I wrote this poem several years ago when one of my ferrets was getting old. She was slowing down and starting to have some health problems. At the time, I had recently wrecked my bicycle and was dealing with my own medical bills on top of medication and vet bills for Jester. My parents suggested that I have her put to sleep. This suggestion went over badly. As I watched Jester napping that afternoon, I reflected on how many people pass by older animals in rescues and shelters. No one seems to want the responsibility. The attitude of animals as “owned” and acquisitions instead of living, loving, breathing creatures really reflects the values our society has: everything is disposable once it’s no longer “new” or “useful.”
The Old FerretWill you still love me when I’m old? When my mask is grey? When end my adventures bold? I’m slower now and I sleep more than in my younger days. I can’t jump as much nor can I leap. I don’t feel so well and it’s hard for me to eat. The kibble is too hard. And I miss my litterbox. Will you feed me ducksoup and keep me clean and neat? Too many humans leave their old friends to die in a strangers care. Will you stay with me until the end? I look into your eyes and in your loving gaze I see my answer and know You will love and stay with me all my remaining days. For Jester My little lady, my old clown I remember the days gone by when your antics kept me from getting down. You always gave me a laugh a kiss, a dook, a lesson to live and love life. To find and stay on my path. I look into your eyes so old I remember the fun we had I recall your adventures wild and bold. You don’t have to dance or dook To have an adventure To hide something else you took. Your cuddles and kisses Deep sighs of contentment and my love’s bonding caresses I am thankful you are in my life I will love you now, to the Rainbow Bridge, and in afterlife.