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Two nights ago a good man dropped dead of a heart attack at the factory, I can't imagine the misery his family is going through right now. Last night I faced a similar pain after finding my Mitzy cold.

To be honest I don't remember the day I brought her home, it was three years ago and on a whim. The rat, though, is unforgettable. She was the kind of rat that relaxed completely as you picked her up, you could let her hang limp from your hand and manipulate her limbs like a doll. She was the kind of rat that leaned in to your finger as you pet her just like a cat will. Most of those who met my rats liked her the most, even in the days when she looked more like a zombie than the sweet little thing she was inside.

Her curly while fur thinned and balded so badly that she almost resembled a hairless rat growing fur rather than a furred rat losing it, her red eyes began to turn white long ago but they were almost completely clouded over at this point, she wasted away into a fragile looking thing with bones protruding from skin, and she carried around a grape sized tumor under her arm.

She looked like death, and yet so full of life that it was hard to feel sorry for her. Watching the "living corpse" of a rat run on her wheel was both a sad and wonderful sight. She loved to run and loved to climb. So many times this past month I've caught her hanging from toys like a monkey or eagerly trying to climb something; she looked so weak that I pulled her away for her own safety, but she still felt so strong as she tried to push past my hand to get back to her mission. Although her body was deteriorating, her spirit never faded. She was exuberant. It was hard to predict when she would take her leave and there was no clear warning when I went to bed that night.

What hurts the most is that I knew she would die when I seen her that morning, but I had slept in unusually late and was already a few minutes past my deadline when I realized this. I had to say a final goodbye to her right then instead of letting her free from her cage one last time, and it kills me.



One of my favorite things about you was the smile you always seemed to have on your face, good night.




 

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Your writing brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful girl, I hope you are doing alright.
 

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Awwww, what a cutie. She really does seem to be smiling!

Try not to be too hard on yourself. It sucks you didn't get to let her run around one last time like you wanted, but life gets in the way sometimes and you can't help that. It sounds like you gave her a great long life with lots of love, and that's what is really important.
 
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