Tag Archives: animal lover

Good Laundry Day

This was not my usual rat laundry day but this has not been a usual week either. Mrs.R and myself have been on vacation this week and aside from some unexpected medical issues it has been rather uninteresting until today.

I had just finished taking the rat laundry from the dryers and was going back to the folding counter when an immigrant family decided they needed to do their laundry in the exact same area, ignoring the other four rows of washers to choose from. I just went about my business of folding and putting the laundry back into the clean hampers. I was listening to a random shuffle on my iPod and had not really noticed the two elderly ladies that had started doing their laundry on the other side of the washer line I was at. As I removed the earphones one of them asked, “How many dogs do you have?”

She said she recognized the blankets being the same as she used for her Chihuahua. I said they were not for dogs, but were for my pets. We chatted a moment or two longer when I remembered a recent post I made and decided to push the envelope a bit more. I led in with they are for pocket pets. Her friend was quite attentively listening and asked what are pocket pets? The first lady suggested ferrets; I took the opening and said, “No, mine are rats, pet rats.”

The first lady grimaced, the second let out a little “oh” and I smiled seeing an opportunity to explain the greatness of pet rats. Given the use of the blankets for their pet dog, I used the similarity between rats and dogs. The intelligence, the train-ability, the bonding, and especially the commonality of small breeds of dogs and rats.  The first lady was still being skeptical, but starting to accept the possibility of a rat as a pet, the second lady appeared to think it was very interesting but curbed her enthusiasm as it might not sit well with the first.  I spent another five minutes or so with the ladies explaining other benefits to rat keeping, and trying to explain how there are ladies of their age (“no offense”) that breed and keep rats.  The first lady asked several times if I breed rats, which I replied each time with, “no, we are not breeders” but some of our boys have come from professional breeders.

I think it was a good laundry day and quite fortuitous to be able to try and explain the benefits of fancy rats as pets and companion animals … just like having dogs.

TeeTu – Rest in Peace

TeeTu, or as he had recently become known as, our Chi-Rat, left us last night. He was an ornery little cuss, and we loved him dearly for that. He was our oldest boy, but that did not slow him down. Nothing did, at least until last night.

After work, Mrs.R and I came home to TeeTu in apparent respiratory distress of some sort. We tried to see if perhaps it was a piece of food lodged in his throat or something similar, but he was not cooperating in any fashion.  He was gasping for breathe an becoming more and more agitated as the minutes passed. It was time for a vet visit, hopefully a professional would be able to solve this quickly.

I called our rat vet. I cannot say enough good things about this man. An animal lover of absolutely no doubt, Dr. Aziz of Aquitaine Animal Clinic. He offered us an appointment in an hour, then said I will see you then I am just waiting for you.  When I said we could leave immediately, he said in his peculiar accent, “come!” We were there in less than 10 minutes.

TeeTu received a full exam. The doctor, working on his own due to it being late in the day, tended to TeeTu, a rambunctious pup that had suffered a severe allergic reaction, and an individual that brought in their cat to be euthanized. All at the same time. TeeTu after being examined and having his temperature uncomfortably taken, was moved to the procedures area.  As Mrs.R held TeeTu, Dr. Aziz administered gas to begin sedating TeeTu to continue an even more thorough examination.

A small lump was found in TeeTu’s throat area; the shaver was used to remove the fur in the area; a fine needle aspiration was made; slides made; stains created; and, microscopic analysis was done.  TeeTu had the beginnings of a cancerous type of tumor, and it was inoperable.  Fortunately it was also very small and with medication the doctor suggested it may be possible for TeeTu to continue for possible another six months.

We took TeeTu home with instructions for giving him MetaCam for reducing the inflammation he was suffering, that was the apparent cause for his gasping breaths. We were also to give TeeTu an antibiotic as the MetaCam is considered an immunosuppressive medication.  An infection in TeeTu’s condition would be very bad.  We gave TeeTu his first does of MetaCam, which appeared to help. We tried to help clear his nasal passages as the doctor showed us how to, TeeTu would have nothing to do with that. Our Chi-Rat, ornery little one that he was! TeeTu became extremely agitated shortly after that.

Mrs.R recognized the signs … she picked up TeeTu and held him close.

TeeTu entered into a very short, but severe, bout of convulsions. Then he became very quiet, and subdued. Then he passed as Mrs.R stroked his back and told him how much we loved him.