Friday, March 14, 2008

For the Love of a Piggy

My precious baby Mocha passed away on Wednesday. Over the last few weeks, he struggled with two upper respiratory infections. But the worst news was when we found out he had a stone in each ureter and needed emergency surgery. We left him with our vet on Tuesday, with his surgery scheduled for Wednesday. Tuesday night, at almost midnight, we made a 20 minute trek to the vet office to visit him and to bring him his most cherished possession, his cuddle cup. The cuddle cup is about 3 years old, so worn and ragged from several washings, but he absolutely loves it. We spent about half an hour with him, taking turns holding him, feeding him blueberries (his favorite treat), singing to him (he always looked at me and purred when I sang the song from Dumbo, "Baby Mine," to him), telling him what a good piggy he was and how much we loved him. He purred away in contentment as we rubbed him and held him close. We asked the vet if it was ok if he had his cuddle cup with him so he had something familiar with him and she said it was fine. As I was preparing to give him back, I held him close and breathed in his scent several times. I felt at the moment that it was so important for me to just breathe him in. I looked at him and said "precious, you smell like Mocha." He purred, I told him I loved him...and that was the last time I saw him.

Wednesday afternoon around 1pm, our vet called and said he made it out of surgery, but that one of the stones went back into his kidney so she'd need to go back in for it in another day or two, but he was resting well in the mean time. Three hours after that, she called again...the first words out of her mouth were, "I'm sorry." She explained that his intestines started to bloat and they couldn't stop it...and finally he "went to sleep" as she delicately told me. She kept apologizing and through my sobs, I told her how much we appreciated that she did all that she could for him. The drive to pick up his little body was painfully long, but it was even worse when we got there and they handed me a little box with his name and a heart drawn on it. I also got back his cuddle cup. When we got home, I opened the box, took off the towel he had been wrapped in, held him close, and just cried. I think even the other piggies knew something was wrong as they all were incredibly subdued...and still remain so, Eggnog in particular.

Piggies can live anywhere from 5-10 years. Mocha would have turned 3 in June.

We've lost three piggies. One died in my arms, one died due to the fault of a former vet, and now Mocha. With each, we wrapped them in a shirt of mine so they'd forever be wrapped in Mama's arms. We also put in clippings from the other piggies' fur, as well as little things they loved. Mocha will be no different. And as much as I want to hang on to his cuddle cup, he deserves to have it with him. Some people can't imagine why I would do this. After all, I've been told, it's just a guinea pig. Why do I do it? Because I loved him. I adored him. He trusted me. He was not a disposable pet to toss to the side when things went downhill. He was a creation of God, entrusted to my care...and he deserved to be cared for. Mocha was an incredibly affectionate piggy with such a sweet disposition...and anyone who "could care less" truly doesn't deserve his love.

I realize that the entire world is not as passionate about animals as I am, and some barely even care. I realize that not everyone cares about creation in general. I think what saddens me even more is when Christians are the ones who could care less. We are the ones who should be front and center when it comes to caring for God's creation. Instead, many Christians look at me and Wes and we're considered "moderate" or "liberal" because of our beliefs regarding conservation...and some have used the term "tree hugger." For the record, I have no problems being a tree hugger...I do have problems with people who use that term in a derogatory manner towards me. When Adam and Eve were created, the first command was to be fruitful and multiply. The second command was a charge regarding our rule over the earth. Why do so many Christians happily accept the first command while completely ignoring the second? They're both in the same verse. I'm not saying that everyone needs to be right where I am regarding my passion for the environment. It just makes me sad that the very people who are called to be stewards of the earth are the ones who look down upon those who actually take the job seriously.

For you Lord of the Rings fans out there...remember Denethor? He was called to be the Steward of Gondor. He was to take care of the kingdom until the king returned. And what happened? He let it get to his head...he stopped caring about his kingdom and refused to give up "his" throne for the return of the king. He declined into madness. We, as Christians, have been called to be stewards of this earth with God as our High King. This world is not our's not ours to mess up. And yet, some stewards could care less about it. While we are anxiously awaiting the return of Christ, what kind of earth are we having Him return to? Have we seriously declined into madness like Denethor and refuse to give up our throne for the rightful King? Are we really proud of what we're offering to Him? Can we stand tall when asked "what did you do in your role as steward?" When we chase after animals to scare them, throw things at another animal for fun, care less about the plight of an animal in need...stop and think about just Who created that animal...and Who we are hurting when we take delight in their suffering.

Mocha, I love you...and I feel blessed that God gave you to us...even for a short time.

Photos by Mary King


Craver Vii said...

You probably like animals more than I do, but Mocha really was a sweet-dispositioned Guinea. This is probably going to sound stupid and trivial, but I have a question. In the bottom photo, he's curled up inside of something colorful; was that the "cuddle cup" you were referring to?

Mary said...

It's not stupid or trivial at all!
Yes, that was his beloved cuddle cup. We had purchased a new one for him, and he sometimes slept in the new one...but he adored the old one and was protective of it. The picture was taken last month...I was all giddy at how adorable he looked curled up and had always wanted a "perfect shot" of him in his cuddle cup. I'm so glad I got it.

Jules~ said...

Dear Mary, I am so sorry for you loss of Mocha. I don't think any of your thoughts oremotions are silly. Animals are definately an important part of God's creation. He made it all, them all.
I so very much understand and my heart breaks for you. When my Samson died a few years ago, I felt like my heart had been ripped out.
I will be praying for God's comfort over you and your husband.

Mary said...

Jules, thank you so much for your kind words. I don't cry every day anymore, but there are still moments when I find myself drifting off in the memory of holding Mocha. In fact, the other day I was looking into their play area and happily said, "Hi Mocha!" I was just so caught up in my memories that the words just popped out of my mouth. Moments like that are hard.

Furbabies should be immortal.