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There have been so many in my past and they are all incredibly special but I picked a few of them that I learned a lot from even if it was only the incredible capacity of their love and endurance and love of living.

Lets see where do we start?
Luna, Soma and Selene.
Sisters who were born and lived at a local HS. They were just 3 PEW’s in a shelter full of them. I had 2 rats at home and had just gotten my first Martins cage (galvanized of course). I decided to go to the HS and adopt a PEW girly since I only had room for 1. The 3 girls were in their cage sleeping, and one was on top of the tunnel so I picked her. You could only look at a rat and pick it out, not touch it and handle it at all. I named the 3 month old girl Luna, and because the shelter was so noisy didn’t hear her URI til I got her home. She got meds and recovered but was always a frail sweet girl who really had vision issues. Her sisters rotted at the shelter for another 3 months and by then I had another cage so went and picked them up. Soma and Selene entered my life and soon after Luna left us at 10 months old.
Luna, my lovely sickly sister

Soma taught me about absolutely fearful rats, she would plaintively squeak and squeal if picked up or if her sisters bumped into her. Poor baby girl. L This is the one who taught me my trick of scooping her up in my forearms off the bed a couple of inches, praising her with a reassuring voice, a kiss on the back and put her down. It took awhile but she eventually stopped squealing and became one of the friendlist and cuddliest of rats. She would run for me whenever I came into the room, no matter what exciting thing she was doing. She’d throw herself in my lap or on my chest if I was lying down and freeze in a strange awkward position with her eyes half closed. That was my cue to start stroking her. She would slowly melt onto her side or onto her chest, while I stroked her head and body, pulled her ears and paws gently…she’d “zone” for hours if I could keep it up.
Soma at 7 months

Later on in her life she had a severe respiratory infection that we kept trying courses of meds with. Eventually my vet told me I had to learn sub-cutaneous injections at home to save her life. I was/am terrified of needles and now I had 3 to deal with all at once. I shook and almost passed out the first time I did her injection. The next night was worse because I had to do it on my own for the first time….argh. My lovely big PEW sweetie bore it all with the occasional squeak while I was learning but basically forgave me.
After her first injection

While Soma was ill Seb took care of her

Soma had an incredible gift of caring for other rats, and when Sebastian (her old neutered roommate) was ill she was lying in the hammock with him, while everyone else was Out of the cage. She would groom him and put her big body between him and the others if they were being too rambunctious.
Sadly Soma developed masses inside her intestines and was pts at 19 months last November.
Selene and Soma


Then her sister, brusque, much bigger Selene took over caring duties with old Sebastian.

Before this Selene had developed an inguinal (groin area) tumour that was removed at 15 months. 4 days afterwards we were in the fight for her life!!! Selene had managed to contract a serious and rare skin condition in rats, called Pyoderma. It was painful and horrible for both of us and we fought for many many months til she was cured. Her medical saga is here on ratguide.com
http://ratguide.com/health/figures/pyoderma_figure_4.php
She was incredible, always brave and cheerful and was a real lesson to me on soldiering on through whatever comes your way. She had become a huuuge girl with all the meds mixed into things but she was a happy active girl too. Later on that inguinal tumour recurred along with 3 others at 22 months. I left them alone since the first surgery was what triggered her Pyoderma and I knew she would never live through another bout. L After a long time, and lots of agonizing on my part I finally felt that my now very sweet Selene had had enough of her defective body and I let her go. She had just recently started to cuddle with me and I had the impression she did it because it made me happy. She also bonded with 2 sweet old girls I had take in from a rehoming situations. She was only with them for 3 weeks but loved her desperately and the other she was with for 2 more days before I decided to let her follow her new old friend.
Selene makes a new friend of old sick Maddy

