I hate “RIP.”
It seems so callous. And yet.
I bow to convention.
Something you won’t see very often from me. I could only do it in the context of Chin, because I know he wouldn’t mind. We never once called him ‘Ringo’ even though that was his name.
He was Chin.
Original, I know.
I’d like to give you the dates of Chin’s life, but alas, I do not know them.
He was an enigma.
Not really. I just don’t know them.
He was the easiest of pets. The sweetest of pets. The most easy-going of pets. I sing the praises of chinchillas!
He didn’t make noise, didn’t smell (unless his cage was going on month two without cleaning, and even then it was IT and not HIM), didn’t bite (ever! not even once!), never made waves, got along with everyone (the cats, the dogs, even Dave!).
The most trouble he ever gave me was that one time he jumped into the uncovered heating duct when we were finishing off the bonus room. Yes, that was some trouble.
I spent about six hours tracing his movements throughout the addition knowing that with one false jump he was gone for good. Well, unless I was willing to dismantle our actual furnace and even then it was not guaranteed.
We left trails of raisins (his favorite). Hoping to lure him out.
I sat, unmoving, with a fishing net in my hands as he popped his head out of the hole in the floor only to disappear if I so much as moved a muscle.
It was then that I knew Chin had an agenda beyond his exercise wheel.
It was to bust out.
To be free.
But I had promised not to set him free like I did with Scooter the spotted fancy mouse and — I don’t remember the names of– the bunnies. There is just something I can hardly stand about an animal in a cage. And I rationalize that two days of freedom during a Minnesota summer before being killed by a hawk or a raccoon or a fox or a coyote or a — god forbid — house cat is better than years in a cage at the Menkes.
But I promised.
So I didn’t.
And I came to love that stupid chinchilla. And he came to love us (I think. Course, it all could have been a big act…). Though I know in that tiny peanut of a brain he was always just scheming his way back down into that mecca of heating and cooling pipes.
Sadly, we had to put him to sleep last weekend after feeding him with a syringe for over a week. He finally stopped accepting it and we were too sad to let nature take its course since he was obviously in a lot of pain. (His teeth grew outward which prevented them from being worn down by chewing like they should’ve naturally. Without that opposition, the roots of the teeth started to grow backwards and into his lower jaw and eye socket area. Not good.)
It all happened really fast.
And I still stop by his cage to give him a raisin or a scratch.
But he’s not there. And we will miss him.
(that’s me. aren’t I so cute? I’ve been using this amazing skin cream and my wrinkles are gone!)
No, actually it’s my darling niece Megan, who also loved Chinny. Hi Megan!