HAMSTERS · RATS

Caring for the little ones… the peace at the end of the day

Driving home last night at the end of a long and busy day, there were more thoughts in my head than I had a hope of getting to line up – until, that is, I reached the animals. First, the horse, drawing into the farm on a dark night and flipping the lights on in the barn, feed piled into his bucket and the stable door propped open before grabbing his headcollar and my torch and making my way across to the gate, from where I could just make out a few heads raising briefly in interest from their grazing down the hill and then, all making short work of identifying me, just my own boy’s bobbing as he made his way up the hill, confident of a reward when he reached the top.

Making our way in he was straight into the stable and nose straight in the bucket in spite of the fact that our autumn/winter routine is only a few days old, and stood happily chewing while I fussed around him with fly sprays and brushes in his short time in before back out to the field – not yet time for the overnight stays of the thick of winter. 


There is nowhere more still and more calming to me than the abandoned barn at night, our presence and the orange glow of the strip light above our heads the only disturbance in the silent yard, shrouded in darkness at the top of the hill, with the lights of the city across the water the only twinkle in the distance. We made our way back to the field gate where we part ways with a quiet and steady clopping of shoes on the track; and, C sorted for the night, I wound my way on and drew up once more outside home, still turning over so many topics in my mind, when the little ones all lined up to demand attention.

Little Rosie must have heard us mention her 100th birthday at the weekend as in the last couple of days she has all of a sudden looked her age overnight, struggling a little to get around her cage and sleeping more than ever. Although her teeth seem ok, some of her hard food seems to have been a bit of a trial in the last few days, so had her some soaked biscuits and a little rearrange of her cage to keep things close, handy, and up no slopes. Nursing her and making sure she had everything she needed while she used my scarf to nestle in and give herself a clean took all my attention – there’s no space for anything else when the wee ones are needing care.

 

Harvey and Ty, our little mischief, don’t need too much at the moment, but are always there to politely line by the bars and ask for some attention and a wee jaunt out of their cage all the same. We are celebrating Ty being fully back to health and off his anti-biotics now – in spite of being prescribed the good-tasting one, the sight of the syringe made him make this face……

 

… while Harvey, by contrast, became VERY interested in voluntarily finishing up any medicine we didn’t manage to force feed his poor brother!


As my husband despairingly said, it always seems to be the wrong rats who get ill! We’ve had this in the past too, with our old boy Chae spending years watching Winston and Pipkin be syringed medicine for their recurring respiratory infections while he always sported a very left-out expression, had to have some yoghurt to keep him the same, and was the only one of the family never to need it! Still, Ty’s plight is over, and the boys were doing fine last night, both in a very cuddly mood.


The pets we have in our home and have had over the years always bring so much happiness and good times; but, more than that, even in the times they need more help or support or aren’t 100% at their best, bring such a stability, routine, and steadying sense of purpose to every day. Looking after our little mischief is one of the highlights of my day, and especially when things are busy elsewhere, is a retreat and a focus I am so grateful for. 

Have a wonderful Thursday – and a wonderful Autumn Equinox 🍃 🍁 🍂 all, from all of us. x

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2 thoughts on “Caring for the little ones… the peace at the end of the day

  1. Reblogged this on A Mischief Managed – and Other Adventures and commented:

    Reading through some older blog posts this morning, I found that this one, written on an autumn night over a year ago, says everything that’s been on my mind in the last few weeks at this same time of year, as so many of these same themes have come round again.

    It’s hard to believe it was only a year ago that we had our little dwarf hamster Rosie still with us, nearing the end of her little life; and that Harvey and Ty were our only two rat boys – given that went on to make the older part of our little rat family over months to come and that in fact things have gone full circle now and we are back to only two boys again, Jasper and Jet, with H&T, along with Marley, Reuben and Perry having come and gone from our family in that time, bringing so many good memories with them to outlast their stays.

    We said goodbye to our distinguished gent Perry on October 11th, after a good few weeks of caring extensively for him as he became less able and enjoying seeing him enjoy the attention and cuddles in his last days. He was a fantastic pet; clever, engaging and affectionate too, and we miss him very much already; but it was wonderful to have such lovely times with him at the end of his life, and in those weeks the truth was hit home to me all over again of just how special, how all-encompassing, how anchoring and how heart-softening it is, in the midst of the trials of life, to come home each night to a pet needing extra care and attention. I’m so grateful to our little man Perry, and to all our pets past and present for the incredible gift they give us just by needing us.

    Have a lovely weekend all. xx

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