And her other friend for a short time, Maddy’s cagemate Shadow


Sebastian and Pippens were two old boys I got with a group of 4 rats that shelters wouldn’t take and petstores wouldn’t take, so a plea was sent out for a home on a rat board. I had only had girls for years (had owned boys previously but I wasn’t the same type of aware owner to behaviours) and taking in 4 old old boys was something I thought long and hard about but I did in the end…of course!!
Sebastian was 22 months old and Pippens was 26 months old when I got them, and I figured that they wouldn’t be here for a long time….hahahaha….was I wrong!!
Sebastian was neutered a month later along with one older boy who had become insanely hormonally aggressive with the smell of females. He attacked me and his cagemates. My vet and I thought he was healthy but sadly he had an underlying respiratory problem and he passed 4 days later at the vet clinic as they fought for his life. His antisocial and unhealthy brother Farraday made it to 32 months before he succumbed to pneumonia. That left me with Pippens alone and Sebastian in with his 3rd set of girls.

Pippens came to me thin and scrawny and well…old. Then he found good food, and love and decided he might as well stick around for awhile! He was my black and white clown. I loved that boy, and he was sooo sweet.
Pippens at 27 months

Pippens at 30 months

Pippens on his 3 year birthday

Healthy as a horse until just before his 3rd birthday when an abdominal mass developed. I let him go at 37 months old, when he was starting to show signs of discomfort and disinterest in life.
His unrelated cagemate Sebastian was a tiny bear cub of a boy.

One day I will make this into a Christmas card for my ratfriends

After his neuter he went in with 2 of my girls and it seemed to be going okay until they started to really harass him. L
He popped an abscess on his cheek. L I had an appointment made the next week to have it looked at with my vet (she was going out of town that week). Then his left hind leg swelled up overnight…it was awful!

Went to another vet and his abscess was lanced (badly, since they didn’t’ even clean it out) and he was put on meds for a bacterial infection.
I abscess kept bursting and refilling even while on meds and with my diligent cleaning and my regular vet was very unhappy with this. He was scheduled for surgery for the abscess capsule to be removed. At this point Seb is 25 months old. What she found during the surgery wasn’t an abscess but an abscessed tumour. She removed all of it but she had to go very deep, and after it healed the eye socket never quite fit his left eye again.
Here he is happily recovering from surgery in His Basket.

I introduced him to Selene and Soma and finally my 2 tiny Stratford rescue girls. They all loved him and he loved them back!
Here he has his arm over Soma, Portia is cuddled up to him and Selene is in the foreground

My tiny cheerful little boy then had his other leg swell up, and had to go on abs for bacterial infection once again. During all this he was brighteyed, licky and as happy as could be. Next Spinal Nerve Degeneration started to develop and he had his first eye issue. Abs yet again and eye ointment to keep it moist. He was blind in that eye after that. His health was stable for another month or 2 then he started bleeding into his ocular bulb.

Months later that finally cleared up, but cataracts in both eyes rendered him completely blind. Still happy, still licky, and even more paralysed. When Soma was sick he cuddled in the hammock with her like she did with him…it was beautiful.
Sebastian taught me about cheerful endurance. A tiny sweet boy, almost completely paralysed, loved me, his cagemates and life. His capacity to care for other rats astounded me. I was able to put Tikal in with him on her last night. She had developed PT, her beloved cagemate had died and her present roomies weren’t kind to her. He stayed near her and even groomed her. She contentedly just went to her final sleep with him beside her.


Seb stayed in his R-680 with his girls (and many hammies to break falls) til the last week. I made up a geriatric cage and introduced him to my old chronic respiratory girl Rafiki. For 3 days they tolerated each other, for the remaining 4 they were inseparable and so gentle with each other. On her bad days he cuddled and groomed her, and on his bad days vice versa Those 2 were meant to find each other!! I let them both cross together when their health was failing.


