Our dear chinchilla Mimzy passed away today. He was only three years old. A few weeks ago he was lethargic and wheezy, it seemed to get better. Then, while we were away over New Year's, he started biting his fur, which is a sign on stress. We weren't sure what was going on, he has been left alone for longer periods of time and been fine, plus we had a pet sitter checking in on everyone while we were gone.
Then today after work he just looked odd so I took him out of his cage. He let me grab him right away. Usually he wants to make a game out of getting out of his cage. He was lethargic again and Ashley held him and he game her a "paw kiss" which is a little ritual that the two of them have. I took him back from her and I was holding him and he started to wheeze. I just held him and rubbed him and suddenly he went limp in my arms.
I just held him until Christopher got home. I couldn't let him go. I couldn't cry either. I only cried when I looked at Christopher and had to tell him the news. Ashley was in the other room and didn't know what had happened. Christopher and I cried and hugged and talked about it, then we talked to Ashley about it and we all put an article of our clothing in the box with him. We thought about getting him creamated, but instead decided to keep him in the shed until spring and at that time we will have a proper burial for him.
I am feeling better now, I'm glad that he died in my arms, but I was so upset, I just couldn't stop sobbing. The only other pets that we have lost have been hamsters, and we weren't as attached to them. Mimzy was a part of the family. His cage was in the kitchen and he loved it when we ate dinner at the table, he would eat his food with us. He was wild and silly and loving. I loved him and I am going to miss him so much.
We took his cage to the garage for now. We may do some moving around with the other cages. I would like to put Charlie back in the kitchen and move the pigs to Charlies old area. After some time has passed and things aren't as raw, I might even like to give Charlie Mimzy's cage. It was a bigger cage, and I think she would like it. Then the pigs can move up to Charlie's cage. This will have to wait until we can get all of the cages disinfected and sanitized.
Our family will never forget Mimzy. We know that he is in pet heaven, jumping and running and chewing on origami paper. :)