As it has been some time since I have posted anything (goodbye, resolutions) there has been some small number of arrivals and departures here on the Unfarm. A change of cast, so to speak.
The first to leave was Daphne, the mouse. This left Caroline (being the other mouse) all alone and precipitated the arrival of Evangeline - a small, grey mouse to keep Caroline company, which would have worked well had Caroline not then died soon afterward, leaving Evangeline alone. It would appear that either my timing is perpetually off when it comes to the mice or my luck is just plain lousy.
Shortly after Caroline died (and was stored in the freezer beside Daphne until they could be taken to be cremated - a fact which my mom forgot until she went rummaging around in the back of the freezer for cheese and was startled (to say the least) by a frozen, Ziploc-ed mouse) Clover, my sweet little rabbit, took a downward turn. It started out with weight loss that had me concerned enough to make a vet appointment but became something closer to panic when he became lethargic one evening a week before his scheduled appointment. I took him into the vet the next morning on an emergency drop off appointment and he remained there on heat lamps throughout the day and went home with me in the evening in less than stable condition, with poor appetite and low body temperature. I was cuddling with him at home that evening when he stretched out and then went limp. Having held enough dying animals (that is a sad statement of my life, is it not?) to know what that meant I pleaded with him not to go but it was useless: he died in my arms. And so we lost Clover - the malnourished stray I had caught in a live trap and nursed back to health six years ago. Perhaps the only positive thing I can say about losing Clover was that at least he was not bonded to any other rabbits that would be left behind; I was in the process of bonding him with Jojo but they were only at the point of tolerating each other when Clover died.
The benefit to having so many pets is that when you lose one you can't wallow in your misery for long: you have a dozen or so other animals that need you still. Which brings me back to Evangeline, our lone mouse. As it so happens, I was trolling the humane society website (as I often do, looking for some animal or another who seems to desperately need a home like ours) and happened across the profiles of three female mice who were up for adoption. Here was a perfect opportunity to add roommates for Evangeline while supporting a worthy cause. Needless to say Evangeline now has three new mice to socialize with: Angela, Francine, and Gemima.
And so the tally stands at this: departures - 3, arrivals - 4. But knowing life on the Unfarm, those numbers are sure to change again all too soon.