I feel selfish somehow, even though this is the humane thing to do. These are little lives and I'm making the decision for them, and who decided I was so highly evolved that I get to know what's best for them? All of them still have moments of being Happy Little Rats, even with their various issues, and so some of this decision is to spare me the expense of hospital cages & surgeries and the prolonged stress of waiting and hoping they will die on their own (because that will end their suffering and spare me having to kill them).
The receptionist asked me if I want the bodies back or the ashes, if anything. I answer all chipper, because that's my automatic telephone voice: "I don't need anything back. I don't have a yard to bury them in." And I think, Does that make me an unfeeling pet owner? I'm sure it didn't sound good. I didn't really expect to think about remains, though.
I'll be okay, though. I'd rather not remember them like this, anyway.
Jazdia is the perfect rat, the friendly, polite, just-a-little-adventurous one. We wanted to breed her for her temperament, but she doesn't like boy rats that way (it was hilarious - she used to kick Porthos in the face whenever he got near her). Probably a good thing she never had babies, with the tumor genes and all, but that seems to be universal to most rats. She used to love to play games, too. She used to jump off the couch and wait for Sheryl to throw her back up on the couch. She would do this for HOURS - waiting at the edge of the couch for Sheryl to walk by. This is a picture that I find exceptionally cute because it was taken when the other two rats Lela and Ezri were in their "maternity cages" and Jadzia was all alone in a GIANT rat cage.
Ezri, our slow, sweet Ezri, is just... the sweetest rat. She's always gentle (except for a brief period of bossiness when Lela got sick). She seemed to really like being a rat!mom, though she was still a little slow and easily confused. Once, she took a baby in her mouth and went tearing off through the house. We had to teach her how to climb up and down things, because she was born with lots of sweetness and without a whole lot of basic rat skills.
Emony was so named as a baby because she was the little gymnast. She used to hang by her ankles on one of my fingers, and kept trying to do little flips. Sooo cute!! She was also the favorite of one of the Sister Missionaries who we first met back in our Mormon days. It's been sad to watch her not be able to be as agile.
Zek was once the runt of the litter, and I strongly doubted he would survive, because he was so tiny. He ended up being one of the biggest rats we have! It breaks my heart that he's still going to be the first one to die, even though he had a year and a half longer than I expected.
I probably should have thought about this before having a zillion pets who don't live very long, huh? Lela's death is still weighing on me in a weird way where I always pause when I see Tessie or one of the rats or even Gira sleeping to make sure they are breathing.
Yep. So, death in the late afternoon, then cleaning and disinfecting for the rest of the evening.
Because everything in my life likes to happen all at once, too, I signed a lease this morning to move to the other side of town, much closer to work. The apartment needs some TLC, but once it has been worked on a bit, we'll move in.