Abby asked me to check in on their hamster, Julio Montoya Ricardo III, while they were on vacation. I did. This is the text conversation that followed:

Deirdre: Abby! I went right over when I got your message. Hamster is tot as a toenail. I’ll clean the cage. For what it’s worth, he looks as if he’s sleeping peacefully. 🙁

Abby: No need to clean cage. He’s fine.

Deirdre: He’s not fine! He’s dead!

Abby: Is he really dead? I thought you were joking. Oh dear.

Deirdre: No. Really dead.

Abby: No. Shit. He was fine when we left.

Deirdre: Maybe we can sell it as old age?

Abby: Perhaps. Though he was only a year old. Hmmm.

Deirdre: Hmmm.

Abby: Oh well. Sorry to leave that for you.

Deirdre: I feel bad for the little guy. But he’s compost now.

Abby: Oh dear! How’s Millie (the dog). Not compost I hope.

Deirdre: Millie just had her walk to the lake and back. Should I give him a proper burial?

Abby: Proper burial? In the freezer?

Deirdre: In the ground! He’s beyond freezing.

Abby: Oh! Yes, you may do what you feel is best.

Deirdre: Leaving him in the compost feels best.

Abby: Back to nature by way of the dump.

Deirdre: Amen.

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