Sail Away, My Little Sister, Sail Away… To The Other Side…

Posted: September 22, 2011 by luzob in Random
Tags: , , , ,
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Rattus norvegicus, bicoloured pet rat eating i...

Image via Wikipedia

As you all know from Mr. Fail’s previous post, I am currently in the midst of grieving for my passed away pet rat, Lily. I felt as if I should write something about her, and perhaps this will lift some of the burdenous depression I am feeling.

The Wiki image I’ve found…

This’un ———–>

That is vert similar to what she looked like, but instead of the common ear placement atop her head, she was a Dumbo Rat, which means they are on the sides of her head. She was also bigger… much bigger.

She wasn’t obese (far from it by the time of her passing), just a lengthy and tall (can you call a quadreped “tall”?) ratty.

The more I look at the image the sadder I become, it is really uncanny how close the coloration actually is.

I got her two years ago for my birthday from Weakening Elms, and she picked her out. She was among about 6 other rats of varying colors and sizes, and I noticed another rat that seemed rather distinct as well. A little runt of a thing, looking skittish and generally at unease, with a deep near-black body and white undermarks.

I had actually raised rats years ago, and due to my lack of knowledge about socialization I spawned two mean and neurotic creatures. I did the homework and had a much better understanding of rats now, so I vowed not to allow these two to become anti-social.

It actually took me a little while to think up names. I usually tend to wrap a name theme around whatever pets I happen to have, and these girls weren’t any different. Personally my favorite flower is the rose, and was thinking about naming the blackish one as such, but I felt it didn’t fit her. Growing up on Michigan Metal, I knew of the band The Black Dahlia Murder, and at one point looked up the meaning behind the name and all that good stuff. Long(er) story short I named her Dahlia, and because of the contrast in coloration of the two I named the other Lily, and it fit.

I would not let these two monsters out of my sight, and for the first few days whenever I went around the house, I would take them, gingerly introducing them to the surroundings. One thing I noticed was that Lily sneezed often, and I worried about a possible respiratory infection (usually lethal in rats) and the Dahlia always tended to poop everywhere she wasn’t comfortable…

…and at that point it was everywhere she was.

Eventually they became acclimated to the cage, the couch, the outside areas near the house (until the neighborhood cat set up residence nearby) but there was one place they HATED no matter what context.

The bathroom.

Any why was this? Despite any attempts to placate them, baths were instinctually known by them to bring death instantly. Lily was the hopper, and would most likely end up soaking wet and directly on top of my head eventually. Dahlia… well she just pooped excessively and had a habit for utilizing her (very sharp) claws to cling to any open skin I happened to have. One little side note is that I am actually allergic to rats, which made both bathtime and cage-cleaning time interesting (both occur usually in the same day). So sneezing up a storm myself, and bespeckaled with little hives I would clean them. I was usually miserable at this point, covered in rat dander and just as soaked as the girls were.

And I loved every bit of it.

Between Elms and the rats I have learned the real definition of sacrifice for someone you love.

Lily would have her good days and her bad, but usually besides the occasional sneezing fit and a little shortness of breath, she was moving around just fine, and began putting on weight. These past days were different, though.

She began to slow signs of lethargy, and honestly I thought something may have been depressing her. I would socialize with her, and I noticed that her muscle tone was somewhat diminished. I let the both of them out for a while, and she just wanted to lay in the sun on the windowsil (very common for her).

Last Tuesday after school Drez was about to do laundry and informs me that Lily didn’t seem to be moving. I look in confirmation and he was right. The poor thing was as still as could be, and not breathing. Ms. LovesTheWeb was going to take care of her for me, but I told her I could…

I couldn’t, and immediately called Elms to help me deal with this shock.

We buried her between the two other graves we’ve had to make along the years, and the next day my mother (who happened to be in town thankfully) helped me plant Sweet Vanilla flowers over her.

Ugh… this shit is hard on me.

Anyway I let Dahlia roam around the next day, giving her more attention than usual, attempting in vain to fill a gap I was never able to. The poor thing made a B-line to the one place she knew her sister/lover/friend would have been.

I had to almost drag her from the windowsil later to feed her…

Now it is a new day, and I’m currently at school, fighting tears and making sure at least some other individuals knew how amazing my rats are.

I think I may get her a new companion, but this will be a very intensive process that I am not looking forward to.

Rats are much more complex than what most think. Presumations of dumb rodents that eat trash and vicious temperments are common misconceptions, but couldn’t be more further from the truth.

I was going to write a ProPow entry, but I just lost a friend two days ago, and felt a need to vent.

With that last declaration I am going to end this, and may possibly write something less heavy-hearted later tonight.


  1. MoonPie says:

    Sorry for your loss buddy

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