by Kenzie

When I first started looking at getting a small pet I knew that I wanted something that was smart and that could live in a small apartment that I shared with three other girls. We have a cat, had a hamster (R.I.P. Marilyn), and a bearded dragon, so I knew I wanted something different. When I went to the store I had no plans on coming home with any animal, let alone two rats. But like all stories go I saw them and fell in love. I got Barbossa (black and white) with his brother Jack(tan and white) last fall, Jack at first was the playful one while Barbs tended to stay behind and watch. While I tried my hardest to get Barbossa to be more playful Jack took a turn for the worse. Within two months of getting them Jack became mean, hated being held, and distant from Barbs. I worried about him, but sadly after making his grand escape Jack died. I was sad but mostly worried about Barbs as he was now alone. Over time he grew very attached to me, licking me whenever we cuddled and watch Netflix. He became a little explorer whenever he was free from his cage, making new friends whenever people came over. My little adventurer somehow always knew when I would be home. He would run up to the top floor of his cage and sit and stare at me until I went over to him and got him out of his cage. He was always so loud at nights, its like he knew when I had a big test the following day. He was so smart he went by several names Barbs, stinkybutt, Barbossa, always knowing when he had done something he shouldn’t have when I used his full name. Then the night before he died I should have known something was up. While we always cuddled and watched Netflix together he would always run off at some point trying to steal things off my bed to take back to his cage. That night he wasn’t, he just stay super close to my neck and nuzzled like the sweet boy he had become. He looked so sad when I told him it was bed time and to go back to his cage, but he followed his instructions. The next morning I knew I wouldn’t see him until late that night so I placed fresh food, fruits and veggies, and fresh water out. When I left he was sitting in his normal spot at the top of the cage like he always did when I left. I finally came home that night and went into my room to change. I noticed I didn’t hear his normal squeak of excitement or the sound of him moving through out his cage. I looked and saw my poor sweet boy laying at the door of his cage, like he was waiting for me to let him out one last time. It broke my heart. I broke down crying, my roommates try to understand but I don’t think they do. The one thing that made my day everyday was gone. It has been a few days and it still hurts. I took down his cage but seeing an empty spot where he use to be hurts even more. I hope that soon, when I’m ready I’ll get new ratty babies. But Barbossa will be hard to replace.

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