Not enough time with Matthy

by Geoff
(Chicago, IL USA)

Hanging out with Matthy

Hanging out with Matthy

I found my little guy Matthy when he was a baby, on a sidewalk in Chicago. At first, I thought he was a mouse; he was so small. He didn't move and so I picked him up and carried him a block to my apartment, set on letting him go in the backyard. One thing led to another and I ended up keeping him (it had been raining torrents for several days and I was afraid he wouldn't make it outside) and as he grew over the next month, it became more obvious he wasn't a mouse but indeed a rat! He quickly outgrew his small cage and wheel (much to his sorrow - he loved running and sleeping inside his wheel) so I got a huge multi-level cage with wheels as well as a companion, Rousey. They got along almost immediately and we spent the last 10 months together, along with my 3 cats, as a happy family. Matthy was a picky eater and kept me honest with trying new foods that he might eat. His hunger and water intake seemed to dip a little bit the past few weeks but not overwhelmingly so. Sunday night (I write this on a Thursday, so just 4 nights ago), he began to have mild labored breathing. At the vet's office the next day (Monday) he was breathing much more labored. The vet felt like Matthy had pneumonia and prescribed 2 medicines and discussed a Nebulizer and also watching my little guy closely. Matthy's breathing became more labored on Tuesday and Wednesday but would subside when he was resting and staying calm. by Wednesday night it was a steady labored breathing and I held him with me that evening. He passed away with his buddy Rousey at his side, as I was trying to nebulize him. I feel devastated that that procedure was maybe too loud or stressful for him in his state of breathing and am heartbroken. I am a 44 year old man and have been crying on and off all night and day and am really upset that my little buddy was suffering and that I failed him. Matthy introduced me to the wonders of all rats but in particular to his own. He was a gentle sweet little guy and deserved better than this at the end. I will miss him always.

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