Thursday, February 2, 2012

A rough 24 hours in my animal world

I don't talk about my own animals much in this blog.  I think the last time I brought up my ferrets was when Magick passed away almost a year and a half ago.  Well, last Tuesday, I lost the last of my original "business" (Business being the collective noun for ferrets - like a herd of cows or a pack of wolves or a murder of crows.)  Gaia was 7 1/3 years old and had two different cancers for the last two years of her life.  The high protein diet she had to be on to keep one of the cancers in check pretty much destroyed her kidneys, which was what ultimately brought her down.  I got her when she was about six months old (which is an estimate, since all my ferrets are rescues from the Greater Chicago Ferret Association and we don't have her initial paperwork).  But given the best estimates the vets could come up with, we decided that she and I shared a birthday.
Gaia ferret - 9.27.2004 - 1.31.2012

Given that she was so young when I got her, and that she was at least three years younger than Magick and Spirit - the first two ferrets I ever adopted - she was always known as 'the baby'.  Even at the end, when the two new ferrets she was sharing a cage with were less than half her age.

This is one of the earliest shots I have of her. You can still see some of her baby-shape in the pudginess of her back legs and bottom.  And how short her nose is.
She was the last of the original business as seen here, moving into their new and improved cage.  From left to right, Gaia, Spirit and Magick.

In less personal news, one of the "Mane Attractions" at the Lincoln Park Zoo has also passed away.  If you come in through the main gates to the zoo, one of the first exhibits you see is the outdoor lion habitat.  And usually, sunning himself on a large rock in the middle of the exhibit would be the male lion, Adelor.  He was put down yesterday due to very, very poor health.  He was 18 years old.  According to the news reports, most lions only make it to 14, the oldest captive lion was 26 when he died.  It strikes me as odd that such a huge, strong animal should have such a short lifespan, especially in captivity where he isn't being preyed on.

Adelor had an extremely impressive roar.  You could be at the other end of the park and hear him when he felt like letting you know he was around.  If you were near the rail of the exhibit when he let loose, you could feel the vibrations of the sound go right through you.

Anyway, here's Adelon welcoming people to the zoo.

Rest in peace our beloved carnivores, big and small.

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