Yesterday was quite a day. It should have gone so well, what with the completion of the trampoline project. But it turned out to be a Day of Death.
First, sometime in the late morning, early afternoon, The Mrs. went out to feed the fishies. Shortly thereafter she came up to me and said, "Have you seen Whitey and Charles today?"
Now, this is an interesting question, as Whitey and Charles are our last two remaining Koi in the front pond, Reddy and Goldy having disappeared under mysterious circumstances last fall (that is, we presume they got eaten by either a heron or a racoon, which is generally how Koi disappear around here). Koi don't normally go on walk-about, so if you go to feed them, and they aren't there, that's not a very good sign.
I poked around quite a bit under the ivy where they hide, and no fishies. Kept an eye out the rest of the day. No fishies. Poor Whitey and Charles.
Later, when I completed the trampoline, The Mrs. decided to reward me by letting me mow the lawn. This is something I have not done completely in about three weeks, as I have spent almost all waking hours on the weekends working on the trampoline. I've managed to mow the front a couple times and part of the back, but not the whole thing.
So I'm mowing along happily by the front fence, and just as I'm about to go around a fence post, I see something move. I stop and back up. There, at the base of the post is huddled a little baby bunny. Doesn't even have its eyes open. But it twitches its ears if it hears a loud noise.
I motion for The Mrs. to bring The Childrens to look at the baby bunny. They have a great time seeing it. The Mrs. then utters those fateful words: "Are there any more?"
I back track along the fence line a bit, and about 20 feet back, I find a little dead baby bunny with its belly slashed wide open. It's freshly dead. Still limp.
I mowed a baby bunny.
I point it out quietly to The Mrs., and she keeps The Childrens pointed in another direction. We head the other way along the fence and find another baby bunny huddled about three fence posts down. This one has its eyes open. After more searching, we find one about ten feet back into the lawn from the fence, only this one is only about a half a bunny, and it's clearly been dead a while. I dunno if I mowed that one in half or not. I suspect not, as I haven't mowed the front in two weeks, and this looked too big to have been the same age as the others two weeks ago.
I carefully mow around the bunnies after having disposed of freshly-chopped bunny after The Mrs. had shooed The Childrens off to let me finish mowing. I finish the mowing without further incident.
The rest of the day went well until the evening when The Mrs. was putting MaxieC to bed. HannahC went to play with her rats, as she usually does each night after MaxieC goes to bed. Suddenly, she starts screaming that we need to call an ambulance cuz Ethel is sick. I take Ethel from her, and sure enough, Ethel is sick. She's very lethargic. There are no outward signs of injury or sickness, but she's definitely not right.
Ethel had been sneezing a lot lately. She had been sneezing since we got her, so we hadn't thought a lot about it. But it had been picking up frequency of late.
I held Ethel for about an hour. We sent HannahC to bed. Ethel perked up a bit, and climbed from my hands to my shoulder where she likes to sit. I put her back in her cage with Jackie, as rats take care of one another when they are sick. I sat with them for another half hour, and then Jackie suddenly got very agitated. I took Jackie out.
Ethel passed on about 10 minutes later.
HannahC is very upset to have lost three of her pets in one day. It is a sad home today.