Rest in Peace, Waffles

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Waffles was here in our apartment for a few weeks — he came home from school with Sherree for the Christmas break, and just hadn’t gone back to her classroom yet.

On Friday morning I realized that I hadn’t heard any noise from him today. I took a look in his cage and was calling to him, “Waffles! Waffles!” He’d usually stir pretty quickly and poke his head out from somewhere under the bedding, where he often slept. I saw him laying in the little TV toy in his cage, which isn’t unusual — he likes it there, too. I also noticed that he was laying on his back, which also isn’t usual. But as I called to him, he didn’t move; even after tapping the cage there was no reaction. Yep, he was dead.

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Just a few days earlier he was running at top-speed, full of energy. Most of the time he sleeps during the day and is only up to run in his wheel or make much noise at night, but on Tuesday and Wednesday he was fully awake — during the night and day. Wednesday he was making so much noise that I decided to move him further away from me and close the office door so I could have some peace to work in.

Thinking about it backwards, I didn’t hear any noise from him on Friday when I found him, or on Thursday. So… he may have been dead Thursday, even. I wonder if he had a heart attack or some kind of adrenaline overload from constantly on the go for 36-48 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday? I don’t know.

Sherree regularly brought Waffles home on the weekend, and if she would forget to bring him back on Monday students would ask her if he was ok or if he had died. She would get approached by students in her class and students who she didn’t know, who wanted to know if he was ok! I don’t know how many students will ask today about Waffles, but perhaps she should erect a memorial to him!

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