Farewell, sweet Loki…

Our sweet little ferret, Loki Poki, passed away last evening. She was 6 years old.

I knew she was leaving us, she’s been getting elderly and frail, and didn’t really like to run around and tussle as much with her little sister Tasha. She still loved to be cuddled and held like a baby and of course, she loved her peanut butter spoon lickies and ferret vitamin paste.

We talked about her passing, we knew it would be soon. We talked about euthanasia and talked to our vet but in the end we felt it would be best to keep her warm and secure in the home she loved and cuddled with her ferret sister at night then to subject her to the upset of the office and strangers. She didn’t seem to be in any pain, she was really very calm and content, just her light in her eyes was passing and you knew it would be soon.

Of course, I was most upset for Maggie, these little ferrets are her buddies and they have brought a lot of joy and excitement to our household. They are like perpetual kittens, always running and tussling and playing. They love to snitch things and try to hide them, even things four times larger than their own little bodies. We have several little videos of them playing and it’s such a joy to watch their zest for life. Nothing phased them, even a big dog or anything. Tough little critters with just a super fun outlook on life.

We were all fussing over Maggie, worried about her feelings, blubbering ourselves at the little girl’s passing and finally Maggie got mad at us and proclaimed, “I’m not 10 anymore!” And went off to be alone. I thought Loki’s passing hurt, but there was a part of me that just really ached at that statement. I know she’s not 10. I can hardly believe she’s 17! Still, I guess I still remember the aches of other little pets that have passed… especially Rainbow Star.

When Maggie was about 5, she was still very non-verbal, and was attending classes through the Wood County Children’s Development Department which were very helpful. The one thing, though, that really reached through to her closed off world was a classroom guinea pig. She would spend the whole day watching and caring for that pig if she was allowed. One of the teachers suggested that we should consider a pig or maybe a hamster or something small that she could be the caretaker of, as a way of reaching her, and connecting. We had a dog and a pair of cats, but they were more the family’s pets, not just Maggie’s.

So off we went to the pet store to search for the perfect little buddy for Maggie. It didn’t take long, she was instantly attracted to a sweet little baby golden hamster and it came right over to her, friendly as all get go. She came home with the whole collection of cage and toys, food and treats and we were in the hamster business.

Well, that little hammie was christened Rainbow Star. And she was CHERISHED… so friendly and easy going, a perfect match for Maggie. Maggie had her EVERYWHERE with her, I had to check her pockets before school to make sure Rainbow Star was not taking the ride with her. We brought her to show and tell, and even had photo studio pics made and that was amazing because Maggie would not go in for regular pictures at all.

Then one morning, Rainbow Star escaped from her cage and was murdered. Maggie found her missing, and the search was on. I remember my heart breaking when I found little Rainbow Star in the living room, behind a chair, her little body limp from a rough handling from a dog, I am assuming. She wasn’t savaged, or anything too foul, but her little soul was gone and it was dreadful. I remember that we ALL cried so badly about that little hammie and it was the first time I ever remember Maggie reacting with true emotional grief, a HUGE breakthrough, but from a terrible reason. Rainbow Star had the most elaborate funeral ever given to any hamster. Cards came in from relatives, grandmas called and tried to give their sad condolences. Maggie talked about Rainbow Star for days and days, the most we had ever heard from her. It was her only topic and it was heartbreaking. I can hardly write about it without tearing up. Rainbow Star was a true breakthrough for Maggie and now she was gone.

Well, the rest is history, and soon after Maggie had found her calling at the local protector of all things little and furry. She really blossomed after that, it was amazing. I think that soon, we might be considering starting up her rescue again. I know she would love that and we certainly have the space now. But I digress…

So now, when we loose a little fur baby in the house, I just can’t not think about Rainbow Star and her tragic end and the doors that opened for a little girl. I’m so thankful that Maggie has so much room in her heart for these little critters. They are like training tools for life. I know that some day, she’ll outgrow the little critters and we’re probably soon there. Talking, I wondered if she would seek out another ferret for Tasha, our remaining fuzzy woozel. And Maggie told me she had been thinking about it all day and wasn’t sure. She knew that Tasha would love a playmate, but Tash is getting older too. She’s about 4 years old, maybe a bit less. To get another baby would give us that whole old pet, new pet problem. Ferrets can live solidary lives well enough, but they really do love a friend. It’s the whole reason that we got Tasha for Loki!

I remember when we brought Tasha baby home. We were all sitting on the floor, letting them get to know each other in a nuetral area. Loki was curious and watched the baby for a bit and then quietly walked over and snatched her up by the scruff and tried to drag her off under the couch! She had claimed the little fuzzy for her own and from that point on, they were best buddies.

I’ve been thinking all morning about Loki and Maggie and death, and I’ve come to this conclusion… death is a natural part of life. Sure, it’s easy to talk about the circle of life and get all misty eyed and all, but I think that one of the most difficult things about death, even that of a little pet, is the grief and what-if feeling… What if had done something different, feed them something special, played more with them, gave them more of special vitamins and so on, maybe they wouldn’t die. Its as if we feel death is failure on our part in some way. Not a natural passing from one existence to another, but a failure on our part to properly care and provide for these little fur babies that come into our lives. I think about it a lot with our two elderly dogs. I know that soon, within a year or so, we will probably loose them. It’s a race that no one wins. Yet, I can’t stop thinking that we could have done better. Somehow…

Yet, I think back on the life of Loki and I see a little very beloved pet. She had Maggie around all the time, since we homeschooled. She had her little buddy Tasha to cuddle and play with. She was fed only the best in ferret chow and had good clean water and a perfect cage. I never had to tell Maggie to take care of their litter or clean up after them, she was always the perfect ferret mom to those little babies. I can’t think of more spoiled ferrets at all. They got lots of outside cage time, and Maggie made hammocks and toys for them… no, these were not mistreated in any way. They have a wonderful life and I think we need to stop living in regret and fear of failure and cherish and honor their memories for the short time they are with us.

So, farewell little Loki Poki… I’m quite sure you are resting peacefully now, all curled in a little ferret nugget, slumbering sweetly without the hindering of age. She will be buried out in the back pasture near the raspberry bushes and the little chapel in the corner of our beloved little farm. And I am sure that time will prove that she will not rest alone there, as our other little furries will join her when their time comes. She will be with us in our hearts forever.

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of BuckeyeBluegrass.com as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Farewell, sweet Loki… — 2 Comments

    • Thank you… we’re doing better today, but it still feels a little hurtful. She was such a part of our family, I miss their daily romps and playtime, they were so joyful together. Tasha is trying to make up for the missing part of the puzzle but you can tell she is lonely for her little buddy too!