Monday, 18 January 2010

Timmy's Lost His Tommy

I had two guinea pigs, Timmy and Tommy, who have lived together since I brought them home from the pet store. Admittedly, they squabbled over their food, if one had something in his mouth the other one wanted it, even if he was already eating the same. At the rustle of a bag, the opening of the fridge door, or the sound of a voice at that time they knew was dinner time, they would both be at the edge of their outdoor enclosure – wheeting their little heads off.
One evening, Tommy did not seem himself. He was fluffed up and sleepy and I guessed that maybe he wouldn’t last very long. Timmy kept snuffling him, perhaps trying to coax the other into action.
The following morning, I hurried to the enclosure to check and Tommy had indeed passed through the night in a sleep from which he would not wake. Standing at the window, indicating to my husband that Tommy had died I felt absurdly sad. Sure, he was only a guinea pig; it wasn’t like the dog had died. But as I realised I would never see his little ginger-furred-face look at me again; I blubbed. Tommy was duly boxed and buried in the garden, a plant to mark his final resting place.
Timmy, now alone for the first time in his life, sniffed the floor where his room-mate had once slept and laid there for quite some time. Now he has to make do with looking through the fence to the other side of his enclosure, where Oscar the rabbit spends her days. But I doubt anything will fill the Tommy-shaped gap left behind in his life.

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