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Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep ~ He hath awakened from the dream of life. Percy Bysshe Shelley

This website was created to remember Zim, who was born in January 2008 and passed away on December 11, 2009. He will live forever in my heart.

The first night in his new home, Zim attacked his wheel with zestful exuberance. He was zippy, I thought; full of vim and vigor. Thus, his name.

Zim was timid. Reluctantly, he would allow me to pick him up. The minute I set him down in his play area he'd scuttle to a corner and groom anxiously. In a series of lightening-fast, choreographed moves—lick-stroke, lick-stroke—he could clean every crevice of his body in less time than it took you to read this paragraph.

Zim didn't awake till 11 p.m. and I had to get up at 6 for work. As incentive to rise earlier, I would drop a bit of carrot or cucumber at the entrance of his hut. The food disappeared and I heard crunching, but he didn't come out till he was ready.

I tried another tactic. I would open the door of Zim's cage around 10:30. He would root for food, groom, run on his wheel—everything but go to the door. Inevitably, after I brushed my teeth and turned out the bathroom light I would find him climbing out, ready for playtime. "Mom needs her beauty sleep," I would tell him. But I would let him out to play.

My shy boy traveled with me to New York, North Carolina, Maryland, and throughout Virginia, our home state. And he was loved by many human "aunts" and "uncles." When I went on long trips Zim stayed at "Camp Dooley" (a.k.a. Aunt Rita and his young cousin Cole). Aunt Connie took care of him when I was in the hospital. And he enjoyed Aunt Brenda's salad greens more times than I can count.

"Mom love Zim," I told him every night.

Say it fast. It will make sense.
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