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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had my heart rat creamated and have a small wood box with her remains. She is the mommy rat of of the 4 I have now who all lived together as a sweet little family their whole lives (she was pregnant when I adopted her and I kept 4 of the babies and adopted out the other 4). My 4 are very special to me and I love them so so much, but I'm unsure what to do with their remains when they pass on. They are a little over 2 years now, so I think I should definitely start planning things out.

My Bijou was the best living creature I've ever had the joy of knowing. She had to be pts unexpectedly while she was on the road with us 300 miles away from home (she had to monitired because of a health issue she would pass away from), halfway up to our destination. I had her creamed because she was so special and I thought it was justified, and also because there was no way I was going to leave her that far away from home. She was very special and I miss her terribly.

I love her babies very very much too. They are all also so wonderful. 2 have been living with Megacolon and treatments, medications etc since they were a little over 1 week old. I plan to donate them to UC Davis near me for a necropsy when they pass away or are pts so I can learn more about what their issue was and learn what the vets find when they look inside. They give the remains back or have them creamated and returned, or just creamated and not returned.

1 girl has had URI issues her whole life and I was considering donating her body too to see also what they could find in her and how much of her lungs or respiratory passages were affected throughout her long constant battle of on again off again meds and treatments to fight back whatever is wrong.

And the last boy, he's just obese despite almost never getting any kinds of treats or table scraps and eating the same food as his siblings. So, nothing special I think we could learn from a necropsy of him.

But the problem is, I don't know what to do with their remains? I would love to keep the family together so to speak, but creamation is very expensive and I'm not sure I want a total of 5 little boxes with my rattie's remains on my shelf. Bijou being the exception of course. But if I'm to bury them which is what I'd like to do maybe, I don't know where I can bury them. I could bury them at my grandmother's house 1 hour away where the rest of my childhood pets rest, but after she passes away, the house likely will be sold and I won't be able to visit my babies and know they're safe at rest and won't be dug up from new owner's pets or landscaping. I could maybe bury them at my fiance's parents house where his 2 old men were buried, but it was very hard to find space to bury them in their little front yard for just the 2 boys. I don't know where we would find room for my 4 babies too. That house is most likely to stay in the family, but I won't get to see them much, and we probably won't live there once his parents move or pass away.

I just am in a delemma of what to do with my 4 almost-seniors and I think I should decide on something soon so I don't have to panic when the time comes and I'm unprepared.

What did you all do with your babies after they passed on? Could you guys please share your experiences of after you lost a rat?
 

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That's a good question. I have the same concerns and will be watching this thread. I have two senior rats as well and as they may not be ready to go yet, I live in an apartment and don't know where to bury them! D:

Sorry I'm not of much help to your situation. =/
 

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Sorry to hear about your heart rat, I know how that goes.
I went through the same issue. And I've moved states 8 times and cities/houses about 30 times before I hit 20 years old. So I lost a lot of pet burial sites in that time.

But I've learned in my life that it's not always being able to visit the site that brings peace and joy to you and the animal, but the placement. I moved so much in my life I decided I'd never bury a pet in the back yard anymore and started finding places they loved or places I think they would have.

My one rat Scout loved our old rose Bush and climbed all over it, he was buried under one at a public garden.
One rat I had to give up to a vet was buried in a public park next to the green belt because it is beautiful and she loved the outdoors.

Stuff like that. I put up a small rock over the site, usually use a dremle to carve a name and date. Its not legal per say but it's not harmful.

It all depends though. They also have services where you can freeze and keep pets until the last passed and have them all creamed together and have just two boxes or release their ashes somewhere together
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We are in a townhouse that has a teeny tiny backyard that his parent's bought and we are renting from them, but we plan to rent it out again to new people and move in about 2 years so we can't bury them here either! It's a tricky delemma for sure! Especially for those of us just renting. I hate thinking about it, but I know it's better to be prepared.

I hope a lot of people share what they did with their ratties when the passed on. Any experience you share would be great. I definitely want to keep their remains in some way, so just letting the vets keep their bodies isn't an option (and in the lucky chance that any babies get to die at home and don't have to be euthanised, that wouldn't even be an option).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would be fine with that idea I think, as long as the babies could all be together and as long as their burial sites are safe from getting dug up or damaged. I remember reading someone's "over the rainbow bridge" post about burying their rat under a tree by the river and I thought it was beautiful, but I'm not sure where I could take my ratties and know they were "safe"?

