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Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Rat has only a Few More Months

Carrie is a black, Rex rat we bought from a breeder ( in March of 2010. Rex rats have curly or crimped hair. She was eight months old at the time and had already had a litter of babies. Her name was Carolina, but we shortened it. I don’t like to change the names people have given their animals even after they’ve become mine. Sometimes we call her Blackie. We had another rat at the time that was in her last months, so Carrie appeared so energetic and fast. Now it’s her turn to be the old one. She has a small growth under her right arm and just the other day we noticed a small, hard, more worrisome lump on the side of her head. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain so we just have to wait for things to change. When she looks like she’s having trouble breathing or acts uncomfortable, I’ll take her to our vet and have her euthanized.

I suspected a few weeks ago that she had lost her vision. She started grabbing food out of our hands in a very rough manner when she used to be so gentle. She also would get startled when we’d go to pick her up. Now we just have to be very gentle with her.

I’ve witnessed the euthanasia of many pets so I know what to expect. It doesn’t bother me anymore. Actually, it’s quite a peaceful transition and I’m comforted knowing my pet won’t have to linger and suffer. It was hard when I had to put my cat to sleep, but I was still grateful to be with her at that time. She could have died in any number of the tragic ways that cats die, but she lived a good, long life as my best girl until her kidneys started to fail and we had to say goodbye.

I’ve never had a rat live past three years of age and Carrie will be three in July. I’m pretty sure she’ll be gone by then. We’ll bury her in our yard as we do with all of our small pets. Then we’ll probably get a new rat to keep Sugar company. Until then, we’ll give Carrie all her favorite things and try to keep her happy and comfy.

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