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So I've been thinking of getting rats for a while now, but the thing that scares me most about it is their life expectancy.

I mean, you're caring for something so little and lively and intelligent, that actually seems to fully love you back...and yet might live for 24 months. Maybe less, maybe more, but really not long compared to other creatures that we tend to fall in love with.

I was reading through the 'Rats we lost in '07' thread, and some people lost seven or eight in the span of a year...I don't know how I could survive something like that. I'm getting upset just thinking about it.

I'm sure I'm over-thinking it, and it doesn't help that my mom is drilling the issue into my head...but I'm wondering how you deal with your losses? What makes it worth it?
 

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remind your mother that every living thing dies eventually, and from personal experience, the earlier one learns to deal with it (and every person deals with death differently), the better adjusted that person is later in life.
 

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so far i have not lost any of my fur kids, and i dread the day i do. however, because they are so full of life it makes me cherish them everyday. they fit so much in to their little lives, i'd rather have them and lose them then never experience them at all. sadly i have 5 of a similar age so loss will probably come at once for me...but i had an oops litter and i am sure to keep 2 from that to carry on the line. (but i am not encouraging breeding...this really was as oops as they come!).
 

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Duckling, I have a lot of rats here, older rescues, rats taken in from terrible situations, etc. Of course the ratio of rats to deaths will be higher.

You have to go through it once, and find out if rats and their length of life is for you. A lot of times its the deal breaker with some people. But most of us realize that is the deal, and we would much rather have rats in our life than not at all. Its kind of unthinkable for me. I have had many pets, rodents, etc, and rats fill a certain part of me that I didn't know existed. :D
 

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You'll realise when/if you get your little ones that every minute they give you is precious. Regardless of how long these little guys live (although we wish it was more) every inch of their little bodies is just bursting with love and fun and a need for you to fulfil every little rattie need.

When they die (for me anyway) I feel like part of me is lost forever. The amount of pure joy you can get from one little creature is unbelievable, and when it's gone you REALLY feel it - but what gets me through is knowing that they've lived their life to the full and that they've loved so much, they just can't love any more.

You'll know after your first couple whether they are the right pets for you. But do remember, make every day count :)
 

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i think its part due to their short lives that makes them so amazing. they remember the past just fine, as well as anyone i know anyway, and they can still forgive such huge trauma and neglect and live happily. i'm not sure they know how short their lives are themselves but they don't spend that time grudging people their past mistakes or abuse towards them. their power to forgive is truely amazing. what makes it even more so is that they don't have a lot of time in which to do that and yet, they still do. i once had a rat who suffered through a mind breaking experience. i've worked with dogs, cats and i've seen people who have suffered less and could not forgive as she did.

but it is also their short life that makes us cherish their time with us all the more. we know we won't have them physically in our lives for long, but their memory and all they shared and taught us will be with us forever.

as for what to do when they pass, for each person it is different. some find solace in doting on the remaining rats or adopting new babies. others will post only a memorial post and some pictures. others will dedicate a place in the house for their urns and photos. but we all talk about them and share their stories and in that way they are enver forgotten and so never truely die. there is no way to know how you will handle it until you go through it. as others have said, it may not be something you want to deal with in the end and that will be the end of keeping rats for you. personally i hope to never be without at least a couple ratty faces for the rest of my life (though i do have a second thought about that now and then, normally when its time to clean the cage and i happen to be sick that day... :lol: ) the joy and love they bring me, i would never trade for the world.

i think for those that will keep having rats, they focus on the rat's life rather then their eventual passing. even after their rat has died they are talking about the wonderful life and personailty the rat had in life. you could get just about anyone here to talk about some past babe that was extra special to their heart quite easily. and though they will say they are missed, you will get to know that rat as if it were alive still.

i hope you will not deny yourself their joy and love for fear of their death, as they are ever gone if you remember them and knew them in life.
 

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ah, you guys express the wonder of rats so well, with these posts and the loved ones we lost in 2007 i have a tear in my eye. bless you all x
 

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I haven't lost a rat yet, but the time is drawing very close. Bart just turned three years old this month, and he has hind end paralysis and cataracts. He's on his way out, and it took me a long time to deal with that. A horrible accident with one of my other rats helped me a lot. I realized that death can be SO MUCH worse than going quietly in the hammock, surrounded by warm cagemates and a full belly.

Now I tell him that if he's tired, or holding on for my sake, it's okay to go if he needs to. I'm not saying it for his benefit, really, as I do know that he can't understand me. It's for my peace of mind, actually. Telling him that I'll be okay if he needs to leave helps it to be true, I guess.
 

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Ration1802 said:
You'll realise when/if you get your little ones that every minute they give you is precious. Regardless of how long these little guys live (although we wish it was more) every inch of their little bodies is just bursting with love and fun and a need for you to fulfil every little rattie need.

When they die (for me anyway) I feel like part of me is lost forever. The amount of pure joy you can get from one little creature is unbelievable, and when it's gone you REALLY feel it - but what gets me through is knowing that they've lived their life to the full and that they've loved so much, they just can't love any more.

You'll know after your first couple whether they are the right pets for you. But do remember, make every day count :)
Beautiful man , just beautiful :cry:
 

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The first few loses will always be the worst, as you haven't developed your coping techniques. None actually get easier, but you know ways to handle it that will bring you comfort over time.

I've always believed that they have such short lifespans because unlike humans, they don't have to learn how to love. They are born so full of love, that what takes us 70+ years to figure out they have realized and fulfilled within 2-3.
 

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True friends never leave, really. I remember every little mousie, guinea pig,duckling(!), hedgehog etc I ever had as a kid and would not want to have missed them for the world.
Grieving a loss means you are capable of love, it's the beauty of life
 

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Who was it that said "its better to have loved and lost , than to have never loved atall"? seems to kinda sum it up !
 

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shakespeare said that, i think in romeo and juliet actually but i could be wrong on that. i do know it was shakespeare though. mind you he got a lot of his stories from other people or things that actually happened and skewed it around for the times and to suit his play so someone else may have actually said it first but shakespeare is where i heard it first.

ok, end ramble... first day of classes and look what its done to me!?
 

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The Saying: 'TIS BETTER TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST, THAN NEVER TO HAVE LOVED AT ALL.

Who said It: Alfred, Lord Tennyson

When: 1850

The Story behind It: These lines are a part of In Memoriam, which Tennyson wrote after the death of his beloved friend Arthur Hallam. Tennyson had met Hallam in 1829, when they were both students at Trinity College, Cambridge. Hallam's sudden death in 1833 threw Tennyson into a tormented and near-suicidal state. In Memoriam was not published until 1850, the same year that Tennyson was chosen poet laureate of England. Samuel Butler paraphrased the saying in The Way of All Flesh (1903): " 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all."

God bless google ! :lol:

P.S It was never in Romeo and Juliet I checked.
 

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go figure... i thought i might be wrong. it sounds like some shakespeare would say though and something he would have said in romeo and juliet if he did say it. but its nice that its not. i was never a big fan of shakespeare and its nice to find a quote that isn't from him.
 

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I agree , not many people know shakespeare hired under writers for alot of "HIS" plays. Once he had something workable he re-wrote it in his own style.
 

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When I lost my dog It really hit me hard. It was my first time dealing with death. A year later I got a tattoo in her memory and it really helped me heal. I have heard the same from others with memorial tattoos. I cant really explain how it helps but afterwards I felt much more at peace. I guess its because their memory lives on inside of you and when you get a tattoo it reflects them living on in your heart and memories.
 
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