and then there were three

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Callie died.

Callie was still losing a little bit of weight. She was bright and alert. She was happy to leave her isolation cage this morning and go out in the big pig pen with the rest of the girls and get salad with the herd and hang out like happy guinea pigs do, laying wherever they land and even pooping as they lay.

I made sure it was a good and normal day, after I gave her the anti-inflammatory and the sulpha antibiotic. She’d eaten 9mL of Critical Care with watermelon juice that I had in the blender. I “juiced” an entire watermelon a few days ago because I know they love it with Critical Care, and that the store that carried it bottled had stopped doing so.

I did everything I was supposed to do this week with calling my veterinarian and running a test or so with a good routine exam and I administered everything and I told her to have a good, normal day today cause I might not see her again.

Then I left her with the others and I went a strong coffee drink and a croissantwich with Dismal. I ran into an acquaintance of ours. He called me out on not looking very awake and I told him my guinea pig was having surgery today. He had this quizzical pause and then spoke about how small the work involved must be. “Yeah, it is. But, this guy has gotten thousands from me in work over the years.”
Minutes after he left I started crying. It was becoming very real that I might not get my girl back home after this morning.

After I got home I had everything ready to go as soon as the vet arrived. He and his Mrs showed up to take her to the clinic and I put her in the carrier and placed a towel over it (it had been raining) and then I told him, “If you get her open and can’t fix it, don’t wake her up just to have to put her back down. Do it while she’s out. If it goes routine, could you do her teeth before she wakes up?”

I read body language. I know. We both knew it was likely that there would be something else going on inside; something that we couldn’t know unless we ran tests that exceeded the cost of anesthetic, surgery and removal. It was planned to be a spay, but you wouldn’t really know until you get in her.

Later, he called and as soon as I asked what was up there was this paaaauuuse.
That. Pause.
THE PAUSE…
and I knew she wasn’t coming home.

He found a tumor on her spleen and felt that it would have been no problem to remove, as he’d done removals from the spleen before in other patients. He said it had spread from her spleen to her liver. My baby was starting to be eaten by cancer.
If I hadn’t told her to put it down during surgery if something like this were it, it would have been cruel to sew her up and bring her home because I selfishly wanted more time with her and she would emaciate away. I made my time with everything this morning.

This sucks. Death always does. I’ve had many go before her. This is exactly why I started having my conures. I didn’t want to always go and rescue every adorable, sad guinea pig or rat and keep this cycle moving sometimes twice a year with my rodentia.

When I step back from the situation and look mystically at it, right now could be a calming time. I have done all I was supposed to do and I have 3 female guinea pigs, 3 green cheek conures, 3 female cats: three perfect groupings of three females of the same species.

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