Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In Memorium

Nigel June 2, 2007-March 31, 2009 (that's about 45 in rat years)
Malcolm and his brother Nigel have suffered from chronic respiratory problems since we got them. We’ve kept it at bay with antibiotics hoping that we could contiue that. But yesterday morning, Nigel took a turn for the worse. Instead of greeting me for his morning blueberry, he seemed confused, frantic and his breathing was labored. He didn’t even want one of his favorite treats. The only thing that did seem to give him comfort was climbing up onto my shoulder, his favorite spot. But he didn’t even need to be close to my ear for me to hear his wheezing. He’d already been through 2 go rounds of his antibiotics so this was not a good sign. In the past week he’d lost a great deal of weight as well. He was now just a shell of his otherwise chunky self. (to save on confusion, these pics are happier and healthier times)

Unfortunately we were getting visitors for lunch and Stephen & I were in a real quandry as what to do. It was too late to cancel plans but our hearts were not in the impending company. I was able to make some phone calls before they arrived and made arrangements for when they left. In late afternoon we took Nigel to our vet who helped us so much when we lost our Piper. She was her wonderful self and greeted Nigel in a sincerely tender way even though they’d just met. She could easily see that he was in distress and after listening to Nigel lungs she assured us that our decision was not a premature one.

So I held my little guy & massaged his back, he licked my hand as if to say “thanks for everything mom, it’s going to be ok, don‘t worry” as she gave him the injection. I didn’t know what to expect since I’d never held a pet at this point before. He seemed alittle frantic but then I realized he just wanted to get up on my shoulder, which he did. He cuddled my neck as he always did, his head resting on Stephen’s reassuring hand, as I continued to gently pet his back until he just went to sleep.
Now alot of people won’t understand my tears and really I have to feel sorry for them...cause they also miss out on one of the dearest little loving souls that God has put on this earth. Under the best of circumstances they have a short life span of only 2 to 3 years, but believe me they fill that time with alot of comical antics and love for their people. Knowing this inevitability does not make it any easier when we have to say goodbye to our beloved friends. But I did find comfort remembering a story that every rat owner should know.....

Why Rats Are Only With Us a Short While
One day, some angels went to God and asked if they might spend some time on Earth, to learn and perhaps to teach. He answered that some of the people might be frightened of the angels, that His children's idea of beauty might not be His own. The angels replied that maybe those who could look past the differences deserved the blessings that they could give. But God was still concerned. The angels needed Heaven's air to breathe; they would suffocate down on Earth. The angels promised to hold their breath as long as possible, and would return when they could not hold it anymore. God agreed and sent down the angels.
Many people were frightened of these creatures, despised them, and tried to kill them in large numbers. However, the few who recognized the angelic qualities in the beings took them in and sheltered and fed them. In return, they received more joy and laughter then they could possibly imagine. But alas, soon the angels could hold their breath no longer. After just a short Earth time, they left to go back to Heaven. But they were sure to tell the next group of angels exactly who to seek out when they went down.
~Author Unknown~


  1. Try to hold on to the joy he brought...I know how hard it is in such a short time to get your fill! He had a wonderful home and you still have a pocket pal to love on. I'm sure he misses his friend! Hugs!

  2. Okay now I'm in tears. :) I'm so sorry! {hugs} They really are special little guys and mean so much to us.
    Take care and give Malcolm extra noogies from us.
    Robin + Jer