He had numerous problems, possibly caused by poor care at the hands of a guinea pig breeder with whom my staff had left us while they went to Africa. (Believe it or not we didn't really go with them.) The trouble is you see, he never drank water. He got all the moisture his little body needed from the lovely juicy vegetables my staff would feed him, but while we were with the breeder we only got carrots, cabbage and dry pellets. It looks as though all the cabbage gave him bloat, which was treated successfully and the lack of water caused a bladder infection, possibly even a kidney infection.
When piggies are poorly we don't eat; and when we don't eat we stop pooping and our entire digestive system starts to shut down. Both the vet and and my staff were cramming poor Badger with something horrid called critical care. It's an aniseed flavoured mush that is forced into our mouths by syringe. I've had it myself - Blech! Anyway, it's supposed to sustain us if we're not eating and it stimulates our appetite. That's the idea anyway. It's didn't work with Badger and he just lost more and more weight until he looked about half his usual size. Then to fix his dehydration problem the vet gave him multiple injections of subcutaneous fluid. Which is vet-speak for having a horse needle stuck in your butt.
On Monday morning at eight 'o' clock the phone rang. My female staff had already left for work, but my male staff being a lazy bastard pretends to work from home so it was he who picked up the receiver. He was expecting a call from Cara - our vet who rang with frequent updates - all the ups and downs of Badger's health. My male staff could tell immediately from the tone of Cara's voice that it was bad news. Badger had passed away during the night. My male staff immediately drove down to the vet surgery to bring him home and bury him in the garden under the evodia tree next to Tikki, Wiggles and Biggles the budgies.
When he arrived at the vet he was met by Cara who said she wanted to do a postmortem to see what had finally killed him in case it had implications for yours truly. My male staff agreed and Cara placed Badger, wrapped in a towel and still cold from the fridge on a table in a private room so that my male staff could have some time with him. I wasn't there of course, but my male staff told me that he slowly unwrapped the towel and uncovered Badger's little body. Well, that really did it. My male staff burst into a series of wracking sobs, picked Badger up and clutched him to his chest, tears streaming down his face and soaking his shirt.
After a while he pulled himself together enough to be able to drive home, where he picked me up and started bawling all over again. My fur still hasn't dried out properly. Later that day he returned to the vet surgery to collect and bury Badger's body, more tears. As it turned out my female staff had had a rotten day at work, not helped by my male staff's phone call telling her of Badger's demise. So once more I was dragged from my cage and cried on.
Now a few days on from that horrible Monday we all still feel waves of sadness wash over us. Especially when a British crime drama comes on the telly. These were Badger's favourites. He would sit on one of my staff's lap and take in every clue, rumble at every villain. It had to be British though. He thought the American ones were over-blown and over-acted. If my staff turned him around to face them when one of his TV programmes was on he'd glare at them and quickly turn back to face the telly.
As you all know, Badger had a foot fetish and his "foot notes" at the end of my weekly blog posts became very popular. I will leave you this week with my favourite. Thank you Badger for three years of fun and happiness.
I have a fear of dirty feet, but some people have a general fear of feet. (Podophobia) This includes their own feet. What a terrible affliction to have because no matter how fast you run, the bloody things will always keep up with you.
REST IN PEACE BADGER. THE WHOLE WORLD LOVED YOU.