Because of Adam’s sickness and somewhat minimized language barrier, I’ve delayed Aketi’s official/formal introduction into the sanctuary until I can actually afford to leave the house all day to be at the sanctuary and feel comfortable with Adam home, alone.
It does, of course, lend me extra time with Detective Munch that I’m valuing greatly, though the additional responsibility and stress of taking care of the good Detective AND making sure Adam has everything he needs to recover is taxing to say the least, especially because where previously we had four eyes on the mischievous meanderings of Mister Munch, now there are only two!
We’ve learned to compromise, though, Detective Munch and I, where I’ll put him on my back, African-baby-style, and he’ll just come with me as I run all my errands around the house, from hanging out Adam’s sweaty towels to finding him changes of clothes to lugging huge buckets of warm water into the bathroom for his baths to pouring the water down the toilet for him because he is too busy, lying dizzy on the floor.
At night when I lie awake, sleeping in the tent to give Adam a little more comfort, listening for the sounds of Adam’s breathing, having the warm little body of Det. Munch by my side is reassuring. I’ll scratch his belly and he’ll laugh and laugh, and even when I am feeling dismal and doom-filled, I just have to think about him getting tangled in string while playing and falling down, laughing, or his face after eating tomato soup and it makes me smile.
It’s times like these (as opposed to times when he’s shrieking because I’ve left him alone for 3 minutes or pooping down the back of my pants while I’m pouring water or picking up other poops) -- where I’m extremely sad that he’s going to the sanctuary.
I know that his life there will be so different -- so much better in so many ways because he’ll actually get to play in the trees and with other chimps and not just dangle from the gate on our patio. But at the same time, he’ll probably get his food stolen, and with only three caregivers, it will be impossible for him to get the level of attention and security that he gets with two devoted full-time caregivers.
And there is, of course, a point where you love a baby and want the best for them but feel selfish and want them to stay close by and have what you, somewhat biasedly, consider “the best”.
All other internal conflicts aside, as soon as Adam is well Aketi/Mister Mess Mess/Detective Munch will go to the sanctuary and join his family there. And it will be different for him, and maybe sometimes upsetting (who else will tickle his belly before he goes to sleep?!) but I do strongly believe that it will be a more normal life for him.