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Video: Rat loves cat

That is one patient cat.

Halloween photos

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We had originally planned on dressing all the animals up and getting them into a picture together but didn’t quite get that off the ground. We did get a few pics of Simon, Olive, Lindsy and Mojo in costume, though. And a few of Lauren the blob.

Farewell, Luna

As we had decided last week after the awful nightmare with Willow’s death, we had Luna put to sleep on Saturday. All of last week we gave her whatever she wanted to eat but it was pretty clear she’d lost her spirit and was ready to go. She was one of the most amazing rats we ever had the pleasure of knowing and we will sure miss her.

Willow died yesterday

It happened so suddenly and in such an awful way it doesn’t seem real…

She hasn’t been doing well for some time now. She’s had that lung crud some rats get because of the mycoplasma they carry, and though we’ve been able to hold it in check a bit with antibiotics, her weight and her appetite have steadily declined. We talked this past week about her quality of life, and decided it was time to let her go. In truth, we’d probably put it off a little too long. She’d gotten thin and didn’t care to eat much other than Nutrical.

The past few days she’d been doing about the same as she’d had for a while, but was actually eating pretty well. I discovered last week that the rats love tofu, and had held some back from our last stir fry to dole out as snacks. I also gave them some almonds and cashews on Friday which Willow surprisingly gobbled up. Saturday she looked a little rougher than usual and as we’d already discussed, we decided to take her in to the vet and get it over with. We called the vet and then made preparations to load her into a carrier to take her.

When we went back to get her out of the cage she and Lauren shared, she was in obvious distress and running around the cage frantically. We’d never seen her do this before and I have no idea what brought about this sudden change. We hastily hurried to get her to the vet. On the way there, she suddenly started acting like she could not breathe at all, and while Joy drove, I helplessly watched her thrash around and suffocate, finally collapsing. I stroked her fur as she faded away. It was one of the most terrible things I have ever witnessed. I have no idea what happened so suddenly, and it pains us both to think that maybe she came to such an awful end because we were so reluctant to put her to sleep.

Luna, unfortunately, is not far behind. She still is eating and the tumors are not obstructing any body functions, but they have grown so huge she has trouble getting around now and one of them is beginning to get a raw spot where it drags. We don’t want to make the same mistake with her and we’re going to make arrangements next week to see to it that she goes on to the peaceful end she deserves.

I know I have said this dozens of time over the past two decades or so, but this time I really mean it: NO MORE RATS. With my allergies, I have no business having them since I can have only minimal contact with them, but that’s not the main reason; it is their fleetingly short little lives that I can’t cope with. It’s not fair that creatures so gentle and playful and intelligent live just long enough to work their way into your heart before they break it. Soon there will be just Lauren, who is fat and sassy and only about a year old. We’ll spoil her rotten and enjoy her, then once she is gone that will be it, she will truly be the last one.

Poor Willow. At least she is at peace now.

Willow
??/02 – 04/24/04

Lauren & Luna

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Lauren the brat visiting Luna. The large lump that can be seen behind Luna’s arm is one of her two tumors.