Many of the "regulars" around here already got to know my first rat, Gregor Samsa, but for those of you who don't, I'll give you a quick summary about Gregor.
Gregor was always the most loving, most caring, smartest, most handsome rat around! He was a chocolate colored hoodie, and his nickname was "The Love Rat." Even my vet fell in love with him, and he was such a vibrant character that she truly believed that he might make it to five years old.
Sadly, that was not to be. One day, Gregor started breathing very heavily, and we rushed him mto the vet. We discovered, quite suddenly, that his body was full of tumors that were not visible on the outside, and that the tumors had taken over his lungs. It was a shock. One day, he's very healthy, and the next day, he's dying.
We put him on oxygen, and all kinds of medicine, but after about two days, it became clear that Gregor was only getting worse and worse, and he was in a lot of pain. My baby wasn't going to make it.
I asked the advice of many vets, who all counseled me to "put him to sleep." I have never done anything like that before or since, and it was heartbreaking. Of course, I stayed with him the whole time during the procedure, and I must say that his passing seemed peaceful. But I was inconsolable...I had just lost my best friend in the whole world! Oh, BTW, this happened on Valentine's Day, just for some added irony.
Poor Gregor only lived to be a little bit over a year, but I can say that, in the time he spent with me, he had a very good life, with very good food, and a mommy who loved him without reservation.
I didn't feel as though I could part with Gregor...he was just too special to me. So, I made an unusual decision. I had him permanently preserved by means of a freeze-drying process. (I looked into different kinds of taxidermy, and this seemed far and away the best.) I shipped his body off to "Pet Preservations" in Colorado, and for several months, have been waiting for them to do their thing.
Well, I just got word that Gregor is on his way home! He will arrive by FedEx, probably sometime tomorrow or the next day! When he comes, I'll be sure to take some pictures, and post them here. I expect him to look very natural, and now, he will be with me for the rest of my life.
Here's Gregor's baby picture, so that you have something to compare with, when he comes home and I post more pictures.