I was hoping I wouldn’t cry but just putting this picture up got it all going.
Its been 3 weeks since I had one of the most absolute worst days of my life because I had to put our hilarious little Calypso to sleep. And I was alone. And I sobbed after he took his last breaths.
Such sad emotions for one of the happiest little spirits who was well known for the dramatic life he lived.
Calypso joined the party not long after we lost our big boy, Cousteau.
Ferrets are very emotional creatures. They form incredible bonds with their companions, human and otherwise. Our first ferret, Marshall mourned the loss of our kitty, Malchek for several months. Phillipa was no different. She lost Jacques and then Cousteau in fairly short order.
Within days, Alistair drove here through a snow storm and brought a new bestie for her.
He was a mischievous little imp from the get-go, stealing shoes or their insoles, the litter box scoop, hats, anything he possibly could to hide under one of the cars or pieces of furniture.
You just had to laugh at him when we played the “Chase” game, running and hiding from one another throughout the house.
And his amorous attempts to woo Phillipa were hysterical as he leapt with all 4 feet in the air to pounce on her.
He is the one who attacked the guinea pigs on Kentucky Derby day that spring when I had left their bathroom door open. The story of that and, sadly, their eventual demise (which Calypso had nothing to do with) is on the blog, “One Eye Watching You.”
We forgave our little Frenchman but Karma is a bitch.
2012 was the year Alistair broke his pelvis, requiring extensive surgery and months of rehab.
Its also the year something went wrong with Calypso’s pelvis. He just couldn’t use his rear legs one day. We watched him drag himself around when we let them out of the cage. Neither of them had any scrapes or missing hair or any indication that something actually happened.
But he never once looked like he wasn’t having fun. If he wasn’t giving up why should I?
So his vet-Mummy got up early each morning to fit in half an hour of physio, massage and meds with him in my lap. My new exotics book came in handy yet again and I added a calorie supplement and treats.
I chronicled his tale on social media, where everyone was following Alistair’s story as well.
Calypso bonded to both of us thanks to his limitations, his needs and his wonderful personality.
And we came up with some fun ways to encourage physical therapy when he got a bit stronger.
Everyone fell in love with the Fyfe ferrets, who now have a bit of a fan following. The ferrets and I do holiday videos on the sing-song-saddle and their admirers are plenty.
The fans rejoiced when Alistair brought a little brother, Luigi into the mix 2 years ago. His in-your-face personality was perfect for his older siblings and the 3 of them were inseparable.
We played, we romped, we had shoes stolen, we showered, we cuddled, we made videos, we laughed, we had many visitors who had never seen or held a ferret before and we loved sharing our ferret ambassadors with the world.
But then something wasn’t quite right with Calypso in November.
Putting it all together with our internal med vet friend we realized he had a tumor on his spleen. A tumor that would grow like Harry’s had and would eventually take his life.
Just like before, though, it looked like he was still having a lot of fun. Who were we to be sad and give up on him when, clearly, their lives were great?
Other than the one horrible night the tumor must have ruptured and he went into hemorrhagic shock. He was barely alert and I held him through the night in a blanket on my lap and told him all of the things that needed to be said. I told him that everyone loved him and that he had brought so much joy to so many people. That Phillipa and Luigi adored him and all of our house-sitters like Jessi, Carson, Lynn and Whitney would miss him so much. That if he showed me he was in pain I would try to do something as his vet but that night he hovered between life and death in a peaceful state so I just held him as his Mummy.
And the morning welcomed both of us back!
Calypso lived to see 2016. And February. And March! And we went back to twice-daily calorie supplements and special bonding together. And I made the effort to include the full trio in our Christmas video this year because it was important for me to share him once more.
And he had a couple of minor episodes of weakness but he continued to eat, drink and be merry, stealing Loki’s kibble whenever he could and mucking around in the water bowl with ice cubes for Boomer.
And we didn’t tell anyone because he was still pretty vibrant and because we have lost so many of our companions over the last year and half and it became Time for old Boomer and Loki keeps having random seizures and I didn’t want more people feeling sad for us and I really wasn’t sure how I would do anything on my own if I had to and I researched what I could but there isn’t much out there and he kept stealing footwear and wanting to come out to play.
I had fully planned to take the trio with me to Bismarck this recent trip back. Calypso had been doing fine despite more weight loss and we have our old ferret cage there. What an adventure it would have been but in the end, it didn’t happen.
He had another episode of weakness that he didn’t bounce back from. And he wasn’t engaging with the thing-on-a-string for the first time ever. And the shine went out of his eyes.
For the very first time he wasn’t having fun.
I knew what I needed to do but wasn’t sure how to do it.
How to hold 1.6lbs of ferret and find enough muscle to somehow inject a sedative…by myself. I didn’t want his or my final memories of our time together to be a struggle of pushing and restraining and then a sharp needle in a thin body. Our relationship deserved better than that.
Somehow I remembered a cough syrup that I had in my med collection and was able to put that with his calorie supplement 3 Sunday mornings ago and he peacefully slipped into a boozy slumber. I was then able to give the first injection peacefully without so much as a hair twitch.
I laid him on a blue towel in my lap and watched my tears fall onto his beautiful cinnamon body as I gave him his final injection.
And I sobbed as he took his last breath, a heavier version of what I’m doing now. He took my tears with him across the Rainbow Bridge where so many other Fyfes have gone.
And I’m sorry to write this because you all shared in his dramatic stories and his joy-filled adventures.
And you all know how much Phillipa and Luigi miss him but I am just so thankful that they have each other.
And I’m thankful Alistair called that day to help me through and see how I was and I’m thankful Merielle and Theresa were online hand-holders as well.
And so goes the magical tale of Calypso Fyfe. If you know John Denver’s song you know it rings true about this boy, with a slight adaptation to one of the words:
Aye, Calypso, the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell. Aye, Calypso, I sing to your spirit, the men who have loved you so long and so well.
RIP, sweet Calypso. There will never be another like you. xo