Necessary update: Even though Powerhouse passed away, I'm never going to forget this week. Life can be amazing, or cruel, or treacherous, or unpredictable, but if I hadn't picked up that little baby and taken him home, I never would have known what I was capable of when it came to caring for something that couldn't care for itself. Whether or not it was inevitable that he passed, or if I made some small mistake that spiraled, I needed to do this. And as much as it hurts that he's gone, I hope anyone reading this realizes that while we may not have an obligation to kindness or empathy, the most selfish thing we can do is to consider the cost not worth it, to let ourselves become jaded to the suffering of other living things. When I was googling around trying to identify Powerhouse's species the other day, I did a lot of searches like "pinkie mouse" and the sort, and you know what came up? 'Pinkie mice, 50 pack, frozen'. For snake food. And man, that hit me for a second. I'm sitting here losing sleep trying to keep this guy alive, spending over a hundred dollars already doing everything I can and knowing I'll be spending a lot more if he keeps kicking, and there's this company mass-breeding mice just to freeze and sell as food. And I'm not mad at them; I love snakes. They gotta eat, too. But it was a paradigm shift for me, mentally. A realization that the scale, or the perspective, or the magnitude doesn't matter. Because it's not about trying to save a life, or whether or not I fail in doing so. It's about not wanting to lose the part of me that's willing to do so, and knowing that even though my efforts failed this time - whether out of my control or not - I'd still do it again. And I will. Any time I find something like this, any time I find an animal that needs help, I'm gonna do it, even knowing that if it dies, it's gonna hit me just as hard as Powerhouse dying today did. I'd rather be an optimist and be disappointed a million times than be a cynic and be right once. And if nothing else, for everyone who was as invested in Powerhouse as I am, I hope you guys can at least take some piece of that away. Please don't be afraid to help a living thing, whether it's a person, animal, or even plant. Please don't fear the pain that can come with failure. Every ounce of heartache I feel right now is nothing compared to the fact that Powerhouse at least got to be warm, and fed, for a few days. Please don't listen to people who tell you "it's going to die anyways, why bother?" Maybe they're not even wrong - but it isn't about that. It's about ranking the livelihood of another being, a creature with feelings, over a fear of feeling like you fucked up. I love you guys, and I love this community for being so supportive. But please, PLEASE, take what happened here as a reason to do your best if you find something that needs help. For me, for Powerhouse, for anything that needs it, please consider that you might be saving a life, or at least making a doomed being more comfortable in its final hours, and that's worth the pain, worth the heartache, and worth the time and effort. Thanks. I'll let you guys know what I decide to do with the equipment and what I plan to get. I definitely think it's time to bring more pets into my life - and to maybe look into careers helping them professionally.