This photo is his best sleeping pose ever. Ferret yoga.
I've been waiting for this for the past week and a half, with dread in my throat. He hadn't been doing well and I've been keeping myself to myself about it, other than periodic updates to the Engineer. I'd made the decision when all of this started to not bring him to the vet and subject him once again to a battery of tests and stress and bullshit that would serve no purpose but to prolong the inevitable.
I knew it was coming. I knew he was declining from age. And yet? I still feel like I should have done something. Anything. He was only about five or six years old, not ancient for a ferret like my Midnight was when I finally had her put down, but his health had never been what you would call robust (despite the occasional size of his ass).
Even now, I'm sitting here feeling guilty because I didn't even try.
Can't win for losing. I either do nothing and feel like shit about it, or I take an animal in and make the decision for them to get the Big Sleep needle and then feel like shit about it.
I'm throwing the cage out tomorrow night, which has seen so many creatures over the past thirteen years. No more small mammals. Not for a long time, at least.
My heart just can't take it.
I didn't cry when I made the decision to let him go peacefully at home. I didn't cry earlier, after I'd found him, two hours after I'd last checked on him when he was still breathing. And I didn't cry when I was wrapping him up. It surprised me and, I think, the Engineer as well when he came downstairs with a bag for me and found me stony-faced and doing my best stoic impersonation of an android.