Monday, June 8, 2009

Good Bye Paris

Today was both a great day and a sad day. Great because it was Zoe's final day of school for the year. As amazing as it may seem, Zoe has now finished seventh grade and next year she will enter the eight grade at the Spence School, where she has studied since kindergarten. Zoe had a most challenging year, but she was able to prevail in algebra, the study of the body in science, medieval Europe, Japan and Africa as part of history, Latin and English. Zoe is quite the poet if you didn't know it!

But today was also a very sad day because Paris, her guinea pig, died this morning. While Paris had beautiful black and white hair, her story is very colorful. Paris lived in her cage, usually hiding in her little wooden home. You see she was naturally shy. When she was out of her cage she always sought cover under a chair, bed or towel. Even if only her head was covered she felt safe, perhaps not realizing that the rest of her very large body was exposed.

Paris weighed more than four pounds, almost as much as her friend Cleo, our Maltese. Paris loved to eat, and she was served fine food (for a guinea pig anyway). Each morning she began her day with a bowl full of kale, sliced carrots, cucumbers and apple. Her motto may well have been "never eat on an empty stomach." Throughout the day she munched on timothy hay and mixed seeds. And she sipped water from a water bottle hanging on the side of the cage. Make no mistake about it, if Paris was out of food she would squeal and squeak.

Her cage was located on the floor of the master bedroom. This allowed Cleo and Paris to develop quite a nice rapport, especially when Karen changed the cage every Tuesday morning. And it turns out that Paris was very generous. Cleo would circle the cage and snag a strand of timothy hay. That was okay with Paris. Sometimes, however, Cleo would choked as the hay got caught in her throat. Paris would seem concerned.

Paris was always popular with Zoe's friends. She joined our family in August 2004. Then we already had a guinea pig called Taffy. Light brown and white, the two made a wonderful couple. Taffy had a very sweet personality. He liked to be held. Unfortunately he would die a year later.

As the school year comes to an end, another phase of Zoe's life also comes to a close. But the memories are wonderful. We will miss Paris.

No comments: