The downer to a fairly nice Thanksgiving weekend visiting my family was that when I got back home, I found that one of my rats had died.
It’s kind of a sad and inevitable thing. C.J. was getting old – nearly two and a half, which is near old age for a rat – and she’d had a tumour on her leg for a while that was bothering her. In the grand scheme of things, it was probably for the best, and she got to pass away at home, in her cage.
C.J. was an old-ish rat when I got her, which is why I got her, to a large extent – at six months and nearly full-grown, she was probably less likely to be adopted than the younger, cuter babies. I got a nice, good-tempered, fairly well-behaved rat, and a bit more than I bargained for – about two weeks after I brought her home, C.J. gave birth to a litter of 13 babies. The pet store later explained that they’d been trying to breed her, but didn’t think it had taken. They took back the babies (minus Darla, who I kept, and Dru, the runt of the litter who died a few weeks later), but I kept C.J.
I’m not sure that people who don’t like rats really understand it, but they do have distinct personalities. C.J. was friendly and generally polite – never afraid of people, less likely than her furry compatriots to shred my couch or plot escape attempts. She was a sweet girl, and a good rat.