Snickers is in Ratty Heaven now.

I like to think that ratty heaven is some sort of sunny meadow where Snickers is romping happily with other rats and has all the mashed bananas that he can eat.

Yesterday Snickers turned for the worse.  He could no longer really walk at all and instead when he tried jerked uncontrollably and just kind of dragged himself a couple inches here and there.  He could no longer eat any rat food and was no longer drinking any water so I knew the end was approaching.  I went and got him some banana baby food.  He tried his best to lick it up and got a bit down, but his coordination was too bad to even really eat (he had probably suffered a rat stroke).

He eventually crawled to the far corner of his cage.  That it would be is last move.

I figured he would pass while we were sleeping.  When I woke up this morning I was in a hurry to get to class and didn’t check on him as I figured he had just passed in the night and I would deal with it when I got home.

I arrived home and worked up the courage to walk up to the cage (if you read any of entries having to do with death, you will come to understand that I am not good with it).  To my complete surprise he was still breathing.  At this point I became very stressed out because it was clear that if he didn’t let go soon I would have to call a vet and find somebody open on the weekend to euthanize the poor little guy, I knew at this point he had to be suffering.

I started talking to him softly and he attempted to lift his head but he could no longer do so.  I talked to him softly and sat by him, telling him it was okay to let go and go on to the ratty afterworld.  I suddenly noticed his breathing slow down after being incredibly labored.  Then there was a few gasps, but not forced and some twitches.  Then just like that, he was gone.  It was an as peaceful death as I think possible.

I know to most people it is “just a rat” but it was a little creature I had cared for and loved for over 2 years.  I was sad to see him go.  But even though I had initially hoped that he would slip away while I was sleeping, I am thankful that he decided to hold on and wait for me to be with him.  Think what you want about the intelligence of animals, but I think he waited for a reason, until somebody was there.  I feel better knowing that the creature I cared for didn’t die alone and I feel better knowing that he went peacefully instead of being left wondering if it was horrible for him.

So here’s to you little dude.  I hope ratty heaven is everything I told you it would be.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Melanie
    Dec 13, 2009 @ 22:07:42

    Oh how sad! Very sorry for your loss.


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