Marching Forward

Well February was a month we are all glad to see in our rearview mirrors. Covid is hanging around far longer than we expected. Its mandates of masking and vaccines have caused far more disruption than we imagined. Just ask the residents of Ottawa about how they liked having their freedom taken away by “freedom fighters.” Climate change continued to surprise us with more extreme cold and more snow to shovel. And then Putin decided to shake up what little peace we had in the world by attacking the poor citizens of Ukraine. Things could hardly get worse.

But there was more sadness ahead for me and Peter. Many readers know that my birthday was last Tuesday (and the family had celebrated the week before in Niagara Falls). It was a biggie. As a matter of fact I am now halfway through my time in Seventy In the City. In only 5 more years I will have to retire. Either that or change the title. But who would want to read a blog called Eighty In the City? Would there even be time in our lives for any adventures after visits to doctors, medical labs and hospitals?

Anyway on Tuesday when I woke up, I was greeted with cards, phone calls and facebook birthday messages. Things were looking good. Then I went to say good morning to our 2 resident mice, Agnes’s pets, Missy and Sissy. Sissy was all cheerful and wished me Happy Birthday right away. But dear Missy was not looking well. She was hiding in her little hutch and shivering. Oh oh… She was well into her life span of 2 years: a “junior senior,” you might say. I bent down and spoke in her ear: “Missy, do not die on my birthday!!”

Well she paid attention. She lived for 2 more days. But on Thursday morning she had had enough. She lay down quietly and closed her eyes. “Good bye Missy,” I whispered. Peter and I made plans to keep her in a box in the shed until the spring thaw would allow us to bury her with dignity. Then I sent an email message to Agnes in New Zealand.

Agnes shed many tears, as you can imagine. She finally facetimed us to share stories. Her 2 concerns were: first of all, that we keep Sissy happy despite being alone. And second, that we keep Missy’s body safe so that Agnes can bury Missy herself when she returns to Canada in the summer.

So, following orders, I have been visiting Sissy often, asking her how she is doing. She seems OK – content in the cage that she knows well after living there for 18 months. She still loves her Christmas gift tubes that traverse the cage. And she has been using little bits of brown paper to insulate the hutch so it will be warm in the absence of her room-mate.

That leaves us with the other dilemma: where to keep a mouse body in the warm weather until the burial? Dear readers, if you have any freezer space you are not using, could you rent out a corner? Just a tiny corner would do.

In the meantime, our thoughts shift back to the people of Ukraine. Let’s all hope that March is a better month.


Sissy says hello

4 thoughts on “Marching Forward

  1. Happy Birthday Sue. Our condolences on your loss. If Sissy really gets lonely you can probably find a friend at the pet store. The Humane Society may also have a rescue mouse. Sorry but we don’t have any freezer space as we would hate to have someone mistake Missy as a snack. Vera and Gary


  2. Thanks Sue for another fascinating but rather sad blog. Poor little Agnes having to experience the pain of losing something she loved, however I’m sure she’ll recover fast. I hope you found some freezer space!

    Many years ago Harland held a surprise 70th birthday for me at Niagara with all our gang and flew in Allysson and family as well. It was a super weekend and terrific surprise for me. I’m sure you also had a wonderful celebration. These are certainly special occasions and the memories last forever.

    Well at least we have made it thro to March which keeps me hopeful for the odd warm day here and there. Maybe it’s almost time to dust off your golf clubs!

    Two winters and no travels have not been easy. Then of course we are all thinking and praying for the safety of the Ukrainian people. How terrible and terrifying it must be for them so I should not be complaining. Hopefully the situation will not last for long.

    Take care and looking forward to our get together on the 22nd.

    Mxx Sent from my iPhone



  3. Hi Sue, sorry to hear that Missy’s life has come to an end. One thing I’m sure of, she had a wonderful life with you, your family and Sissy.


  4. So sorry why not purchase a new little mouse as a companion. Yes I’m so frightened for the families in the Ukraine…it’s awful especially as we are winning the Covid epidemic and I guess since the world is in a weakened state, Putin is taking advantage.


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