All my favorite ratties

by Benjamin
(Cranberry Twp. PA)

I have been adopting rats for over 6 years now. What started as my Son's hobby became my obsession. For to give the love and care to a rescued animal is to give them the life they may have never had.
They have always been in at least pairs as they are very social creatures. Each and every one has their own personalities, likes and dislikes, and unique behaviors. When one buddy passes on, it seems natural to introduce another one or two as companions. Rats are very capable of grieving just as humans.
Over the years I have cared for many pairs. Now, I suffer the loss of yet another loved one.
Rizzo and Tank were 2 brothers of 7 that were rescued from a house fire in Pittsburgh a few years ago. They were inseparable and aptly named at that. Tank grew to be 1 1/2 pounds! Rizzo was found of spaghetti. They both had their share of trips to the Vet and favorite treats.
A few months ago, Tank passed away. Although his brother Rizzo was distraught, he seemed to recover quickly. Since Rizzo was over two years old, I thought it best not to find him another companion - just spend extra, extra, time with him. My wife as well spent much time with him.
Today Rizzo is so very very tired and on his way to the Rainbow Bridge. To see a creature once so full of life, now just barely breathing is a heart ache that I have endured so many times now.
I feel his discomfort is minimal and his life was full. I tell him he is my favorite rat. I tell all of them that.
I mourn for all the ratties that we and others have lost. But I will continue to be involved in the rescue, care, and love of these little creatures. My grief will pass, but I can share the joy of life with other ratties in need.
Special thanks to all the folks at The Pittsburgh Rat Lovers Club for their help and advice over these wonderful years.

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