Friday, January 25, 2008

Good Bye Girls ...

The mention of them as pets in our household raised more than a few eyebrows ... grain farmers looked at us with looks of bemused horror ... but regardless, Coco and Olivia, were for the last two years very much part of the family.

Known collectively as "The Girls" they had distinctive personalities like EVERYONE else ... at night as I was checking everyone and turning off radios and stereos before calling it a night, The Girls and I had a routine ... when they heard me on the stairs they would climb the bars of their cage and wait until I came into Noahkila's room. Then little pink clawed hands stretched out through the bars wiggling and impatiently waiting for their nightly "treat" (hard nutritional chew blocks).

Lately, much to THEIR delight, I've sometimes substituted the chew blocks with chunks of fresh apple, raisins or even chunks of carrots (raisins were THIER absolute favourites) !!! Even as it became apparent that their eye sight was failing, they still heard and smelled the treats as they were offered ...

BUT, along the way these two golden blonde rats taught us much about perspective and being open to the unexpected.

They were vermin - creatures regarded by much of the world as pests - but in our home they were pets and leave us some delightful memories of their two years with us ...

- early on they spent Sunday afternoons running free on the couch while we relaxed and watched tv - Olivia's favourite spot for a nap was in the front breast pocket of my clerical collar shirt as I napped on the couch. Until she grew big, the sight of a long thin pink tail poking out of the pocket and curled across my chest was not unusual.

- when they were out and the cats were about The Girls would start to sway like grass in the wind ... we always wondered if they were sending out the ESP signal - "YOU can't see ME!!! YOU can't see ME!!!" ... suffice to say, the cats came to ignore the rats and seemingly accept them in the family - although Chloe was never really pleased to have The Girls crawl on her while she was napping ...

- I remember watching Noahkila eating a bowl of Cheerios one morning with help - The Girls were exploring the kitchen table while he ate and read a comic book. Then Olivia discovered the Cheerios and delicately lifted a single Cheerio from the bowl with one tiny hand, and dashed to the far end of the table to savour her prize. Coco, noting her sister copied her action. The girls repeated their expeditions until they AND Noahkila emptied the bowl ... Noahkila was oblivious to The Girls'!!!

They were, for thier short lives sweet pets ... and yesterday their journeys with us ended when we made the decision to euthanize them ... they had been living with cancer for the last few months and recently the cancers had gotten too large and had begun to bleed ... It is never an easy decision to make, even if it is RATS!!

But ... today we have two less members of our household ... they may have been vermin - but dammit, they were cute, smart, personable and they wereVERY much part of the family. And they will be missed.

3 comments:

Candygirlflies said...

Sorry for your loss...

xo CGF

shauna said...

So sad. They were adorable. And they were domesticated which makes them completely lovable in my book. What a great tribute!

Jaydee said...

I'm sorry... I know how much of an animal lover you are... whether pets are with us for a short time or a very long time, the loss of them is very real and painful. Thanks for sharing the stories, they brought a smile.