We had to put our ferret, Conan, to sleep today. It came as a shock: he was not all that old, but over the past few days he had grown weaker, and today began bleeding clots. So we took him to the vet, who gave us a choice between expensive surgery or euthanasia. We’re not able to justify spending several thousand at this time, and probably would never choose that while there are more pressing needs in the world.

It seems silly to mourn a ferret, but he was a member of the family for six years, he was a sweet little guy with a humorous and feisty streak, and he trusted us. So we are grieving.

C.S. Lewis wrote: “Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. . . To love is to be vulnerable.”

I commend you to the care of St. Francis, patron saint of animals. Rest in peace, Conan.