That was the time, 5:21 AM, that Number 8 left for the Rainbow Bridge.
He was our “old man rat” for the longest time. Thin, a little slow moving, but still with a good appetite and an attitude. He snuggled on his terms, and his terms only.
Mrs.R and I had been expecting this for the last few days, maybe a week. Unfortunately we are starting to see these signs more clearly when the bridge is calling for these “old man rat” boys. They start getting quieter. They sleep just that little bit more. They take just that little bit longer to eat. Its almost as if they are savoring the last little bit of time they have with us before going to be with their brothers and sisters.
Mrs.R stayed with him or he stayed with her, depending on your perspective, last night as we were fairly certain it was time …
… a few minutes after 5:30 Mrs.R woke me. Number had passed. She whispered it was 5:21 when he left and I thought to myself … 8.
Today, as I was going through our morning ritual of breakfast for our little ones I noticed Number 9 laying rather conspicuously staring at the extra daily plate of baby food he has been sharing with WiiOne and Number 8.
I generally start with the triple Ferret Nation and work my way across the room placing the breakfast plates or bowls into each home. When I reached the last Ferret Nation where the Numbers and Wii live I took a closer look at Number 9.
To my dismay, he passed sometime overnight. I found Number 9 laying there, looking quite comfortable in what could only be described as a very relaxed almost stretched-out position; just like he had laid down to rest after some playtime with his brothers.
Mrs.R and myself have been readying ourselves in preparation for the next year or so as most of our boys and girls are now over two years old. It would seem Number 9, always the last to go home, will be the one waiting to greet his brothers and sisters as they follow him across the Rainbow Bridge. As he made sure they were safely home ahead of him in life, he can now make sure they can safely cross when it is their time.
Today we mark a milestone for several of our little ones, and more to follow.
Three of our girls (IJ, BJ, and Houdini) and ten of our boys (Blackjack, Singleton, Number 8, Number 9, Ash, Remy, Minx, Moonie, Padfoot, and Prongs) turned two years old today!
One week from today, our little WiiOne will also be two years old; and, on the next day we will see another boy (Sirius Black) and five more girls (Wild Thing, Wall Flower, Ande, Cinnamon, and Sweetie) turn two years old.
Of the 23 little baby rats that came into our world that fateful week two years ago, we are still blessed with 20 little bundles of furry love. I can only hope the next year will bring us as much good tidings.