Rada’s white mice Suzie and Sally had a short run with us. Only in residence five months last fall, they both became sick and died within a few days of each other. Sally was the first to go and was buried in the back garden behind the azalea bush.
Suzie, however, hung on for another week before passing away. By that time it had gotten quite cold and we decided to wait a few days for the weather to get a little better. So we preserved her in the freezer for a day or two. The weekend went by and we still hadn’t gotten the chance to do it. Then, over the next days, the temperature unexpectedly got even colder. The ground was now frozen solid, and I realized that we had missed a deadline: the burial would have to be deferred until spring.
Suzie rested quietly in the freezer the entire winter, largely forgotten except for repeated reminders to babysitters who might have mistaken her for leftovers and occasional moments when I would see the folded napkin in the baggy and temporarily forget what it was.
Last week with the beautiful weather and the ground soft from rain, Rada & I took our shovels, dug a good hole next to Sally and finally closed the loop. Rada said “goodbye Suzie, thanks for being my pet”. We filled in the dirt, patted it down, and went back into the apartment, quiet for a while, each in our own thoughts. It was an ending, and however minor, it was still noted.