I put my mouse to sleep today. Not that it was really my mouse. It was my daughter's mouse. She talked me into getting her a pair--a white one and a black one--back when we first moved in. Not that I really wanted more pets.
So far I've managed to stop her from getting a dog or a cat, because I have kids. And no matter what anyone says, kids are a lot like pets. You take care of them, feed them and clean up after them--and after everything, they suck up time and money.
So far I've had hermit crabs, the perfect pet for someone who doesn't like pets. They live for years. Not that I knew that when my daughter went to Animal Jungle on a field trip and came home with the "complimentary" pet. Her class mates all killed their crabs. One mother stuck hers in a mayonnaise jar out on the porch and it fried to death in the sunlight, another left hers in the little shoebox and didn't bother to feed it. But I'm a sucker, and I went out and bought an aquarium. Nine years later, I still had it.
I've also inherited fish and a rat.
The rat didn't like my daughter, but then--it didn't like me either. Jack buried it for me.
The mouse (mine since I cleaned the cage, feed it and played with it) had been getting fat. Then one day, all the fat turned into a tumor. According to the info, it might have stayed the same size for years with no loss of quality of life, but in three weeks, it went from pea to ping pong and it bothered me--not that it wasn't cute anymore, but that it was obviously hurting.
It was smart, and I like smart things. But unfortunately, smart is self-aware.
People thought I was crazy to take it to a vet and pay for gas euthanasia. It's a mouse. It cost two dollars. But it was my mouse, and in the grand scheme of things, I've done many things I've regretted, but this wasn't one of them. Afterwards, I went out and bought stargazers. It's fall and the lady with the kalanchoes is back.