Robin “Baby Girl”

(4 September 2017 – 5 February 2022)

On Saturday, February 5, 2022, Robin lost her battle with both insulinoma and adrenal cancer. She was diagnosed back in January 2021, and her vet gave her six months max to live. We were blessed that she outlived the diagnosis by another seven months.

Robin exploring her Christmas present (December, 2021)

The whole past year has been fraught with cycles of grief and the exodus of exotic vets from our area. Although Robin was very obviously physically sick, noticeably less active, and sometimes unable to climb up to her hammock, I still take solace and pleasure in watching the recent videos of her prancing around the house, playing with Little John, and stashing toys behind our speakers. She had good days and bad days, and required extra attention–medicine twice a day, nudges to make sure she was eating enough, help getting her up and down in the cage sometimes.

Baby Robin on a video chat (August, 2018)

Saturday was a particularly rough day. She spent the day seizing, with the bouts increasing in severity and frequency. Towards the end, they became “screaming seizures”. My main consolation is that she probably didn’t feel any pain. In between syringe-feeding her eggy soup, water, and sugar-water (to get her glucose levels back up), I called all the local vets and animal hospitals again, looking for any emergency vets who would see ferrets. Our “regular” vet is semi-retired and borrows space in another local clinic two days a week in the evenings. The closest recommendation was 80 miles away, in another state. Even if we had decided to drive out during the snow, it turns out Robin wouldn’t have made it anyway. She passed in my lap, curled up in her plushy donut, one of her favorite napping spots.

Robin grooming herself in her sprinkled, strawberry donut (November, 2021)

I can’t help but feel that she was robbed of her precious time in this world that we could have spent with her. She was relatively young–only three and a half years old–when the insulinomas and adrenal tumors developed. We loved her for four and a half years, and her passing leaves a void in our home and in our hearts.

Her brother, Little John, seems to be doing okay, all things considered–but we have been spending as much time with him as possible. I think he has known for awhile that she was sick, since the frequency of their play-fighting dropped a couple months into her diagnosis, and his explorations around the house became mostly solo adventures. Despite having two hammocks in their cage, they usually slept together, contorted and curled up in a puddle, even if it meant one of their fuzzy butts was right on the other’s face.

A common sleeping arrangement (June, 2021)

I miss her so much, but I’m glad she’s no longer in pain.

Exploring the couch, September 6, 2017.

Atque in perpetuum, filiola, ave atque vale.