the means to get inside, and hope he could make his way home and want the safety of his own bed. Poor Nel didn’t get a wink of sleep listening out for him, but alas, he didn’t appear over night.

By the time I left to go away for the weekend on the Friday night, there was no sign still and Nel was sure he was under the floor boards or in one of the many cubby-cupboards dotted around that top floor and we weren’t certain he’d be able to get back even if he had been a clever boy and worked out how to retrace his steps. (In the wild they roam for miles each night and they leave a trail of wee to follow home. Would he even have thought of this?) I felt he’d be able to snack on the odd spider or beastie but I did think water would be a problem so I could only hope his need for fluid would drive him back.

Bizarrely, we’re not sure quite how Zara got him out of his cage in the first place. The cage (see picture below) was neatly on the shelf where it lives. The only thing out of place was the tube that joined the two parts – this was disconnected. How did the cat do that? How did she get him out of it? Or did he come out of his own accord? The distressed squeaking I’d heard (loud for such a tiny creature) was BEFORE the cat thudded to the floor – so did he jump out in fright? We’ll never know. We could only pray he’d come back.

Two-bit cage

I woke up on Saturday morning to a text from Nel that she’d sent at 12.54am: “I got Squishy! 🙂

Apparently she’d heard him – on the opposite side of the room to where we THOUGHT he was – and he was trying to drag one of his treats (left out to tempt him) back under a cubby-cupboard door! Nel quickly used videos to block his path and was then able to catch him with an upside down (empty) tissue box. His fur and his paws were black, but he was safely home.

He is now in only half his cage for the moment until Nel sorts out a cat-proof larger home for him. She says he seems bored now and it looks like he rather enjoyed his freedom. He is slowly getting cleaner though his paws are still grubby. What an adventure for a little scrap of fur and what a clever little boy to get home. Nel is very pleased of course, and having saved him from the cat, so am I. What a drama, but a happy outcome. Welcome home Squishy 🙂


Back in the mire.

After my wonderful week away, I was brought back to earth with a resounding thump.

At work, my first day back was fast and furious with queries that had all been waiting on my return, a hectic double-clinic as well as both my colleague and my manager being around so that I couldn’t simply shut the door and get my head down to work. Added to this was a series of Outlook meeting requests that kept popping up unexpectedly so my first day back was simply a case of peddling water to keep my my head afloat. Obviously this settled over the course of the week and by the end of it I felt like I’d never been away.

At home, I had returned to a backlog of washing (I had done mine at mum’s which was just as well so that I wasn’t adding to it.)On the Monday morning I was sipping my coffee at breakfast when I noticed something floating in it – ugh! It was mould! Raji remarked that it probably wasn’t surprising as the washing up had sat for the week and was done the day of my return! Clearly my cup hadn’t been very well washed up (and I have my coffee black and unsweetened!) so I threw it away and tried again with a fresh cup. Again there was floating mould! On investigation, the mould was found in the coffee jug! So I had to scrub it out and start again. Lovely! 🙁

When I finally got to the weekend, I was up bright and early Saturday morning with lots to do. Billy was working and commented that the loo wasn’t draining very quickly so after hanging out the washing I checked the outside drains. They were backed up and clearly the gurgling noises we’d heard during the week were due to the sewerage being forced back up the drains, depositing soggy shredded loo paper around them 🙁 We’ve been aware for a little while that the shower wasn’t draining very well and I’d been putting soda crystals down the plug on a weekly basis; it looked like it wasn’t the shower plug after all but the entire drainage system. Sure enough, when I lifted the manhole cover to investigate, it was full to the brim with sewerage water. Brilliant!

So I stuck a quick sticky note on the loos and the shower door saying not to use them and hot-footed it to the shops for rubber gloves. Once back, I set to, trying to see if there was a single physical blockage that I might be able to remove – and immediately the dirty water went way up past my gloves, seeping down inside them and I was up over my elbows in the muck 🙁 Raji got out of bed around this point and having seen my note, poked his head out of the window to ask if it was OK for him to have a shower. Er, no! He came down to see what I was doing and to see if he could help, and once I’d exhausted all possibilities trying to clear the blockage (including sacrificing one of my colanders in the attempt to sieve the solids from the water!) he carried on trying for a bit before coming to the same conclusion as me. It must be blocked further down the system.

Reluctantly, I called the landlady and apologised for it being the weekend and something that would need sorting quickly. I explained that I thought we needed a dyno-rod type person to sort it as I was convinced that the blockage was outside of the house and further along the pipes. She said she’d sort out someone to come and get back to me. Very quickly afterwards, she confirmed that someone would come in the next few hours and then gave me their contact details in case of need, as she was about to go off on holiday. I was relieved that someone would be coming, but I felt unclean (having had no shower to start with and then getting more dirty) and of course we couldn’t use any of the waterworks until it was sorted. No flushing the loos, no washing, no cleaning, no washing up – and there was a week’s worth of washing up to be done since no-one had done any all week – again! (This was previously Stephen’s job but was now Billy’s)

Raji decided he couldn’t possibly not have a shower so took himself off to the gym and paid for a workout and then made use of their shower, after which he went off to cricket for the afternoon. Billy had gone straight from work to cricket. I cleaned up as best I could with a bowl of water and some alcohol gel, then being unable to do much, I did at least get the ironing done to salvage something from the day, keeping my ear open for the door as I expected the drainage cavalry any moment. I also booked a train ticket online for Nel to visit mum at the end of the summer but then realised an hour or so later that I’d booked the wrong date! AGH! This was not a good day! I was so cross with myself and had to book another ticket for the correct day and then wait for the tickets in the post so i could claim SOME of my money back on the incorrect one. Grrr!

After my few hours of ironing, there was still no sign of the cavalry and I was getting a bit anxious. I was just clearing up and was carrying the ironing board downstairs and caught one of the cats running off sheepishly……….. from the pile of diarrhoea he’d just deposited on the stair! That was the last straw. After yelling at him, I went into the kitchen and the dam burst. I sobbed! Real from-the-bottom-of-the-heart sobs, crying that I was sick of it all. Sick, sick, sick….. The “children” were upstairs and Nel sent Stephen down to investigate. I managed to get out that there was cat mess on the stairs and he said that it wasn’t the end of the world and it just needed clearing up. Cue more sobbing and wailing that it was always me that had to sort everything out and I was sick of it. So he cleared it up (this is unheard of!) and then came back to me to see if I was now OK. I was at the sniffling sighing stage and sniffled my thanks, before calming myself down.

It was now 5.30pm and I’d had a rotten day, but at last, the cavalry arrived. Apparently they’d normally have been here within half an hour or so of the call but had been down in Manchester at the time. With no access to the back of the house I had to move the big chest in the living room to make way for the machinery – and broke two nails and jarred my back. On the plus side, my two heroes ended up needing only to shove one of their big cleaning rods down the sewerage pipe and shove the blockage away – it was about 3 metres down the pipe, so I’d never have been able to do it myself. In all they were only there for about 15 minutes and hadn’t needed their machinery. Hooray! We could use water freely again 🙂

I got Stephen to move the chest back to its rightful place for me but as I moved other bits back, I managed to really wallop my funny bone on the wall. Not at all funny, let me tell you! I was clutching my elbow and forcefully saying “Ow,ow, ow” through gritted teeth and Stephen advised that I should swear as this is what swearing was for. I don’t swear, so carried on as I was. He said “Okay then, say something YOU think is swearing for you! Say “poo” or something.” 😀 That was it, I was laughing between pained “ow” s Ever tried laughing when you’re in pain? 😀 He’s a tonic, that boy! Nel brought one of her hamsters down and we played with her for a bit which was soothing too, and I started to feel a bit less stressed. Mind you, I could’ve hit the men when they returned from cricket and asked brightly “So, is it all sorted then?” They just had no idea!

The next day I planned to get everything done that I’d been unable to do the previous one – cleaning the bathroom, and so on, but mainly cooking. With the Rayburn I have to batch cook the week’s meals at the weekend then just heat them up when wanted.I also wanted to make Billy’s birthday cake for later in the week, do my usual lunch-box cooking and I needed to prepare the food for the Monday evening when I had 3 friends coming for tea. However, there was a week’s worth of washing up on the side! Raji did some of it mid morning. Billy asked if I needed it ALL done before I could start cooking. Er, yes! “Why?” Er, because that stuff’s been there a week, it’s clogging the side which I will need as I generate more washing up which I wash up as I go along, and because I actually need some of the stuff that’s waiting there! Eventually it was all done, but not until late and so it was 2.55pm before I go in to the kitchen for my hours-long cooking session. Now I’m a morning person, so there was no way I would be spending hours at this time of day! So I didn’t have time to do an evening meal for Sunday. Nor a birthday cake for Billy. I managed 2 meals for the week and a quiche and some shortbread for Monday’s tea with the girls. And that was it – weekend over.

