Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Death In The Family

We are a family of pets. In fact - my kids have had almost everything: dogs, cats, lizards, snakes, turantula, hermit crabs, gerbil, rat, gecko & fish. We are down to three dogs and 2 cats. One night, after my wife finished folding some laundry, I delivered it to the kids' rooms so they could put it away. When I walked into my oldest daughters room I opened the door to be greeted by a rather noxious smell. She (my daughter) had been at the kitchen table doing homework and hadn't been to her room since getting home from school. Therefore my opening of the door at 7:00 p.m. was the first time it had been opened since she left for school that morning. I quickly closed the door and went to get her.

Me: "You need to come with me to your room."
Her: "Why?"

Me: "There is a smell."

Her: "What kind of smell?"

Me: "Well it isn't flowers, now get up and come here."
Her: "Fine". (then she exhales like only a teenager can - that huff that says 'please die')

Me: "Open the door and take a whiff." (she opens and steps in, I stay back)
Her: "Ewwww, that's gross. What did you do?"

Me: "Nothing! What did you leave in here? Something is rotting."
Her: "I didn't have any food in my room." (at this point, she walks over and taps on the aquarium that is the home of Socks, her pet rat)

Me: "How's Socks?" (I notice he didn't jump when she banged on the glass)
Her: "He's ok, he's just sleeping."

Me: "How do you know he's sleeping honey? Shouldn't he wake up when you tap on the glass?"
Her: "He didn't wake up but I see his chest moving, so he's just asleep."

Me: "Honey, as surpsing as this may be to hear, rats don't get 'dog tired' to the point that you can't wake them." (I walk over and look closely at Socks' chest - it is moving, but not from him breathing)

Her: "See, he's breathing."
Me: "I'll agree something is breathing, but it isn't Socks, see honey, those are maggots under his skin moving around as they eat his body. He's dead and has been for some time. "

Her: (now she is inaudible through the crying and sniffling) "......blah, it is your fault because I was going to feed and water him Saturday but you let me go spend the night with Christy so I couldn't feed him dad so it's your fault he did!"

Me: "Let me get this right, because I let you go to a friends house, it is my fault your rat died?"
Her: "Of course."

Me: "Your mother has trained you bring the cage to the garage so we can bury him." (while she is walking I start humming 'Taps' as we parade out the house)
Her: "Stop making fun of me!"

That was the end of rodent pets - I think PETA has banned my family from owning anymore of them.

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