Dilbert is next. Dillylicious or Sir Dilbert Lickbath Hall as he has been named by another forum, came into my life at 3 weeks old. He was taken from his mom at 2 weeks to be herp food but the owner couldn’t do it. They then syringe-fed him, encouraged him to eliminate and let him live in a 1 gallon bucket. He advertised this little fella on a ratforum and Craigslist. No takers, so I emailed him to make sure someone had helped out this student. He told me he couldn’t keep him and was going to let him go “free” in the woods that weekend. It was Thursday night!!! I conned some friends to drive me down there the next day and since I ran an almost all-girl establishment I was going to get him weaned, healthy and rehome him….hehehe. Great plan til I met him. Within seconds he had me wrapped around his itty bitty paws!!
He was popcorning around and licking my fingers in the carrier on the way home. :O



I did a lot of research on orphans and we learned a lot together during that time. He enthralled his fan-base with his activities for a long time. If you are bored you can read our saga here…or at least look at the cute pics and giggle.
http://www.goosemoose.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,118/forum,rat/topic,4004903.0

He’s still a goofy squishy boy who loves his harem of 12 girls. He was one special boy when he was young, then he met his girls and became a Rat. He’s enjoying this stage of his life and I know when he is older he will turn back to me the way he did when he was young.


Bronwen was in a high-kill shelter when I found her. My friend and I were going there to pick up 3 older ratboys under her rescue and transport them to their adopter. We often did these runs and I was along as rat expert and to keep her company on our long drive. I had checked the shelters petfinder and there was no more rats there, so I went into the back room when we arrived. There was a small PEW girl in a hamster cage with a bowl of water and a bowl of seed mix. I had checked out the boys and transferred them to their carrier. The shelter employee had gone off to get the paperwork. I decided I would check out lil girly. I put my hand in there expecting skittering or possibly a bite. She hunkered down and let me stroke her. I even stroked her cheeks and she tipped her head like a cat. Awwwww. Then I took my hand out of the cage and was going to leave. The employee said to us “sure you don’t want another rat? That one was found outside in someone’s backyard but we’re not even going to advertise her for adoption, just euthanize her after her Stray period is up. I asked when that was. “Tomorrow.” So Bronwen came on a long road trip with us. She lay in my lap or my arms for 9 hours…she was incredible.


Soon after I got her home I realized she had prominent nipples and she had previously had a litter. Soo young too. L She fooled a lot of us until it was too late and I realized she was going to have eepers. My first oops litter. OMG. I already had 28 rats here, I didn’t need more! Well afterwards I decided I might as well learn and enjoy the experience. She gave birth to 13 eepers of which I still have 4. The Bronlings grew up day by day with pics and stories yet again.

I kept the 2 smallest PEW girls and the black berk Bear and the agouti boy Tucker’s adopter bailed on them, so they ended up staying and getting neutered. Megan is growing up to be like her mom and Tucker is just a doll.
Megan yawning or squalling

Megan and Angel

and now…


Tucker
Was my Agouti Adventurer….


and now he’s my licky love…

Bronwen was already an amazing rat. She is soo kind to all nervous newcomers or babies that I introduce to her cage. She is very confused if a rat doesn’t seem to like her. She cuddles when I am sad, bounces when I need a giggle (she throws her head around like a pony when its playing) or even dives under my neck/cheek and freezes when I am really low. Its her version of a ratty hug. That day I might never have met her since twice we almost turned back around and was going to postpone the trip for the boys.


I guess that’s enough of my beloved rats for now but I am sure there will be many more in the future.
 

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Re: Rats that have Touched/Touching My Life (rat stories-lon

I really appreciate these stories and pictures. It give me a good feeling to see Rats find a warm home with love and caring. Rats have always been disposable, undesireable and ridiculed for their desire only to exist.
Thank you for caring for these wonderful intelligent animals, I can see you have a big heart and are willing to use it.
Spider
 

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Re: Rats that have Touched/Touching My Life (rat stories-lon

Aw, they're all super cute! Dilbert, though, stole my heart!
 

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Re: Rats that have Touched/Touching My Life (rat stories-lon

I'm so glad you took the time to write that post, and show us the pictures of some of your "kids." :)

Please, please, when you get some time, tell us about some of the other babies!
 
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