It happened with my hamster, Scruffles, first. Mom said she took him to the hamster doctor while I was at school and that the doctor had said he had a hamster cold.
I guess he got better because the next day he ran away.
I thought maybe Rico who lives next door could help me find him. He and I would spend most of our afternoons in the neighborhood anyway, so it was more like one of our secret missions than a search and rescue.
Scruffles never came back, but Rico and I still looked, going into other neighborhood blocks and getting other kids to help us. Rico met a girl, Kasey, who lived in a two-story house. She helped us look even though she and Rico would go off to look for Scruffles in some stupid places. My mom asked what I was doing every afternoon and when I told her, she said maybe Scruffles had just moved away.
That made me feel better.
Kasey kept coming to hang out with me and Rico for a while until one day Rico got sick. It was just a cold, but he stayed home from school for about a week. And then two.
I looked in his windows once and his toys were still there, his bed unmade. I asked my mom if she knew when Rico would be better and her face fell.
She said his family had moved.
Everyone seems to get sick right before they move away.