It wouldn’t be the holidays around the Afthead house without a pet dying. Yesterday, when my husband was looking for things to do I suggested he check on Lula, the zombie hamster. He disappeared into the basement and shortly returned shaking his head.
“She’s really dead this time?” I asked.
“Had been for awhile from the looks of her.”
And like the dope I am I burst out crying. She wasn’t my favorite pet, but death is sad. We had a quick burial beside the dead-bunny-bush where Lula joined the baby bunny who died in our window well several years ago. No words were said, because it was 20 degrees out, but her tiny body curled neatly into the hole I managed to spade out of the frozen ground. She looked very Lula-esque as I sprinkled dirt on top of her.
The last time I knew she was alive was December 14th, because she tried to run around on her wheel while I was working at home: the tumor on her hindquarters made movement difficult. I gave her a slice of apple which she nuzzled on for a bit before drinking and heading back to her purple cave. It was a nice final hamster human interaction. (Yes, she could have been dead for two weeks in there, but I was dealing with a cancer scare at Christmas and couldn’t bring myself to check on her.) The last time my daughter saw her was at our Christmas craft party where one of Afthead Junior’s friends suggested feeding Lula to her pet snake. I can’t say that would have been a worse ending for Lula, but my daughter balked at a Lula death by snake swallowing.
This morning, I did a little research. Lula’s life expectancy was 1.5 – 2 years. By my calculations we had her almost 3.5 years. So she lived an entire lifetime as a hamster, then another as a zombie hamster before the zombie-hamster-tumor took her agility, then her sight, and finally her life.
My last hope for Lula is that she and the bunny don’t start some mini Pet Sematary in my back yard. I really hope she rests in peace back there.