The Emerald Buddha

I guess I forgot we aren’t Christian. Maybe God is punishing me for failing to condemn homosexuals.

Turns out, my little Emerald Buddha was in his final reclining pose when last I saw him. I miss him already, but it makes me feel better to remember all our good times, so here goes.

In our old apartment (the one that didn’t kill him), he liked to crawl on top of the cage and lie on top of the light. He was paper trained, so he’d go in the cage to poop and then get in his hammock. He was always on top of the cage or in his hammock when I came home. I could see little tail trails on the carpet where he had wandered around the place, only to wind up in the exact place I left him.

One time when I was out of town, a coworker was feeding him and said she couldn’t find him at first. Turned out he was on my bed, with his head on my pillow. I never saw him do that.

Sometimes when I came home, or when I got up in the morning, he’d come barrelling toward me, and I wasn’t sure if he wanted food or attention or what. And there were times he would climb up over my lap to get on the back of the couch, as though I was just a convenient ladder.

In Chicago, I used to take him for walks along the lakefront.

After the vet called this morning, I was so excited and relieved and thought I had another chance. I was going to move him to a better spot, take him out more often, take him outside in the sunshine, now that it’s getting warmer…I found a harness online and was about to buy it. Good thing I had a question about it, cus it would have been pretty stupid to spend $10 on the thing before he’d even come home from the hospital.

I feel just awful and responsible. I wish it had been cancer or old age, cus then I could shrug and say, “Everyone’s gotta go sometime.” I managed to keep him alive all this time, so how could I have screwed up so badly just in the last couple of months?

I loved him very much. I can’t believe I had him almost seven years. He rode with me cross country, and lived with me in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C. and three cities in Washington State (a bit of trivia is that he was procured at a Seattle pet store, so he’s actually from here). When he died, he was probably three times the size that he was when I got him. About 4.5 feet long and he weighed 3 kg at the vet’s, but that was after not eating for a few weeks. He had turned pretty orange in his maturity. A couple of years ago, he went through puberty and he started humping the couch, but he outgrew that phase.

Emerald was very precious to me and I hope that he had a nice life with me.