Rat Bonds-Butter

by Emma
(Dallas, Texas)

My pet rat, a dumbo rat, enriched the atmosphere around the two of us. I played with my white, furry rat, Butter, all day long. After a long time of being together, everything was endless. When I came back from school after a gloomy day, Butter was there to cheer me up. When I was as dull as a rock on one of those boring days with nothing left to do, my pet rat was there to entertain me. I taught him tricks of all kinds, which helped me stay in a wonderful mood pretty much all the time.

Exuberant times kept going. Though I was still pretty new to this, since this was my very first pet, I felt like I’ve had Butter forever. I got used to Butter greeting me, like a daily routine. Actually, it was a daily routine. Butter was part of my life now. Our bond would never break.

But, I guess, not everything lasts forever.

I was heartbroken, crestfallen, filled with so much sadness, and anger, even if it wasn’t my fault. Butter had gone missing. That fuzzy creature wasn’t there the next morning I woke up. I wanted to skip school. I didn’t want to go. All I wanted to do was find my beloved pet somehow. My parents forcefully had to let me out of the door and walk to school. I felt hurt and sorrow through my body. I can still remember that feeling till this present.

Butter wasn’t even a year old yet, and she was…gone! I nearly cried in school, but I tried to have some self-control over my emotions and hide it. It was really hard, struggling like that.

When school was over, I didn’t head to take a snack or two when I opened the door ajar of my home, neither took a start at my homework immediately. All I wanted to do was help Butter come back. I need her. Without her in my life, a puzzle piece had been ripped off of my life. Seriously.

I slouched on the couch unhappily. Then, I got an idea that might help me find Butter. I’d do anything to get her back. I said my first words to my parents since I’ve approached home that I wanted to hang up signs across the neighborhood, that showed that if anyone found Butter they could return it to me. I was determined to cuddle her, play with her, care for her, and cherish my life again. My parents answered that I should check the house before I go and hang up posters.

I nodded and started to walk around the house. I thought I should check on Butter and refill her food when I remembered she was still missing. I shuddered at the empty cage that lay in the middle of the living room, with a small desk under it.

I continued into the bedroom and made sure that I looked at every corner and even interior to the bed until I moved on to the bathroom. The bathroom was also empty. The last room to check was the dining room. I sighed as I peered into the dining room. Nothing. Just as I feared: Butter had accidentally wandered off into the outside world, which could be dangerous.

I told my parents that Butter was nowhere to be seen inside, and that I’ll plan the poster on Microsoft Word on my computer. I put a picture of Butter and me hugging each other. Well, since rats are pretty tiny, Butter was technically nuzzling me on the cheek. I rejoiced at the picture and looked at the cage in the room, hoping that it was just a plain, old dream that my pet was gone. But it was sadly true when I looked at the image of the empty cage, that scarred my mind.

I tore my gaze away from the vacant cage and commenced with my work. I added “MISSING: Butter- Pet Rat” and “CALL IF FOUND”. I made all of the text bold, big, and black to be noticeable, then rechecked my design. Perfect. I edited and revised it one more time just in case, then printed about forty to fifty copies out. There needed to be lots of posters if Butter could be found. Hope wasn’t lost yet- Butter was currently lost in the morning. She should be nearby even if she’s outside.

My mom came with me to put the posters outside. We put them up till the playground was in sight. When we secured the last paper onto a street pole, my mom said all that there is left to do is hope that a call will come rolling in that whereabouts of Butter would be found. I did a silent prayer to myself that the pet rat will be back, and that this wish will come true. Then, my mom and I walked back home.

I trudged into my home and read a Warriors book on the sofa, called Dangerous Path. (Isn’t that series epic!) When I got to a part that was related to rats, I rapidly closed the book. This wasn’t a good distraction for the time passing by. Nothing seemed cheerful to me, not even the Warriors book at the moment. There was a stillness in the air. I couldn’t take the tense atmosphere without my rat. I wanted her now.

I drifted asleep that dark, cold night, but woke up at two in the morning. This was too much to bear for me, to spend the time sleeping while Butter was risking her life somewhere else. It didn’t seem right. I decided to have a little midnight snack and ate a few Goldfish crackers. They tasted horrible, but not because I just didn’t like them. I felt sick inside of my heart torn apart. It was almost Valentine’s Day of that 2011 too…and someone wouldn’t be there to enjoy the love of that day with me. I put the Goldfish crackers back and went back to bed. I was able to fall asleep, but the thought haunted me of never seeing that cute face ever again.

It’s been a week or two since Butter has been long gone. My mood was mixed, anger the first, sadness the next, and then a mood of…nothing really. Then, a question came up that I haven’t really focused on. How did Butter escape? I decided to bring up that conversation to my parents.

My parents seemed to already solve that. They said that on January 31st, 2011, there was a package that my dad ordered that came at the door. My dad struggled with fitting the box through the door. Meanwhile, I was feeding Butter. I saw my dad struggling with the box as it peeked out in the doorway. I rushed to help.

And I did this while the cage door was open! Butter must have crept out while the door was still wide open and my dad and I pushed the box inside! I hadn’t even realized that Butter had escaped because I felt so sleepy that night.

I couldn’t hold the tears my sparkling eyes filled with. I sobbed unhappily. This was my fault. If I had been more careful and responsible, Butter would still be here, hopping around, having fun, and nibbling on food I’d give him.

My parents tried to cheer me up that day, but nothing could cheer me enough. Tomorrow was February 14th, 2011, which meant tomorrow was Valentine’s Day. Butter hadn’t come back.

There was nobody to celebrate with me tomorrow. Well, as a pet rat, I mean. My parents were there still. I was ready to give up. It was my fault, and I was unable to bring Butter back into my life. It’s over.

Abruptly, the bell of the mahogany door of the house rung loudly and bounced off the walls. My dad offered to get it and raced down the stairs towards the door. As he opened it, our neighbor was revealed, holding…wait no, that cannot be right. But it was. At first, I felt my eyes were lying to me as I rubbed them. But it was crystal clear. Butter was in the neighbor’s hands!

I jumped up and down as I thundered down the stairs to retrieve my Butter. I thanked the neighbor numerous times as I affectionately ruffled Butter’s white fur. My dad smiled down at me, and I returned it. My Butter was back! I tried to be careful in the future so my rat won’t get lost again.

So, this story happened to be a happy ending. But what if Butter never came back? Here’s my word’s of advice: if you lose a pet, never back down. Even if your pet doesn’t seem to be coming back, what matters is how you treated your rat, and your bond. If you treat it badly, you may end up regretting it. Love is all that matters, and if that exists, nothing can stop you, living or dead. Stay strong.

I hope you were inspired by this story. I hope you feel as heartfelt as me and understand what it’s like. Thank you for reading.

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