Last week was pretty depressing.
One of my pet rats, Sobeknofru ("Sobey"), had a stroke (all my four rats were named after Egyptian queens: Sobeknofru, Twosret, Nefertiti and Hatchepsut). As a result, she was too weak to feed herself so I began to hand feed her 3-4 times a day. I also washed her every couple of days since she wasn't able to do that either - or not to any satisfactory degree.
She was doing better for a while there, seemed to be improving...and then she had another stroke. She didn't recover from that one. She lost a lot of her balance and coordination and seemed to be pretty out of it most of the time. Still very eager to eat though, flopping out of their igloo when I approached with her food. But she was losing weight even with regular feedings, and moving even a tiny amount made her pant.
So I took her to the vets today and had her put to sleep. Even though I feel it was the best thing for her, and for my sanity as I hated watching her deteriorate, I feel immensely guilty. Guilty because despite everything, she was still willing to eat and make a go of it. She didn't give up. I did.
But in the end I can only use my own judgement, and rightly or wrongly I judged that the situation was probably distressing for her and that it was kinder to put her to sleep before she deteriorated any further.
Sighs... I feel very tired after all that. Agonizing over what to do. Trying to juggle looking after her with my university work... I suppose I need to throw myself into that for the rest of the day. Writing about Waiting for Godot at the moment... Seems strangley apt. But I have fallen behind schedule and I really need to bang my argument into a coherent shape.
On a more positive note: I'm generally feeling positive about writing at the moment and I'm in danger of getting addicted to this site again. And I sent a poem to a magazine and the editor actually bothered to put a PS on my rejection letter! (Ran something along the lines of "I like it but not quite enough") So I will regard that as a positive thing since I didn't expect to get any comment at all.
After the violence,
a vague suffocation:
Cotton in the lungs,
A fog in the brain.
Nigh invisible to the eye,
Heavy in the heart and sigh -
Better to assume its
Yet pain remains
a lonely burden,
and hard to share:
a dull dried-up stare.
*I know this looks to have something of a patchy rhyme (non-)scheme, but I didn't actually plan for it to have any rhyme scheme at all. It just came out like that.
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