I didn't realize crematorium places could do that. I'll have to look up freezing and cremating all 4 at once to go in one box, but I wonder how expensive that would be. It's a great idea though. I also get sketched out by the fact that I have no idea if the ashes inside of the box REALLY IS my baby or not and not just random ashes and debris.. and if I'm paying that much money for preserving something special like that, I'd want to know for sure their remains would all be in there, and not some other pet or person's bits and pieces leftover in the furnace. Is that kind of ridiculous? Has anyone else with a cremated pet worried that too? I wonder how honest workers at crematoriums are, especially if it's "just a rat". :(
 

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I will be keeping Isis in the freezer until I'm settled in a place that I feel comfortable burying her. This means packing an ice chest for her when I move, but I think it's better than leaving her here since this is not my house and I'm unsure of how long it will actually stay in my husband's family. I had a hard time even letting go of her body to put it into the freezer, I can't imagine being half a country away from her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will be keeping Isis in the freezer until I'm settled in a place that I feel comfortable burying her. This means packing an ice chest for her when I move, but I think it's better than leaving her here since this is not my house and I'm unsure of how long it will actually stay in my husband's family. I had a hard time even letting go of her body to put it into the freezer, I can't imagine being half a country away from her.
I was thinking that too, but we have a tiny freezer and I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be with my baby's bodies being stored there next to food and seeing the container they're kept in... Have you thought about cremating Isis? It's pricey, but if it's just one ratty and you're not sure where you'll be going in the next few years, it's nice to have a little box just sitting on my DCN where she used to live. I may bury her remains someday once we find a permanent home.

Is that referencing Bijou? We had her with us on the road. I'm glad I was with her, but I blame the trip for losing her.. Driving through Northern California and Oregon, there are (still) tons of wildfires and a lot of smoke.. Her tumor was the main reason she had to be pts, but the morning we took her into emergency was because she was open mouthed gasping for air. I still blame the fires and smoke for having to have her pts sooner than she would have with just the tumor, ugh.. :(

If I end up cremating everyone, I will probably bury everyone eventually. It's just so expensive :(
 

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This has been something I'm thinking about too living in a big city... You can't legally bury animals in the park here, and I don't have a yard either. Growing up we had huge yards where we buried our pets and now I don't have that. Cremation seems to be the only way if you'd want them to be with you. However here you can't even release ashes! D: Germany is difficult.

Anyways, I understand the difficulty in choice especially when you want your buddies to travel with you. I know that on some rat groups on fb people have buried their rats in large potted plants that way they have their rats forever with them. However I don't know how they protect it from animals that may want to dig in the pots, and if there's any hmm smell?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ohh the large potted plant idea is good! I didn't think of that. Like, maybe one of those enormouse half wine barrel sized pots and have a young tree growing. Aw that's a good idea to keep in mind too. But moving with a giant heavy pot with a small tree might be difficult too. That's a really good idea though!! We'd just have to find a way to preserve the bodies until all 4 can be buried together. (or maybe 4 different pots?)

I'm not sure about the smell issue. I know that when we buried the last of the two old men, we tried to bury him as close to his brother as possible and must have at one point punctured his box a little because suddenly there was a strong gassy eggy smell coming from the ground (after he had been buried about a month). I felt really bad about it, but in a way I guess there was a little less of barrier between him and his brother? Maybe even helped the decomposition process without being surrounded in a big box.

Not sure if 4 ratties could be contained with the smell of decomposition covered in dirt without it being noticable or attractive to wildlife. But after we get a permanant home, we could plant the tree! I'll have to do some reasearch if there's anyone who's done things like that and maybe what plants/tress are best and how they are effected from a little body decomposing in their root system and dirt. I'd feel pretty bad if the plant died though with a ratty buried under it.

I'll definitely keep that in mind, thank you! :)
 

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So here's some info I've gathered about burying your pet in a potted plant. You'll want something larger than a 2 gallon pot that is unpainted clay, this way moisture can escape the pot. The soil will need to be well draining, put pebbles on the bottom, fill the pot 1/3 of the way with soil, this is were you are suggested to bury your rat. At this point it's up to you if you'd want to wrap your rat in something, and if you do make sure it's thin so the moisture wont build up. Then fill the pot up with the rest of the soil and the plant. You can plant small trees, flowers whatever you'd like to grow.

Just some other tips: You'll want to keep your rat more in the middle of the pot to decrease the chance of smell. You'll want a rather large pot more soil the better, if your pot is small you may want to hold off planting anything because the body might harm the roots (only if it's a smaller pot than suggested). Some people suggested putting clumping kitty litter around the body to make sure that there's absolutely no odor. People who have done this have not reported any smells.

I haven't done this personally, but I wanted to condense info I've read around the internet in case you'd like to go this route with burial. Maybe someone here has done this and will know more.
 

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I always just bury my pets. IDK I am weird & the body doesn't hold much significance for me. I believe the soul passed on and the body is just empty and should return to the earth.

