Friday, June 15, 2007

Pet ills

For a long time we just hadn’t done pets. LL is quite badly allergic to cat dandruff, and she is concerned about reports of blindness caused by dog poo. So, we didn’t until last year. Then, at the tender age of seven, we fell to Pirate Pete’s repeated requests, and got him a guinea pig. Appropriately named Tommy (don’t ask, long story), he lives in a cage in the house and has kind of become part of the family.

He’s a rather social little thing. When we sit down to table, he comes out and nibbles at his food. If we’re sitting reading in the room, he comes out of his enclosed hutch and sits there companionably with us. According to the children he’s rather fond of star wars, or at least he chirrups when held in their laps as they watch star wars.

Thing is, he’s ill. Has been for a couple weeks. He had a day of vomiting a while back, but seemed to recover, or at least kept eating. The problem was he developed a rather laboured breathing. Then, last couple days, he’s gone off his food. This is an animal who seemingly never stops eating. If you brought a chunk of cucumber over he would snatch it from your hands and gobble it down in seconds. For him not to eat is serious.

So, we’ve been using the opportunity to talk to the kids about life and death. Much to our shock Pirate Pete has taken to saying prayers. That will teach us for putting him into a conservative Church of England school. I’d been fairly clear about not doing the vet thing. A single visit would likely cost two or three times his purchase price, but I’ve relented. Well, actually I don’t think I had much say in the matter. LL has laid down the law (she’s a soft touch when it comes to animals and children), so into the vet he goes today. I’m not sure there’s much that can be done, but we shall see.

I shall keep you informed of his progress.

Addendum: Our Tommy has pneumonia! Has been given a large jab, and needs drops but should fully recover. Fancy that…


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