These are the things I remember and love about my pet rats who have passed away:
Bob was a skulker, always lurking around the edges of the room and under the corners of the bed. He always had a bit of a head tilt, and it gave him a comical, inquisitive look. He was a strong rat, the first rat, he cowered in a lonely little corner of the cage for the first few nights alone until I brought home Merv. That was an instant rattie friendship.
Mervy Rat was the sweetheart rat, a snifflebug, a dark brown darling of a pet. He was small and fast and he loved to be cuddled. He sneezed a lot and I called him Sneezles Rat because of it. Merv was the ambassador: everyone loved him once they saw his sweet little brown eyes and how happy he was when you gave him a treat. He made you understand that rats are just soft, cuddly, sweet pancakes sometimes. He had the biggest heart too. When I brought Willie Rat home, Bob tried to bully him, but Mervy literally stood in between them and protected Willie.
William Rat was the only albino I had. His eyesight was pretty poor but he made up for it in intelligence and energy. He was the escape rat, the one who squeezed right through the bars of the cage late one night and scampered under the bed. He lived the longest of all my rats.
Freddy Rat was so handsome. He was a hooded rat, which means he had a dark hood over his face and a white body. Freddy was so tiny when we first got him, and then I fattened him up to a plump and roly-poly chunkster. He was pretty lazy, Freddy was. He didn’t scamper around as much, he preferred to curl up in a nook and watch his brothers bounce around the room. He loved grapes, blueberries, and strawberries. Really, he just loved food in general.
Charlie Rat just passed away, and that’s what prompted this post. I had to make the decision to put him down on Wednesday, and it killed me inside. Charles was the cuddliest, snuggliest rattie I ever owned. Everyone knows I love to read, and one of my favorite things to do was to take Charlie and Henry out of the cage and let them run around while I laid on my bed and read books. Charlie would do a little sniffing around the room and then jump up on the bed and curl up on my shoulder. He would groom himself or just lie quietly there while I read my books and occasionally rubbed his ears. He was not a handsome rat, looking more like the sewer type, but his heart was all in his eyes when he looked at me. Mervy let anyone pet him, he was a sweet little attention hog. Charlie was my rat. He loved me so much. Maybe it was because I rescued him from a stupid pet store where they kept him in a terrible aquarium cage. I’ll never forget the look of gratitude in his eyes when I picked him up from that cage and took him with me. When I brought him home and let him run around my room for the first few times, he was weak and couldn’t jump very high at all. Rats are great jumpers, like cats, but he had been cooped up in a tiny little cage for so long, his leg muscles were poorly developed. But after enough of a good diet and steady love and time in my room to stretch his legs, he caught up to the other rats. He had a poor first few months of life, my Charlie bear did, and then I brought him home and he lived the best life a rattie could want. When I held him at the vet’s office on Wednesday, after they gave him the shot, I rubbed his ears and he looked up at me and bruxed one last time for me. I think he did it to give me one last piece of his heart.
I love you, Charlie. I miss you every day.
I miss all my ratties.