What a weekend! I can cope with a lot and God knows, I usually manage to stay cheerful. But sometimes I just get so fed up of it always being me who has to cope with it all. (Yes, Billy was working then at cricket, but even if he had been at home, it would have been me that went investigating, me that attempted to sort it, and me that would have had to contact the landlady anyway.) As for this washing up business, we could be the first family to break apart with washing-up cited as the reason! I don’t understand how anyone can think that washing up once a week FOR A FAMILY OF 5 PEOPLE is acceptable! Even once a day is pushing it but I’d take it. This weekend may have been extreme but the underlying problems are long standing: the only things to be done on a regular basis and in timely fashion are those that I do. Clearly this doesn’t bother anyone else but Nel and me, and clearly I’m getting nowhere trying change them but I absolutely refuse to lower my standards any further than I already have. So the only option I have, once I can’t stand it any more, is to leave. Not something I want to do, but the only action I can take once I reach breaking point. However, I’m not quite there yet so time to put that horrible weekend behind me and carry onwards and upwards….

Poor Nel.

Poor Nel hasn’t had much fun lately.

Her work escorting a child to school has been stressful lately as he has some issues which make life tricky – though at least there is now some help to try and address them, including her being sent on a course to give her some training in dealing with the specific problems. Her dog walking is enjoyable still, except that another dog-walking business has been pinching some of her existing and potential clients lately which is rather galling for her.

Then Lev, one of her Roborovski hamsters has died 🙁 She just found him in his bed, though has no idea why. She did say she’d noticed he had been a bit hyperactive a couple of days before – and in hamsters this CAN be a sign that they are in pain – but you can’t assume every time they are running around they are in pain. We think he must have had an illness or disease that we could not detect, and his brother seems absolutely fine. Lev is now buried in a pot in the garden and we’ll buy a plant in the spring to commemorate his little life.

She then came down with a very heavy cold – I did wonder if it was flu as she was so poorly, and to top it off, this set off her nosebleeds. She had several bleeds, including one whilst in the bank when she had to grab some tissues and run for her bus to get to work, and then when I came home from work last Friday, she’d had a couple of bleeds including one that was still going after 30 minutes. Over the course of the day she’d got through a box of tissues, and one and a half loo rolls! I asked if she thought we ought to take her to casualty, which she didn’t much fancy as last time (8 years ago) they’d stuffed a giant tampon-like wedge up her nose, she’d almost passed out and we ended up being blue-lighted to Newcastle for clotting tests etc. The poor child had “merely” had flu, got dehydrated and had a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop. Naturally she wanted to avoid a repeat if possible – so what did we do? We found a tampon that’s what! 😀 And it did the job. For a bit. At 7.00pm we ended up heading to casualty after all! 🙁 Billy passed on my apologies to the darts team and I spent 2.5 hours waiting with Nel – whose nosebleed stopped as we arrived! Naturally! What was frustrating was that we waited all that time without knowing for what we were actually waiting! We didn’t know if it was to see if the bleeding resumed or stayed stopped, or to see a doctor, or what. No-one pointed out there were magazines in the corner of the room (we discovered them 10 minutes before we left!) or where to get a drink of water or find the loo. Eventually, a doctor who looked Stephen’s age (no disrespect to him though – it just made me feel ancient 😉 ) arrived and looked at Nel, said that he could see some very fragile blood vessels in her nose, and told her how to stop nosebleeds by pinching her nose for 20 minutes. That was that and we came home! Very helpful!We were exhausted and both went straight to bed. When I called Billy to tell him, he was relieved all was OK, sorry for our wasted trip and said he’s pick up a box of tampons on his way home. Bless him! (And he did – they were in the bathroom when we got up in the morning.)

Poor Nel, she’s not been having a great time.


Having got to bed at midnight, I was out like a light – and up again at 5am for a quick breakfast before driving home. I strapped the hamster cage in to the back seat, said my goodbyes, and then spent 4 hours driving through rain, dense spray and very windy conditions (in some places strong gusts were visibly blowing cars and lorries off course for a split second!)

