Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chinchie {We loved you}

The kids had been begging for a pet.

I wasn't sure if I was willing to oblige.

I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew.

So when a friend called months ago and asked if we wanted a chinchilla, I wasn't sure.

A week later, I relented.

And surprisingly, never regretted.

The kids adore Chinchie, the chinchilla.

My kids' friends adore Chinchie, the chinchilla.

And Chinchie adored them all right back.

He would climb up to the wooden board in his cage, putting his paw on the wire of the cage staring out at us.

More often than not, he was being toted around, kissed and loved, played with and cooed at.

There was no chinchilla more loved than Chinchie.


Tonight after football practice the boys went to the neighbors house and Rhianna took Chinchie out of his cage to snuggle and chat with for awhile.

She said he was acting a little more quiet than normal, but not overly strange.

Then she walked in the room and said "Mom.  Chinchie feels really funny."

She set him down on the arm of my recliner and he just lay there.

Because he would normally run away, {they are really fast} she grabbed him and held him to her chest.

My heart sunk.  I was so afraid that what I thought was true.

I reached out and felt him while he was in her arms.

He was cold.

I told her I think he died and to lay him in his cage.

I was hoping against hope that he just was faking it and would spring to life and run on his wheel again.

But he didn't.

He just lay there.

Not moving.

Not breathing.

Not scampering to the top shelf to stare out at us.

As soon as Rhianna realized, she gasped and started crying wailing.

I told her it wasn't her fault but to be thankful Chinchie didn't die alone, but in the arms of someone who adored him.

I pulled her into my arms and let her weep on my shoulder.

I held her for quite awhile.  She is so sensitive and so sweet.

But then I knew that I had to call the boys.

I called Kristie and told her.  Then asked to send the boys home.

While waiting, I found a small shoebox and lined it with soft papertowels.

I lay Chinchie in his soft bed and wrapped him gently.

I was choking back tears while I did it.

I am choking back tears while I write this.


The boys came running up the stairs.

They knew something was wrong because I called them home 30 minutes early.

They knew something was wrong because Rhianna and I were sitting in the chair sobbing.

It was so hard to tell them.

But I did.

Immediate sobbing poured through their bodies.

Reagan, who was most attached to Chinchie, crawled in the corner of the room and wept.

They pulled the lid off the box and gently petted Chinchie for the last time.

I know it was just a chinchilla, but it was heart-wrenching to see.


Tomorrow we will take the box to my mom's woods and bury Chinchie there.

I didn't want to do it here.  But wanted to do it in a place where my kids can always visit.

Might sound silly, but its what we want to do.


We cleaned out his cage and put it away.

We put his toys and stuff in a box and put it in a corner.

We just needed all reminders of him put away.


Will we get another chinchilla?


I don't want to get one based on emotion.

I'd rather wait and see how they react.

Maybe a surprise at Christmas.


I know most of you are probably thinking we are nuts for being so upset about a rodent.

But this little guy was so interactive and such a huge part of the stability in my kids' lives.

While it breaks my heart to see them so devastated, it also makes me thankful.

I'm thankful because the tears mean they are loving, caring, and compassionate people.

Chinchie brought a lot of love and happiness into our lives.

We will really miss him in our home and in our lives.

RIP Chinchie.  We love you!

1 comment:

  1. so sorry guys. It's hard to watch your kids be sad.