About the autopsy pictures

When Spike was sick, Dr Bruce Williams was interested in his case and asked us if it was possible to take pictures during the autopsy. Pete was sure that he had a strong enough stomach as he took a rat apart in college so he knew what to expect. He watched Catherine start the autopsy and was busy taking pictures when I appeared because I was curious. That was it, we both found it extremely interesting to watch the autopsy, see the organs and see the things that went wrong.

Some people might be shocked how we can just watch our beloved ferrets being cut open. Well, I'm extremely depressed about the deaths, so far we have lost 4 ferrets this year (2001). Tom died 10 days before our wedding, him being my favourite next to Jack. I was so extremely upset, yet I couldn't allow myself to grief, I had to go ahead with the wedding, I couldn't break down and cry and hide in a hole. So I just didn't think about Tom or his death, pretended it didn't happen.

Then Spike and Jilly died, both were very sick, both had suffered. I was glad when they were put to sleep, when their suffering ended. That was my first feeling, relief. And when I watched the autopsy, it was as though they weren't my ferrets. I just completely shut the emotional part of me down. If I kept thinking about their deaths, their sufferings and the time they were healthy, I'd totally crack up. I'm not sure that suppressing my feelings is the way to cope with their deaths. But if I allowed myself to become upset, I wouldn't get over it and would get worse and worse with each loss. I have to be happy about the good time I had with them and accept that they've gone and get on with life and be grateful to have the other ferrets in my life. Watching the post mortems gives me the chance to see their deaths from a different point of view, I can see what had gone wrong inside and see that it was for the best to end the suffering.

Please ask for permission if you want to use any of the pictures for a newsletter or anything else.