When I got home, I unloaded the car and handed Rody over to Nel – who promptly declared her new baby to be a girl. Rody came out to meet her new mummy and Nel was captivated and intends to spend some time getting her used to being handled and played with. I dumped all my baggage in the hallway, quickly applied some war-paint and then went straight to work.

I was at my desk by 10.15am which I thought was pretty good going – but I was so tired I struggled through the morning before getting a second wind in the afternoon. Luckily it was a fairly straight forward day -all the difficult queries cropped up the next day fortunately for me and for those who needed me to be on the ball to sort out their problems.

I was dead on my feet by home time and could have done without having to unpack my baggage, but I did the bulk of it anyway before crashing in to bed.

I’d had 5 hours sleep, 4 hours drive and 7 hours work. It was worth it 🙂

Pre-Christmas R&R

After the Norwich match I drove to mum’s and was staying there so that I could go to the Bayern München game midweek, giving me a few days R&R with one of my favourite people in the whole world 🙂

We decided to go Christmas browsing/shopping on the Sunday and we had such fun – we even bought a couple of bits so that I could at last say I’d officially started my Christmas shopping 😉 It would soon be mine and Billy’s wedding anniversary too, our 7th which apparently was our woollen anniversary, and as we do like to buy something to fit the theme, I wanted to look out for something woolly for Billy. We’d already agreed not to spend much money this year as we don’t have much, so I was struggling somewhat. We racked our brains for something a bit different but could only think of the usual woolly hats/gloves/scarves which seemed a bit dull, so I had to leave it. We also mused about the current fashion for leggings and a long top and being in a somewhat light-hearted mood we decided to try some on and see if we suited them. We decided we did so we got a pair each. 🙂 It was a silly, giggly, fun day – even going to Tesco for a few groceries isn’t dull with us two! After that we went home for tea and crumpets to keep us going until dinner before relaxing in front of TV for the night.

On Monday mum had to go to work so I nipped to Costco and Ellesmere Port, and then just enjoyed a day at home catching up with a few things. I then had a lazy evening with mum when she returned, but on Tuesday she’d taken the day off so we could go out to play 🙂 We decided to go to Wrexham as I haven’t been there for absolutely ages. We had another really enjoyable day out, and though it was rather cold, it didn’t spoil it. Mum knew of a small bakery with a cafe upstairs and we had a lovely hot lunch of gorgeous cheese-on-toast which just melted in the mouth, accompanied by a hot cup of tea. With this time of year being so busy, we thought parking might be difficult so we went on the bus and I quite enjoyed that too and some of the scenery was pretty. We didn’t really buy much but I’d really enjoyed browsing round some different shop and in such excellent company too 🙂

In the evening a colleague of mum’s came round – with a hamster for Nel! Mum had heard that the hamster was not getting much attention and sounded Nel out about adopting it – was there ever going to be any doubt about the answer? 😉 We hadn’t previously known what type or gender the hamster was, only that its name was Rody (presumably short for rodent) When I saw it, although I couldn’t tell the gender just by looking at the furry blob running around in the cage, I could see it was a Campbell’s dwarf and thought Nel would be pleased. Mum and I debated where to keep little Rody (who wasn’t a bit shy and very happy to come out and say hello) so that Rocky wouldn’t get at him/her. The only room in the house which could be shut to keep Rocks out was the downstairs loo, but it was freezing in there and we were worried that it would be far too cold. Eventually we settled on the cupboard under the stairs which was out of the way but plenty big enough that Rody could get air. We didn’t need to check up on him/her – we could hear the wheel spinning vigorously for hours on end.

On Wednesday I spent the day organising my things for the evening’s football match and for going home very early next morning (I was working on the Thursday so needed to drive home to leave Rody, then go straight to work.) I packed the boot and just left myself what I’d need, and then set off for my game at 4.15pm to allow plenty of time…

F.A.C.T – A very long day.

On Saturday I was taking part in an event for F.A.C.T which raises awareness of cancers of all types and gives people support, advice and practical solutions to the challenges encountered with cancer. The event was being held in the Metrocentre, the first event of its kind to be hosted in a shopping mall, and there were strict rules to which we had to adhere.

We had to arrive and set up well before the opening time of 9 am and the stall had to be manned at all times throughout the day, with all clearing up to be done after 7 pm. Nothing could be sold, nor orders taken so my Herbal Clinic stall offered literature and free 10 minute consultations. Billy had kindly agreed to be my glamorous assistant so that I could pop to the loo when needed and so we set off at 8 am – though by the time we finally found the right entrance and walked through from behind the shops to the Exhibition Square, we only had 10 minutes to set up. (Luckily this was eminently doable!)

