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My sweet little princess passed away today. She was an estimated two and a half years old, and I had only had her for two years (she was almost fully grown when I got her). Her picture will be below, but she was a pink-eyed-white. I hadn't owned rats in a while, so a few years back I bought a lovely pair of girls (Delphi and Khaleesi). Delphi got sick and unfortunately passed the day before the vet visit, and Cheeseball was the girl I got to keep Khaleesi company.

She was so trusting and loving, almost immediately, despite the fact that she wasn't really hand raised.

For the past two years I've been working on a few novels, and Cheeseball was always the one to go on my shoulder, for hours at a time, while I wrote and absent-mindedly stroked her fur. Khaleesi would usually just try running all over the place, so Cheeseball was my shoulder-rat, while Khaleesi was my exploring rat. In the 8 rats I've owned, Cheeseball is the one I bonded most with. She will always be my definition of a rat.

Khaleesi passed at 2 years of age in August, which is when I got Artemis, who has been the best friend Cheeseball could hope for. Cheeseball had pretty bad Mycoplasma, but she managed with her treatments. She was also almost completely blind, but that never hindered her! Well, she almost fell off the bed a couple times, but I helped to keep her on it.

Unfortunately, on Friday the 13th, my beloved Cheeseball suffered from a stroke. I live in rural Australia, and the Vet wouldn't be open until Thursday, so I had to do whatever I could do in the meantime. I had to syringe feed her, and lower all the hammocks so she couldn't get hurt. If she wasn't near me, she wouldn't even move for Artemis or her new sister, Bea. When she was near me, she'd do anything to be on my shoulder. She couldn't even walk straight, but she'd jump onto my chest in an attempt to be by my side.

For one day, I left her with her sisters. For one, we explored. The outdoors, the garden, the patio, everywhere else in my house that she wasn't usually allowed. For one day, she was on my shoulder, except for when I fed her/when I was cleaning up her waste, and she'd be on my lap or in my hands.

Now, she was a fairly big rat, so it was difficult to hold her with one hand. When I picked her up, she'd still wriggle a bit until I had her in two hands.

Today, I went to pick up a new baby. When I arrived home, I checked on her, and then sat with the baby in the (unfilled) bathtub, so she could walk around and meet me. When I was introducing them, I saw a turn for the worse. I picked Cheeseball up with one hand, and she didn't wriggle. She didn't care. I put her on my lap, and the last thing she did by herself, was to jump on my shoulder (she didn't make it, I had to catch her halfway). She sat there for around five minutes, before slumping down, so I let her rest against my hand, still on my shoulder. Ten minutes later, she had crossed the Rattie Rainbow Bridge.

I don't think her sisters realise what happened, and Artemis actually became slightly aggressive when I took Cheeseball's body away (despite showing it to Artemis in hopes of letting her realise she was gone) and would hardly let me hold her. They've all calmed down now, but it still brings me great grief to write this.

The only thing that brings me solace is knowing she was where she wanted to be in her final moments.

R.I.P. Cheeseball. My favourite Weenie of all.
Rat Mouse Muridae Hamster Muroidea
 

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Awww... sounds like she passed feeling cared for and loved. I guess thats one thing anyone, not just rats, could hope for.
 

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You gave her a home, you gave her love,I believe that our little ratties know, we as mere human care takers are doing the best for them, they some how sense this,,and return their love to us.
 
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