It's late at night and I am holding Mabel. He seems to be colder than he should be and his breathing is not as deep as it usually is. But, he is still perky, eagerly grabbing unto any treats offered to him and complaining if I move too much while he relaxes in my hand. It has been difficult for me to watch him slowly slip away from me and this world. While in the last week he seems to have been improving I lived in dread anticipation in what was to come. Mabel had been so much more like his old self the last few days.
We put Mabel away and Trish suggests that we put the heating pad underneath the corner of his cage where he sleeps. I watch Mabel go into his nest with a little piece of treat and he snuggles into place. It almost looks as if he has made himself a little pillow from some bedding. I watch as Mabel lays his head down and slowly closes his eyes, his head and body gently moving has he breathes his way to sleep.
It is the sound of rolling thunder that wakes me in the morning. I find Mabel. It looks as if Mabel had tried to crawl out from the nest to his food or water bottles and only went so far. He was on his side with his tail behind him, almost as if he had been captured in mid-run. I picked him up and lay him out on a soft cloth, checking him for any injuries or wounds. I asked Trish to take some pictures while I prepared for the trip to where the other mice are buried. When all is ready I wrap Mabel up in his cloth and we go. I find the spots where Mabel's one time cage mate, Belle, and Mabel's and Pudding's littlest-little girl, Lena, are buried. I find a spot for Mabel and put him in place.
Mabel had taught me a lot about how to love a mouse. I will miss him.