Thursday, February 24, 2011

R.I.P. Marley

Marley as a baby

Marley hanging out with a buddy, another friend's rat, Maggie

I had to make the rainbow bridge decision yesterday. It was so hard, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Most people won't understand grief over the passing of a RAT, but Marley was a great little rat. Her story is a good one. I rescued Marley from becoming dinner in December of 2008. She was four weeks old, and some of her cage-mates had just been picked out to be snake food. I just couldn't resist her with her little nub tail and her curly fur and whiskers. She was so curious and friendly, plus she looked more like a little hamster with that nub tail, so I took her home with me. The last two, nearly two and a half years, have been wonderful with her in my life. Rats, despite their bad rep, are very intelligent creatures, and Marley was very loving. Ha, she shared my wine tastes and from an early age was always trying to steal sips of my cabernet when I wasn't looking. The first week I had her home, she nearly nosedived into my glass of cab when I was just hanging out on the couch.

Trying to steal some cabernet sauvignon

She used to be so fearless. She was a very busy little thing, much busier than any of the male rats that I had had as a child. The boys are more couch potato-ey, but Marley was curious and into everything. She was such a delight, and it was hilarious to watch her go. She wasn't afraid of hardly anything at all, certainly not the dog, and not often of the cat. She had an adventure riding Isis one afternoon :)

Hi-ho Isis, away!

Isis protected her from the cat while roaming around

Yesterday I went to give her a treat and found her in the bottom of the cage, still alive. I made an emergency appointment with the exotics vet in Birmingham, and brought her in. It was just too late, and she presented very similar symptoms to November's ailment when she had an allergic reaction.

Marley while recovering from her allergic reaction

Marley feeling much better a couple days later

However, this time she presented similar but more severe symptoms including seizures, but without the cause of an allergic reaction to be causing these symptoms. The hard decision was made to be merciful and end her suffering. I had to realize that even if I invested loads of money trying to save her, she still likely wouldn't make it and I would just be prolonging the inevitable. I said my goodbyes and sat with her through the procedure, making sure she was taken care of in her final moments. We buried her in the yard behind one of our rosebushes, and will be getting a stone to mark it. She was a great rat, and I will miss her. I will always remember the little rat that used to sleep in my collar.

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