Last night Ant and I said goodbye to our sweet, chinchilla, Lily. She just turned 11 years old.
Lily was more than just a pet. She was a family member. We had such a wonderful bond that it’s hard to put into words the feeling I felt with her.
She had the most wonderful disposition. She was funny, fearless, sassy and intelligent. I always felt she was the smartest pet in the household. I experienced so many things and parts of my life with her. I got her right before my 18th birthday. She was there for my HS graduation, college, heart aches, new relationships, a new home, marriage and Anthony becoming her dad.
I like to think Lil had a good life. She was loved by anyone who met her. When we were living at home, the other pets loved her too. She adored Jake and they would give each other kisses. There were times when she would escape from her cage and I would find her hanging out with the dogs and cats. They didn’t look at her as a rodent. They treated her like one of the pack.
We had some fun adventures. I’ve taken her to friend’s houses. I brought her into my mom’s school to teach a class about chinchillas and to meet Lily. I brought her to work to be photographed in the studio. She was a lovely subject to photograph. She would pose and let me put hats on her, and she would tolerate it. She was amazing.
I knew this day would come, but at the same time you feel naive. And you feel that, they will some how live forever. Lil was just always there. You would look over and she would just be observing and she had a deep soul. There were times in the past when I thought she wasn’t feeling well, and I would brace myself..but she always pulled through. There was even a time I had to bring her to the vet for a sprained ankle and she bounced
back so quickly.
What lily and I both didn’t know was the emotional weight I put on her. I didn’t know this was going to be this hard and my heart is so heavy. This is part of growing up and as they say, the circle of life. My mom was the strong one growing up. When we had a pet death, my mom always took care of it. (minus fish) She told me last night that my dad couldn’t even deal with it. I was luckily enough where I never saw the actual dead body. Our three cats, essentially ran off to die. When our dog was suffering and sick, my mom took her to the vet. Mom was there for the bird and hedgehog too. A big part of me was in fear of having to deal with her body and seeing her in that state. I just wanted Ant to be there to take care of it.
She died in my arms and Ant was there. I don’t know if that makes it worse or better, but I am glad I was with her. I am also so grateful that Ant was there. We buried her and lit a candle.
RIP my lovable, furrball. Enjoy endless dust baths and raisins.