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Today was off. I didn't realize it when I woke up.

The morning sun shines through the open blinds; I panic. What time is it? I reached across my bed for the needleless syringe to give fluids and then scritches to my ailing rat. I'm groggy. "Mornin' Rem. How's it g-."

And then I remember that he's not in his box on my mattress anymore. It's just fleece.

The 10 AM alarm goes off. "Baytril Time."
I throw my phone back on the table at Panera, knocking over my mocha. I clean it up and then delete all of the alarms for that day, starting with the 10 PM Baytril alarm, and then the other 10 set at two hour intervals.

There's still whipped cream everywhere.

Call the vet and cancel tomorrow's appointment, tell them to remove Remy from their records. Give the reason why and choke mid-sentence. I thank them for the condolences; thank everyone online for the condolences and tolerate my mother's attempt at caring about an animal she hated. "They're creepy." Listen to my Physical Therapist jokingly tease me about not doing my therapy exercises and laying in bed all week. I laugh sheepishly, but I'm not feeling it.

Cry quietly. Try to explain to the stranger why I am sad over a rat. They are trying to be nice, but disgust is written all over their face.

Mom grabs Subway for dinner. I sneak in a bag of Sun Chips to share with the squeaks. Remy loves - loved - Sun Chips. Must email the rat rescue group about the new bitey, nervous trio coming in next Saturday. Wonder how to do it without the rat that calmed everyone down. Refresh myself on immersion techniques and trust exercises. Cry again when I see the pouches I brought the boys home in.

I eat my portion of chips and dump the rest into a mixture of leftover green peas and applesauce. Not very hungry, so I dump the leftover bits of my Mac n' Cheese on top of the Oxbow. Cuddle with my cat for the first time all week. Have a cigarette and vow not to smoke again, for the rest of the pets' sake. And then lie again when I promise not to adopt any more rats. Something with a longer life span, perhaps.

Today was off. And I now I fully realized why. When he pushed the syringe of applesauce and maple syrup away for the fourth time, I knew it was time to let go. So last night I tucked Remus in; told him he can leave whenever he wants - it's okay, there's no cages stopping him; and went to my first dinner out since last Tuesday. His body was still warm when I got back to my room and found him. He was 2 1/2.

So here it goes, for Remus, and for all of the creatures who've gone before him:

Child of Earth,

I stroke your head, gently.
I send you back to the dust from which you came.
Pass quietly, and observe the meadows of serenity.

Tell our mother I said hello.

May none mourn you and forget what joy you brought.
You have served your purpose; all is okay.
May none forsake you.
May they not belittle you
because you did not walk like them.

You are beautiful. You did beautifully.
And may we meet again, as dust, as beauty,
in another life or time.

But do not wait for me. It will be a while.

In the meantime, I will see you
in the dust
dancing through the sunlight
of my mourning window.

Just remember: You are composed of stars.
You are loved.


Sleep well, my dear. I'll try as well.
 

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Im sorry! but 2 1/2 is such a great age for a rat, you must have taken great care of him. Don't listen to the people that wont let you be sad. That was your baby, they didn't know the bond you had.
 

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Thank you. I buried her yesterday, in a nice coffin and he fav toy. Again, im sorry about your rattie.
 

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Life is short, but love is eternal... A moment is nothing less than a fleeting forever and Remus is love and loved... 'Was' is a state of mind not a state of being and in your memories you will always be together.

Remus has moved on to make room in your heart and home for someone else, his final grand gesture of kindness, but he'll be waiting for you in a place where there is no more suffering and space and time are limitless...

Until then, I'm saddened by your loss.
 

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Thanks. I'm seeing a decline in his brother's health as well, and I'm just hoping I don't have to say the blessing again for at least another month.

I don't claim a religion, but I do believe that matter is neither created nor destroyed, so we are all, regardless of beliefs, going to join one another in the end.
 
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