Agatha's Death, with a Happy Ending

I know it's been a few days since I last posted and the last post was just a photo. I haven't really been up for talking about or writing about Agatha's death. Normally, writing helps me to understand my emotions about a particular experience but with this, I just don't want to talk that much about it. I think I'm just exhausted. Taking care of sick rat + death of rat + sadness + midterm projects = no sleep and bad mood.

The long and short of it is that she got deathly sick Friday. I took her to the vet Saturday to find out she had pneumonia. He gave me a syringe to feed her and 5 days worth of antibiotics to be injected but he didn't know if she'd live. Dave and I nursed her back to moving around and eating when she sadly and very tragically had an accident in which she became stuck somewhere she wouldn't have usually been stuck, and it killed her. Her body was weak and the worst possible thing happened.

Feeding Agatha when she was sick

Dave feeding Agatha sugar water to help her
build strength.

She'd been laying with me or Dave for two days straight, wrapped up in a blanket and eating out of a syringe because she didn't have the strength to lift her head. Losing her to a freak accident was so f'ng ridiculous. I'm really angry that it happened but glad that she was close to me before it - that we had those days of bonding like we hadn't had before. Her little body was usually to busy to stay in my hands for too long, but while she healed in the warm blanket, I got to spend more time enjoying her smallest features.

Agatha's Foot

Saying goodbye has been difficult on both of us as well as Suzanne and Margot. We'll never forget Agatha, she was a one in a million rat. I feel lucky to have had her with us for even the short time we did. I miss her so much. She was always the first to the cage in the morning, and the only one who let me pet her neck and belly before giving me kisses. :( Sad, very sad.

After everything, I decided to begin looking for a baby rat not to replace Agatha, but to spend time and attention on to keep from feeling sad. I was lucky to meet the perfect little lady this week, and she's now awaiting a name and getting used to her new home. She's so tiny, that her entire body fits in my palm.


It's such a painful experience to watch a pet die. But the benefits outweigh the negative a million times over, and I'm excited to bring this new baby in to our family. I think Agatha would approve.


2 people's thoughts:

C March 15, 2009 at 9:32 PM  

I've always been partial to the name "Evelyn."

Can't wait to see the new baby!

Anonymous,  March 24, 2009 at 1:23 PM  

I know exactly how you feel. After we had to put Laika down I felt absolutely terrible. When we got Abby so soon afterwards I wasn't sure at first if it was such a great idea but once I had her on my lap on teh drive home I realized it is not about replacement. You can never replace a loved pet. Just like you can't replace a family member. But finding someone new who needs your love and attention just helps so much.

Agatha won't be a forgotten. She was a wonderful little lady and I know she is probably in rat heaven right now. :)

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