this post a couple of weeks ago. I didn't notice anything unusual when I gave my dwarf hamsters their favorite little yogurt treats yesterday; Isolde took hers from my hand and held it in her gimpy little paws, while Tristan took his and scurried suspiciously to the other end of the tank. Being unable to run, Izie had long ago decided to trust.
But when I checked on them this morning, I knew something was wrong. Tristan was up and moving around by himself, seeming a little out of sorts. But Izzie was nowhere to be found. I poked around in the bedding and found her curled up in the corner. She'd died in the night, apparently in her sleep.
Well, I'm a forty-one year-old, supposedly grown adult who probably shouldn't be overly sentimental about a hamster, but yeah, I'm pretty bummed. Izzie was a tough little critter, and her passing feels, I don't know, portentous.
More to the point, Schuyler likes to come and see the hamsters, mostly because she likes Izzie so much. Tristan is too twitchy and quick-footed for her, but Izzie would let Schuyler reach in and pet her and even hold her. As I said, when she lost her mobility, Izzie had long ago learned to trust the big hands.
When Schuyler woke up, I told her I had some bad news. I took her into our bedroom and showed her Tristan. She noticed immediately that he was alone; he was never without Izzie, not in the past year or so. I explained to her that Izzie had died in the night. Schuyler gave me a long hug, and for a moment I thought she might cry. But instead she just watched Tristan for a moment.
She looked up at me. "He's sad," she said, signing sad to me. "He needs a new friend."
So I suppose I know what we're doing today.
Goodbye, Izzie. For a tiny, broken rodent, you were weirdly inspiring.