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Discussion Starter #1
http://imgur.com/a/ElD9e

I am at a loss for words on what to write for Athena's farewell.

Athena was born of her late mother, Caius, and her surviving father Remus. She marched to her own drum; she explored at her pace, took food when SHE wanted it, and would instigate attention only when she wanted it. While the other's in her litter stuck to groups, Athena floated around. Even in intros with others, more often than not she couldn't be bothered to care about the new person. As long as she was left alone, she was happy. She was my moodiest rat, and anytime I pushed for more with immersion she would explain to me how futile my feeble attempts to control her were -- she would comply with love, but as soon as released would go back to her own pace of ignoring me.

Athena enjoyed grooming and cuddling, but loved getting into trouble. She was the quiet night and would often slink off. She also had an awful tendency to jam herself into odd places; in my vent once, behind the shower, behind bookcases, and her last jam was under a bookcase. She was almost always missing from headcounts, hiding somewhere. God, the number of times I cried hopeless that I had lost her forever just to find her sitting somewhere like nothing was up.

Our relationship had a lot of ups and a lot of downs. She was a perpetual teen, moody and disobedient and I loved her to death. She is the first of my babies which I raised from birth to pass on. I let her go before her tumor stole more of her precious independence. I struggled, her suffering was passive not active but still I said goodbye. When we got to the vet, no longer did she struggle against cuddles as I cried goodbye. She meekly walked into the vet's hands as he took her away.

I will be mixing her ashes with her mother's, may they be happily together over the rainbow bridge.
 

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It's difficult for a lot of people to imagine the bonds that we are able to build with such short lived creatures, but in truth, it only takes a few moments with a group of rats to be able to identify the abundance of personality traits that they can display. It sounds as if you and Athena had a personal understanding of each other's needs and your patience and acceptance of her need to be herself is extremely admirable; too often we push our pets to be what we think they should be rather than letting them be themselves. The choice to help end her suffering before it prevented her from being herself must have been a difficult one, but I'm sure that she is thankful for the kindness you showed her and the patience and understanding it took to raise such a strong willed rat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. She was such a pain at times, I'm glad she wasn't adopted out, because she would've driven them up the walls. She was never aggressive but she would always put her foot on my finger, asking "Can you not", even before I touched her.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss... I'm currently looking for the words to do justice to a similarly enigmatic departed friend. There are some rats that are just easy... easy to communicate with, easy to understand and easy to be around. Then there are those that are more complicated... kind of like the child you raise but you really never understand. And sometimes you can love them even more for being who they are even when they frustrate you.

Somewhere and with great fondness, I can almost picture Altena and Max crossing the rainbow bridge together comparing notes on the things they did to drive us crazy and slyly laughing under their breath...

Vita brevis, sed amor aeterna est.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Im sorry for Max's passing. I think she was younger than my babies. Enigmatic is right. It's hard to deal with the passing when I can't put into words what she was and what she meant.

Let's hope the notes from our unique Ratties fall and train a hoard of annoyances for the next in lines. Everyone needs the frustration of a teen rat. Athena best be causing headaches in heaven.
 
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