I don't know what to say other than this weekend was extremely, unexpectedly, emotionally exhausting. I had a work conference in Williamsburg, Va on Friday, so I got up extra early and hand fed Imogen like I had been for the past several days. She ate, but she didn't look any better. Watching her try to climb into her blankets was heartbreaking, because she just didn't have the strength to do it.
I thought about her the entire day at the conference. I remembered the first day I brought her home, how she bounced around my room and how I invited my friends over to see her and how funny she was. I thought about how every year, she would come with me to college. When it snowed, she would put on turtle-necks that I made out of tube socks and tunnel around in the snow. She was a good friend.
I also thought about the reality that she was an old ferret. I hoped that maybe something was wrong with her spine, or maybe she had something wrong with her tooth... something fixable.
But I got home that night and I knew that it was time to take her to the vet. I had been afraid, because I didn't want them placing the blame on me or telling me that it was going to be thousands of dollars to treat her... because I knew I would pay anything if it came down to it. So I gathered her up in a towel and my mom drove us the the emergency vet. Thank goodness she was there to comfort me. In the car, Imogen layed in my arms looking up at me, and I told her how she was a good girl and that I loved her more than anything.
We got there, and I instantly broke down. I told the receptionist that I had been calling different vets in the area, and nobody could see her until next week. I told her that I didn't think she would make it through the night, and I needed someone to look at her. They didn't specialize in ferrets, but were able to get some one to look at her. What I remember most about the staff, is there compassion. Nobody blamed me for it, and I think that maybe that fear came out of me somewhat blaming myself.
They took us into an empty room and I told Imogen that everthing was going to be ok. But, one look at her and it was clear that the doctor wasn't optomistic. She had bruises inside of her mouth, which apparently are a sign of kidney failure. I had prepared myself for some kind of an injury, not something as big as this. They took Imogen into another room for bloodwork, and I sat there in silence... I knew she wouldn't be coming home with me that night.
When they brought her back, I felt sick. Emotionally and physically. They tried to get a blood sample, but she was so dehyrdated that they couldn't get more than a drop. What's worse, there was a huge bruise on her neck where they had tried to hold her while drawing blood. I told the vet that at this point I knew she was suffering, and she agreed that the best thing for Imogen would be to put her down.
She passed in my hands, and the last thing she heard was me whispering how good she was and how much I loved her. I'm glad she wasn't alone when she died.
I left thinking about death and how much I believe that her energy was released from her body and out into the atmosphere. As she passed, I closed my eyes and tried to breathe it in. Tried to catch some of that energy on my eyelashes and fingers. And then when I left, released it outside into the sunshine that she loved so much. Her ashes will be scattered over a field in Goochland County, and every time I feel the wind on my cheeks or warmth on my shoulder, I will know that it's Imogen telling me she's happy.
I think that Imogen was at peace and was ready. I will never forget the memories that only her and I share, and I will never ever stop loving her.