On Thursday, Bubble stopped eating.

She had been struggling with myco complications for a good few weeks now, and the antibiotics seemed to be having only a limited positive effect.

Rats often have respiratory problems, especially as they get older (my girls are about 2 now). Sometimes they get by on baytril long term, and Bubble put up a good fight, but ultimately, she needed a rest.

I can feel myself welling up now.

Ben phoned me up a few weeks ago, whilst I was up here in Suffolk and he and the rats were still in London, sounding worried – Bubble’s breathing was really bad, he said. Very wheezey, sneezey. She had bad porphyrin build up around her eyes too, a sign that she was seriously stressed out.

The vet gave her jabs, and gave us some baytril to administer at home (via oral syringe – she hated that). Then there was the corvental-D, and the powdered steroids, and I think it was all a bit much, and optimism got the better of us.

Bubble has always been a bit of a sickly rat. She had an abscess in January, and she’s been a bit sniffy since we first got her. But she’s also been very highly spirited, ok quite highly strung, but cheeky and loads of fun. Never a dull moment, even if the chewed wires were a pain (rare, but ultimately inconvenient).

Rats are tricky. They are incredibly affectionate, intelligent, inquisitive, and ultimately very easy to get attached to. But they are also small, and therefore quite short lived. Most rats manage 2-4 years. Short but sweet. I loved having Bubble in my life, which has made the last few days all the more difficult.

With the move to Suffolk and my new job starting, I’ve been up and down to London. Unfortunately, when things turned the bad corner on Thursday, I was up here, not down there. But I didn’t want her to wait, suffering unnecessarily, until I got home. A difficult decision, but we think the right one, Ben took her, alone, to the vet. I’m sorry that I couldn’t say goodbye. It hurts to think about that.

But she can get some rest now. I worry that her sister, Squeak (who moved up to Suffolk with me this morning) will be lonely. She seems mostly ok for now, but rats are sociable creatures, and I think she enjoyed being bullied by Bubble. We’ll have to keep each other company for now.

Goodnight, Whitey.


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