As it turned out, my stall had been placed adjacent to fellow business owner and friend, Sarah’s (providing wigs both privately and through the NHS) and had we known this, Billy could have spent the day relaxing and watching The Ryder Cup as Sarah and I could keep an eye on each other’s stall if needed. Nevertheless, I was glad of Billy’s practical help and his moral support and appreciated it.

It was a very long day and there were times when it really dragged – and then little flurries of activity. I gave advice as planned, but I also did some networking with the other businesses and organisations there and got to know one really lovely lady called Pamela, from Look Good…Feel Better As luck had it, the stall opposite Sarah and I was Boots and they had store staff covering it in shifts doing mini-makeovers and handing out free samples – one of each of which found their way into each of our handbags 🙂 Billy sat with me at times, fetched coffee, food and water at others and occasionally managed a break himself though to our disappointment Wetherspoons was closed for refurbishment meaning he couldn’t go for to watch a bit of the sporting action. (In fact we feel there is a distinct gap in the market for a man-crèche of the bar-and-sports-TV variety in the Metrocentre!)

Friends also appeared during the day to say hello and see how things were going, and Nel arrived mid-afternoon to collect Billy to go to Pets At Home with her. She’d wanted a Roborovski hamster for a while, had been very unhappy since losing Nel the hamster and Simon and Claire had very kindly popped in to the shop the previous day to establish whether they had any in. Once Nel knew they had, she was keen to get one and needed someone over 18 to buy it, so off they went and when they returned, she was smiling broadly and clutching a little box – with TWO hamsters inside it! Apparently they are social creatures and like company and Nel was 100% sure that they were both male so opted for a pair.Everyone oohed and aahed and wanted to see but of course, the box had to stay shut for the journey home.

Lesley, one of the F.A.C.T founders and owner of Bouncing Back in Gateshead came round at about 5 pm with a box of fruit to keep us all going and we were all starting to flag a little by this time. However, Lesley felt the day had been a success and was very pleased so this perked us up.

Finally, 7 pm arrived and we cleared up, said our goodbyes and loaded up the car before deciding to treat ourselves to a quick bite at Pizza Hut as a reward for our efforts and to save us cooking when we got home. We chose to go to the one outside the shopping mall – which was a mistake I think. There were plenty of staff but all quite young and more interested in chatting together than in their customers – there was even some sort of disagreement and one flounced off to the kitchens clearly upset by something which the others found highly amusing. We sat next to a waist-high wall which separated the dining area from the walk-way between dining, kitchen and bar areas and at one point our waitress just leaned over it to put Billy’s drink refill on the table. The staff were polite but not sincere and certainly not in any hurry. We waited 15 minutes to have our order taken and were finally served our food at 8 pm. We finished by 8.15 and then had to wait an age, ignored by the rest of the staff, for our waitress to make up the bill so we could pay. Very unusually for us, we did not leave a tip as we didn’t feel one had been earned. All that said – the food was delicious 🙂

When we got home, I immediately went to see Nel and her new little furry babies and they are SO cute! They’re tiny and such a pretty colour. She has named them Lev and Mimski – Lev is a camera loving little scruff and Mimski is shyer and tidier.

Lev the poser
Lev on his house
Lev in his wheel

R.I.P Nel (the hamster)

On Tuesday night Nel (daughter!) came into my bedroom sobbing and holding Nel (hamster!) saying that something wasn’t right. Little fluffy Nel was an old, old lady but was still fairly lively and enjoyed he fresh titbits each day. We were very aware though that she was likely to die sooner rather than later, and she had recently developed a tumour under her back left leg which had slowed her down a bit.

Anyway, on Tuesday night she appeared to be drifting in and out of consciousness and twitching every so often, so I cuddled Nel (daughter) and we talked about Nel’s life, her baby Schnee, and her general character. Nel said she’d never actually seen an animal die before (though she’s seen them afterwards) and I explained that having been with people and animals as they’ve passed away, I felt it was a privilege to be with someone as they make their journey out of this world. Slowly her sobs faded and she just held the hamster close, letting her know she was with her. Eventually she said she was going to go to bed, but she’d put Nel in the little carrier-tank so she could have her with her.

