Last night I looked into our mousecage to discover that one of "the girls" had passed away sometime during the day. Now, as sad as this was for me, I wasn't surprised in the least. She was very old and had been sick for a few weeks. Only the constant administrations of her twin sister; the only other survivor of the original five that I had adopted from the SPCA 2 1/2 years ago; kept her going as far as I could tell. But time just caught up with the poor old girl and she's moved on. Sadder still was the reaction of her sister. She was hiding in a different area of the cage and was reacting very sluggish. She was grieving.
A couple hours ago, I checked in on her and she wasn't doing very well. Her legs seemed to have gone out from under her, so I brought her a capful of water as she couldn't reach the water drip. When Melanie and I got back from dinner, I immediately went to the cage and found that our last little mouse had decided to join her sisters. I think she died of a broken heart.
As I wrote once before when the second of the brood had died, I know I gave them a good home - and that's what matters in the end.
But contrary to what I also wrote...it is very hard not to shed any tears for them.