For my 200th post I wanted to do something special and in unfortunate circumstances this week the perfect post fell into my lap.
On the evening of 21st of September 2012 there was a knock on our door. We had a delivery we had been waiting for all day.
I was so excited I ran down the stairs and there he was, “I’ll bring them in” and the man went to his care and brought out a cage.
He brought the cage up the stairs and placed it on our table and there they were. 3 little body all snuggled up together, they were the most beautiful things I’d ever seen. One black, 2 brown, one of them with different ears.
“Wow, that’s a great cage.” the man said.
“So, do we take them out so you can have this small cage back?” I asked with nervousness, I’d never held one before.
“Yes, my daughter needs this one.”
So I opened the small cage door and reached in to try and pick one of the tiny bodies up, hoping I didn’t hurt it or hold it wrong. I took them one by one and placed them in their big new cage.
I’d done research and bought them some toys and bedding, put towels in the cage for them. It was huge in size compared to them.
We thanked the man and he left, thanking us for taking them in.
That was the day the girls came into our lives.
They spent that night in the back left hand cornered huddled together in a cardboard tube. It was the first time away from their mother and I’m sure they were frightened.
We spent the evening just staring at them. I instantly named the dumbo rat Leia, because her ears reminded me of the trademark hairstyle of Princess Leia from Star Wars. The black one was very pretty and Jordan decided on the name Eva from Wall-e. She ended up being called Evie just because it flowed more. We were stuck with the last one, I tried to think of names from any films or TV shows that hadn’t yet been used. (That’s how I name all of my pets. I take the names from characters I love.) We’d recently seen Resident Evil and so I decided on Alice. So there it was, Leia, Evie and Alice.
We agreed to let them settle for the night and leave them be and introduce ourselves in the morning.
We were greeted by 3 little faces poking out from under one of the towels.
We spent the morning trying to get used to their new names and letting them get to used to being with us. We gave them treats and let them have a run around on the sofa. They were so tiny and precious. We soon discovered their individual personalities. Leia was timid, Alice was lively and naughty and Evie was just a sweetheart.
I got them their first hammock and it was safe to say they loved it.
They were growing at such a fast rate and we soon let them explore more. As they got bigger though they learnt how to get to the floor and disappear. With of course, Alice, being the great escape artist.
Every day we fell more and more in love with them and it’s safe to say I’ve taken thousands of pictures of them all and they’ve been spoilt beyond belief. With so many escape stories and the ability to wee all over a double bed in 2 minutes it’s safe to say they have brought an incredible amount of love and happiness into our home. From these tiny creatures to large fluffy mischief makers.
They’ve been through an array of different hammocks, this being their halloween one which is one of my favourites.
Being a rat owner means living with your shoulders and chest covered in scratches from tiny claws.
And the perfect moment for a photo is always the sleepy moments.
And experiencing more love that you can imagine.
The purpose of this post wasn’t to show you way too many pictures of my girls but to tell a story of our little family and how it came to be. This was especially for one girl. Evie. A few months ago, we noticed a small lump on her neck. Slightly concerned we took her to the vet, tests were done and as it was too small they were inconclusive but the only option was surgery.
With Evie’s respiratory problems from a young thing I decided to wait a while to see if it grew. It did. Surgery was still an option but the risks for her were extremely high. I was certain she wouldn’t make it and so decided that the best option was for her to live out the rest of days with her sisters until we felt she was too unhappy to carry on. A few months passed and it grew and grew. Although she was still lively, she had been fighting with her sisters more and couldn’t feed herself properly as it had grown over her leg.
And so on Monday the 21st of October, we took our sweet girl for her last vet trip. We took all 3 girls so they could see their sister one last time. The vet took her away and sedated her. I asked if we could be with her. So he brought her in when she was sedated. I stroked her face and told her I loved her. He gave her an injection and she was gone in an instant. The light had gone from her eyes. He left us with her and I gathered her up in a towel and cradled her, we both did. I kissed her ears, her nose, her tiny foot and stroked her tummy. I lay her back down on the table and allowed her sisters to see her. To know she was gone and that she hadn’t just disappeared. One last kiss on her nose and I let the vet take her. The day she arrived, she brought so much love into our lives and whether she lived 10, 15, more years it wouldn’t have been enough time with her. Her sisters are missing her terribly, they’re the complete opposite to each other and so Evie was their middle ground. We all loved her and we know our family is missing a piece now.