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Discussion Starter #1
I would like for people to share with me their techniques for coping with the loss of their rat(s). As my first rats begin to approach 2 years old I can't help but think that it won't be too long before I'll have to cope with losing them. One of the things I am concerned about is what to do after death. My mother has suggested cremation, but I'm not sure I could afford something like that. What have you done with your loved ones?
 

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its hard the first time and the best way to cope has been for me to share my home with more rats after the passing of my other ones and to share their stories with anyone who would listen. having new babies (or new to your babies if you get older rats) to shower love and affection on while dealing with the pain of the loss of the other ones has always helped me. its continuing the cyce of life, you're born, you live, you get old/sick, you die, you're born again...

as for what i do with the bodies, i have them cremated. where i am its only $25 a rat and sometimes the people give me discounts or even wave the fee. but you have to talk to the cremation people directly. the fees the animal hospitals and vets charge is outrageous and can jack up the price considerably. when there was a miscommunication with the last animal hospital they thought they were giving me a deal at $66 when normally they charge much more (they use the same people as i do). the cremation people called me and apoligised for the mix up and paid half the bill. so cremation doesn't have to be expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've been thinking about getting new rats once these have passed, but I get this sense of guilt come over me. I'd feel bad going out right away to get another companion... as if... I'm not sure how to explain it, really. But I know that having new babies to care for would be the easiest way of coping. I'm not sure now I could ever live without rats.

What do you have done with the ashes? I haven't looked at the actual cost of cremation but the cost of urns or even small keepsake pendants (that hold a small amount of ashes) was ridiculous so I was assuming the process would be as well.
 

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the people i deal with put the ashes in urns (some i've recognized at the dollar store but nice ones). i just put them on the mantle piece. i'd like to get their pictures se-lacked (sp?) on them as well but i can't decide on the perfect picture of each one. when i die i want all the urns to be buried with me. that way i will always have them no matter what.
 

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Well, I dont think that justmudtrout is necessarily dwelling upon death, I think that this poster is asking a very valid question. Ive only had my babies for a little more than a month, and already I have felt the lump in my throat when I read that they only live a short while.

For some reason, it seems to me that ratties are different than any other pets Ive ever had....Ive never bonded so closely, so quickly and so compltely wiht an animal. NEVER. Ive had lots of pets and I love them all and have made sure that they were well cared for and that their lives were happy to the best of my ability to do. But Ive never wanted to rush home from the grocery store because being away for more than an hour from these wonderful creatures made me anxious. Ive never put off my OWN heart medicine to pay a vet bill (before the ratties, that is) and now I HAPPILY did so.

I have to admit that when I read about someone's loss here, I cant help it...my mind goes to my babies and it just makes me feel sad to the point of being sick at heart.

I agree with Twitch re her comment about the cycke of life. It goes along with my own spiritual belief system. Intellectually I know this. Emotionally however, I just know that I love my ratties and cant stand the thought of them only having a few short years to enjoy life.

Just my unsolicited 2 cents lol
 

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Yea, I agree it's just, well I don't think about it. I enjoy their company and love them to death, and once they get old, and are giving up with their life, that's when I'll start worrying about them being gone. That's just my way of thinking about. Idk, maybe it's just me.
 

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viishuz said:
Yea, I agree it's just, well I don't think about it. I enjoy their company and love them to death, and once they get old, and are giving up with their life, that's when I'll start worrying about them being gone. That's just my way of thinking about. Idk, maybe it's just me.
To be honest, between the two of us (you and me), I think you have the healthier outlook on things. It's sad, but if I had one of my clients come to me and tell me what I posted, I would tell them that their love was not the healthiest it could be and that it was bordering upon codependency. (lol - doctor heal thyself, eh?) :p

I dont LIKE that I feel this way - it really seems to get in the way of enjoying the ratties because I am constantly looking for a problem, worrying if this one is eating right or if one sneezes, could it be myco, of if this or that noise means that they are happy or unhappy. I am constantly questioning what I do and dont do of being the right or wrong thing. Its so weird, Ive never felt so inept in ANY situation in my life.

Maybe I need to see a therapist myself :lol:
 

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Perhaps, perhaps not. There's a line between wanting to know what you'll do when that happens and dwelling on it, just like there is between enjoying their life as it is and denying that it will happen.

My mother refuses to acknowledge that things die. She'd be the one that would tell me that critters 'went to sleep' as a child, etc. She gets it from her mother, who refuses to make a will (despite being in very poor health and her seventies.) :?
 

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Im working on developing a healthier attitude in regards to my babies. I just want to make sure that Iam doing eveyrthing to give them the happiest, healthiest lives possible.

Sometimes I lose my focus I guess and get a little compulsive about it...but as I said, Im working on it :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input, it helps a lot. :)

Over the past year though I admit to having bouts of "dwelling" on death, but not just with my rat. My mother became very very ill last December and we thought we were going to lose her. I think it scared me a lot; I have had a lot of nightmares about losing the things that are closest to me - my parents and my rats. I know very well that I should not do this, and I try not to. Hopefully my parents will live for another 40 or 50 years, but my rats do not have that long, and I want to be prepared when the time comes.
 

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I have lost seven rats since the 1st of the year. We own our home, and every one of them is buried in the yard in a special area. I was there when they were born, and I was with them at their last moments; it seemed fitting that I was the one to create their "final resting place" when the time came. Going through the whole process helped me come to terms with losing them. It may seem creepy, but it helped. Then I cried and told stories about them and eventually it got better.
 

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justmudtrout said:
Thanks for the input, it helps a lot. :)
Over the past year though I admit to having bouts of "dwelling" on death, but not just with my rat. My mother became very very ill last December and we thought we were going to lose her. I think it scared me a lot; I have had a lot of nightmares about losing the things that are closest to me - my parents and my rats. I know very well that I should not do this, and I try not to. Hopefully my parents will live for another 40 or 50 years, but my rats do not have that long, and I want to be prepared when the time comes.
It's scary when we have to deal with the inevidibility of life regarding the ones that we love the most. And I can tell you that there isnt any one right or wrong way to go about it. There is nothing wrong with trying to prepare. However (and Im sure you know this), preperation is a logical function of the brain and love is an illogical function of the heart and mind. You can be completely prepared, but when it happens, it wont seem that the preparation is mattering that much.

You seem a sensitive, good-hearted person...which is why you feel things so intensely....ironically, the same thing that can make you have those intense feeling will be the thing to bring you comfort and closure. ANd that's a good thing. Dont be so hard on yourself. :)
 

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dkirschling said:
I have lost seven rats since the 1st of the year. We own our home, and every one of them is buried in the yard in a special area. I was there when they were born, and I was with them at their last moments; it seemed fitting that I was the one to create their "final resting place" when the time came. Going through the whole process helped me come to terms with losing them. It may seem creepy, but it helped. Then I cried and told stories about them and eventually it got better.
It's not creepy at all. It is actually VERY mentally healthy.

Thhink about it this way...when our human loved ones pass away, it is expected that we will go to a funeral home and pick a place for them to spend eternity in, choose a casket or choose an urn for their ashes. Its part of working through the grief process, and that sounds like what youve done.
 
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