Totally rattled

I gave the eldest veterinary care as a 17th birthday present yesterday.

Twitch the rat has been having trouble breathing and the eldest was up all night watching over him. I caved and made an appointment at the exotic pet hospital.

I may have cried when the receptionist asked if Twitch was pooing normally. I started welling up and couldn’t speak. She repeated the question and I said, between sobs, that I didn’t know.

I’m not sure why there were tears, perhaps because I’m worn out, perhaps because my bank balance is worn out, perhaps because I don’t like to see an animal – even a rat – in distress. Don’t get me started on the distress of my child.

I felt a bit mean making the vet bill a present, but rat respiratory disease is bloody expensive to treat.

I’m sure there will be blog readers out there thinking “just give it a swift thwack with a shovel and get it over and done with”, but just imagine for a moment that it’s your traumatised child whose beloved pet is labouring to breathe.

Twitch was admitted to hospital and I was called a few hours later to be told the bill had hit $200 and did I want it to keep climbing?

Er, no, but what would further treatment involve?

I knocked back the offer of $500 X-rays, but agreed to the rat going on a nebulizer and oxygen. Later in the afternoon, I collected the eldest from school and the rat from the vet, along with about $100 worth of antibiotics.

It was not the most relaxing of days.

Fortunately, it ended beautifully with tickets the eldest had been given to see Van Gogh Alive. Have you heard about it?

As the website describes it: “From start to finish, visitors are surrounded by a vibrant symphony of light, colour, sound and fragrance that has been called an ‘unforgettable’ multi-sensory experience. Van Gogh’s masterpieces come to life, giving visitors the sensation of walking right into his paintings, a feeling that is simultaneously enchanting, entertaining and educational.”

I loved that it showed you the paintings up so close you could see the individual brushstrokes, but also far away, so you could feel the impression the artist was trying to make.

Here are some happy snaps:

Isn’t it stunning?

Afterwards, I bought the eldest a burger and myself a happy hour chardy, because my nerves – despite the beauty of the exhibition – were a bit shot.

Van Gogh wrote: “I dream of painting then I paint my dream”.

It’s an idea that resonates with me right now. I want to dream about good things and create them in real life.

2020 has been a shocker, there haven’t been many good dreams.

I’m ready for a fresh start. I want to paint a new dream.

Song of the day: Cyndi Lauper “True Colours”

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