I came downstairs in the morning to find a note saying that Nel had died at 12.45am. I’m so glad that Nel (daughter) had been able to be with Nel (hamster) a it’s a humbling experience and a comforting one.

Nel is now buried with her favourite toy (a food filled log) underneath the beautiful miniature rose that mum gave me a couple of St George’s Days ago, which seems fitting.

Nel with a nut
R.I.P Nel

R.I.P Nel.

R.I.P Trea

Just two weeks after his baby (Schnee) died, Trea also died – peacefully, in his sleep. Nel found him when he was still warm and came sobbing in to me, holding him in her hand.

We’d only been saying a day or two before this that we thought he may not have long left as he had lost a lot of weight, and his fur was looking unkempt. So we were expecting it, but it was still sad.

Trea and his daughter are going to be buried together (large pot on way for this) because Nel wants them to be together in sleep, as they never were in life (due to their opposite genders!)

Just “Mummy” hamster left now 🙁

Trea again

R.I.P Schnee

On Saturday 9th January 2010, little Schnee died peacefully in her bed.

She was the baby hamster and really, had been amazingly lucky/tenacious to have had the life she did and that’s the way we’re trying to look at it. She was the only surviving pup of Nel and Trae’s four, and she had one leg (the back left, from the knee down) missing. Then she developed some sort of growth behind her ear, and then one under her armpit, and started to lose furn on her tummy. It looked like lymphoma for which there is no cure and recently her remaining fur started to look a little messy and unkempt. She’s also been more aggressive which is a sign of pain, though otherwise she seemed to be carrying on as normal.

On Friday night she was running around in her wheel, and she climbed the bars to say hello to me when I was passing, so I stopped for a little chat with her. She was such a cutie and we’re so pleased to have had for the time we have.

As a baby: Photobucket
In her wheel, missing leg never seeming a problem: Schnee in her wheel

We can’t bury her until the garden thaws out, so she’s resting peacefully in a box with lots of bedding in the meantime.

R.I.P Little Schnee – you were a little miracle and we loved you.

Pets Update.

Last Thursday, I went and collected Tinker’s ashes from the vet – and had a little cry of course. Holding those in a box, was such a contrast to holding his warm, soft, purring, affectionate little furry body in a cuddle. That said, the pet crematorium had presented the ashes beautifully, in a little circular box which had a gold label with Tinker’s name on it. This in turn was nested in a white satin lining in a larger box, and came with a certificate. We have decided to scatter his ashes in Tinker’s favourite spot – the undergrowth edging the cricket club, where he loved to go mousing. (They must be over-run with mice now he’s not keeping the numbers down! 😉 ) Nel asked if we can keep just a few to put in with Jet’s ashes as we all felt that they shared one soul – they were so alike it was uncanny. We like this idea so that’s what we will do.

Garfie is still on walkabout, which leaves just Timmy at home now. He’s been getting rather spoiled with both attention and tidbits, but we do think he’s lonely without other cats. He seems to want company, and at the weekend, he sneaked upstairs and settled himself on my bed, where he stayed all day. Even when I did the ironing he didn’t move, so I had to place the newly ironed clothes around him on the unmade bed!

Timmy & the ironing!

We are beginning to feel that we will get a couple more cats. We’re used to having four and we do have a good, loving home to offer. We’ve decided against baby kittens, but maybe a young pair between 6 and 18 months – depending on what cats need re-homing in this area once we’re looking.

Sadly, the new Syrian hamster that Nel bought has just died. She had wet tail which is a digestive disease and often fatal. There can be a genetic tendency or it can be induced by stress, and Luppi was definitely a very nervy little thing that Nel simply couldn’t tame despite her experience and best efforts. Apparently it can be a very distressing death which we dreaded, but Luppi seemed to go peacefully and without some of the more graphic signs of the disease – possibly the provision of plenty of dried oats helped, but whatever the reason, we are thankful. She will be buried with Rikki, and now that spring appears to be around the corner, Nel and I will go and choose a nice plant for their grave. She has decided not to get another Syrian, and stick to dwarf hamsters now. Happily wet tail, whilst highly contagious amongst Syrians, is not passed on to dwarf breeds, though Nel intends to thoroughly disinfect Luppi’s cage anyway.

So, for now we are down to 1½ cats and 3 dwarf hamsters.

(And three men! 😉 )

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