I did see this and always thought it was really neat but havent used it https://www.thegrommet.com/paw-pods-smaller-pet-burial-pods

I think doing something like a memorial to remember them is more special- like I have seen people do little rat foot prints either in clay or paint. And then for every passing rat you could make alittle art project with maybe their prints a pic, their name and hang it on the wall. They would all be together in spirit and it would be something special to look at and remind u of them and something u can take with you.

I have heard of ppl burying them in potted plants like Klesbels suggested. It is something I have thought about trying when my heart rat passes but Im not sure. But it is an option, I have seen tons and tons of people do it.

You could get them all cremated and spread their ashes somewhere pretty, so they will be together.

Plant a tree or flowers and have little markers made with their feet prints. So new life can spring forth in their memory.
 

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When my rat Pan passed away, and my little gerbil Ari i burried them both underneath a apple tree in my backyard, they both loved to eat the apples and chew on the branches, the gerbil also loved taking the leaves and shredding them into a bedding. So i would burry you pets somewhere that has a special meaning either to you or to them.
 

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I was thinking that too, but we have a tiny freezer and I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be with my baby's bodies being stored there next to food and seeing the container they're kept in... Have you thought about cremating Isis? It's pricey, but if it's just one ratty and you're not sure where you'll be going in the next few years, it's nice to have a little box just sitting on my DCN where she used to live. I may bury her remains someday once we find a permanent home.

Is that referencing Bijou? We had her with us on the road. I'm glad I was with her, but I blame the trip for losing her.. Driving through Northern California and Oregon, there are (still) tons of wildfires and a lot of smoke.. Her tumor was the main reason she had to be pts, but the morning we took her into emergency was because she was open mouthed gasping for air. I still blame the fires and smoke for having to have her pts sooner than she would have with just the tumor, ugh.. :(

If I end up cremating everyone, I will probably bury everyone eventually. It's just so expensive :(
They quoted me $60 for cremation ($100 if I wanted her in more than just a paper box which is a bit ridiculous but I think they were just quoting me dog/cat prices since my vet doesn't actually take small animals and makes exceptions for me when it comes to pts). If I wasn't about to move I might have done it, but all of my finances are pretty much accounted for with all of the things I need to take care of before moving; I also wasn't expecting to have to put Isis to sleep before moving.

I took Isis with me on a road trip to visit my parents since she was showing the first signs of another URI and I couldn't ask my mother-in-law to medicate her. I keep kicking myself for not just leaving her for the 3 days without medication because I think the stress of traveling was more detrimental than postponing medication would have been. I don't know if that's really the case, but the what ifs are really painful to think about.
 

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When my sweet Lily passed away a few days ago (maybe a week ago now), we buried her right behind my back yard. Thankfully we have a house that we've bought and are paying off so I'm sure we'll be living here for a long time, or until we die.

I have a huge back yard, but I also have two big dogs who love to dig. I was worried they'd dig her up, so I went out right behind our back yard to the huge open space, greenfield we have. There's a beautiful tree next to the creek, and I buried her under the tree in a lovely, peaceful spot. Then I put up two pieces of wood as a sort of gravestone to show she's there, and plucked different flowers and stuck them in the ground above where she's buried.

We didn't have money for a pricey cremation at the time since we had just spent the last of our money on bills and the mortgage, but I like where she is resting now. I can even see her from my windows in my house. It broke my heart, but I feel like that's where she would have wanted to be if she had the choice.
 

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I always just bury my pets. IDK I am weird & the body doesn't hold much significance for me. I believe the soul passed on and the body is just empty and should return to the earth.
I also believe the same thing. When I was living in the country/ suburbs we had always buried our pets. Unfortunately now living in the city when you have no yard and only public parks around, burial isn't really an option. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I always just bury my pets. IDK I am weird & the body doesn't hold much significance for me. I believe the soul passed on and the body is just empty and should return to the earth.
I always wish I can believe that. Some pets it's easier than others. But when Bijou was pts last month, it didn't feel like that at all. I held her after she was asleep and while she was given the lethal injection into her belly. In a few seconds she was gone, and I saw her peachy pink eye dull to a grayish brown. I know she is gone. I watched her as she left. But I still can't help but feel I left her at that vet's office and she's still there waiting for me to come bring her home. She is cremated and sitting on top of the cage now, but I can never shake that feeling she's still waiting for me because I had to leave her body there..

She may have just been using a body to house her enormous spirit, but it was still HER body and what I know to be her, and seeing pictures and remembering what she looks to me will always be her. It's harder for me to disassociate the body from the spirit I guess. Though I wish I could move on as easily as that.
 
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