Yesterday, we lost our Merry.
Little Merry enjoying a bit of banana in my hand
He was about 3 years old and had been on the decline for a few days. We made vet appointments just to be sure but he didn’t make it to them. He died at home, next to his brother Pippin, with me and my partner nearby to help comfort him in those last moments.
He was, without a doubt, the sweetest and most calming presence in our lives. We got Merry and Pippin after we had moved into our first place together. We were still commuting into London (an hour each way) and working super long days, but coming home to them both made the flat we were renting really start to feel like a home for us. Merry was always the calming presence: He always kept his cool and only lost it if he saw a piece of banana coming his way. He would sit happily up on our shoulders and survey his kingdom from on high, and there was no greater pleasure for him than running away from us around our flat and making us chase him, always staying just out of arms reach or waiting until the last minute before hopping over our hands and running circles around us.
The ultimate floof
Even when we moved house into our first owned property, when we were rushing around trying to get everything sorted and get everything into place, Merry was completely unfazed. He and Pippin slept almost entirely through the house move and when they did wake up to explore, they ran around again as if they owned the place, Merry always making sure that Pippin didn’t get trapped in any small space and didn’t run into anything he shouldn’t have. Merry helped us to slow down in the evenings and to remind us that everything can be a game if you want it to be. Even in his final hours, he would sit quietly in our hands, nibble on his favourite chocolate treat and lick our fingers as thank you. No matter what is happening, there is always time in the day for a treat.
In one way I am so grateful that we are in lockdown, because it meant that I could be there for him in his last moments. I know that he lived a good life and was probably one of the most spoilt little gerbils in the whole world. But it still hurts. I know that he is in a better place now, where it rains yogurt drops and there are endless tunnels to dig and explore. I feel very grateful that of all the gerbils in the world, we were lucky enough to get Merry.
So please hug your pets today. Tell them how much you love them and how honoured you are to be their guardian. Enjoy the moments when they are driving you mad or testing your limits, because those will be the things that you look back on and laugh about. Hug them close and spoil them because I can guarantee you that they are completely worth every second of it. Yes this hurts, and my house already feels a little bit emptier now that he is gone, but if given the chance to do it all again I would. Without any hesitation. Without any doubt in my mind. Merry made me a better person, and if you have never had pets I understand why that may seem like a strange concept, but Merry taught me how to enjoy the moment, to explore everything that I come into contact with and to see every new environment as a chance for a new game.
I had a lot of plans for this week as it is Mental Health Awareness Week. But those are now out of the window. So instead, I am going to cuddle Pippin, buy him all of the new toys he wants and help my household through this grieving process. Which in a way, I guess is also looking after my Mental Health anyway!
Stay safe everyone, give your pets a massive hug from me, and maybe take today to enjoy all of the little moments that you have with them. If your pet falls asleep on you, I guess you now have no choice but to nap with them!