I almost killed our older gerbil yesterday.
Let me back up. Things have been crazy busy lately. I'm working on many projects. ((I'm hoping to go up for my promotion to Full Professor next year)) I'm trying to exercise. Occasionally, I take a shower. I never clean. And I have a lot of animals.
Conor told me that his gerbil, Toasty, had run out of food. Knowing how he and the twins feed their gerbils--the twins' gerbils cage is alternating layers of shavings and food--I figured I could get some eventually.
After running to the grocery store to get some wine :-/ , Conor freaked out because Toasty was had his eyes shut and was barely moving. When we picked him up, he was cold and not really breathing. I sped back to the grocery store and picked up some gerbil food. Toasty grabbed a few kibbles and ate. And then fell asleep. Or into a coma. Or began to die.
I have never felt like a bigger shit than I did right then. Toasty is the sweetest gerbil I've ever known. He lets me pick him up and kiss on him and when I pet him on his nose, he falls asleep in my hands. He always comes out to say Hi when I come into the room. He's a sweet, innocent tiny gerbil. And I didn't buy him any food. And we couldn't tell if he was going to die.
Conor left the room and I picked up Toasty with a few kibbles in my hand and rocked him and kept him warm. I swear a few times he stopped breathing. I started crying. He curled up his little feet and hands and slept on my chest with my hands around him. Conor came back and kissed me on the head while I told him how sorry and horrible I was.
We put him back in his cage, in his bed with food in close proximity.
This morning, Toasty was the first thing on my mind. Conor was still sleeping but I had to check on the little guy. I took in a flashlight to find him, but had to turn on the light anyway because he didn't come out to say Hi like he normally does.
I found him in his bed, ever so slightly fluffier. And he ran out and said HEY! I AM STILL MAD AT YOU! But he ran! He scurried out of his bed!! I hugged Conor so hard that Conor said I hurt his ear.
I've been back in several times today and have picked up Toasty and loved on him.
Something has to give because I have so much on my plate. But honestly, it was a wake up call. And today, I've taken care of more work and more errands than I have in a while. There is definitely quite a bit of room for improvement in my work and scheduling.
And no sweet animal, child, student, or husband should suffer because I can't get my shit together.