Owning rats, or as some say, being owned by rats, is a journey. For me it began with being intensely rat-phobic to where I am now, rat-obsessed (ok, i admit it).


Dinky Doodle 2/3/04 to 2/26/06

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I couldn't bring myself to write in here last weekend.

On Sunday night as I was doing my nightly good-nights to everyone, I saw Dink in an unusual position, kind of limply laying with her back to the front of the cage. When I reached in to pet her she was very unresponsive and cool. John and I held her most of the night, talking to her and kissing her, snuggling her inside our shirts to keep her warm. We tried to get her to eat or drink but she seemed to have lost the ability to swallow and seemed semi-paralyzed all over. I made a bed for her with a hot water bottle underneath so she could stay out with us. She never seemed to be in pain but you could tell life was leaving her.

At one point I looked over at her and there was something...
I don't know what it was exactly...she had been sort of staring blankly for awhile but her eyes looked blank in a different way. I knew she was gone. I think it must have been a stroke like her sister, Gigi.

Ironically, the previous evening we had remarked that we thought she might make it to three because she was running around like a kid and bright-eyed and energetic and happy as could be.

Having rats makes you face your own mortality and the mortality of all that you love.

I made a shroud for her out of material that looks like the night sky and put her in the freezer. She will be buried with her sister in a large flower pot at the Girls' Club where I work. The girls specifically asked for that. She was much loved by all of us, especially "daddy". He used to call her his sack-o-sugar because she was so sweet.


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  • Portland, OR, United States
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