Posts

Showing posts from January, 2018
I am emotionally exhausted.

I just lost one rat, and now Plugh -- the lumpy rat -- is starting to behave oddly. He's not gone yet; he did hip check his brother off a box last night for some peanut butter. But he's getting thinner and thinner, and is on his way out. I've asked him to please hold off dying until I have more than forty cents in my bank account.

I went into the studio Monday and danced until I hurt myself. Both in the sense that parts of me ache right now, and in the sense that I somehow managed to stab myself on some part of a smoothly-polished hardwood ballet floor, and didn't notice until I'd smeared blood all over my arm. Normally I'm better at pacing than that, but I am too tired to care about pretty much anything less immediate than dying pets right now.

I am so ground down that someone handed me an $800 laptop last night, free of charge, and I couldn't even be excited. I don't know that he paid $800 for it, and it would have been a f…
The remaining rats are doing better. I'm starting to get 'wher brekfiss' interspersed with 'wher bruvver'. I'm sure they would all love having Flathead back, but if he doesn't arrive fast enough to eat his own breakfast, that is his own problem. Priorities, man.

Grue, as predicted, took it especially hard. Grue is the omega rat, to the point where he won't even take food off my fingers. Forks are fine, but if it's on your hand, it's yours. He figures that whoever you are, you probably outrank him, and he shouldn't touch your food unless he wants to get nommed right in the middle of his hard little head. His only ambition in life is to be someone's big dopey BES FREN, and his BES FREN rat is the one who went away and didn't come back. Rats can learn anything you'd expect out of a 1/100 scale Labrador retriever, and I know for a fact that dogs get sad and anxious when their friends go missing, so it's no surprise that Grue sort…
Grue is being kind of worrying. He's making more feep feep noises, and now also propping himself up on things and... hyperventilating? It's the kind of gulping air rats do if they've exhausted themselves running or are having a hard time breathing. I checked his lungs (fun fact: stethoscopes are useless on rats, they're too small and make too many other noises. You just pick them up and hold them to your ear, like a really wiggly seashell) and he's not gurgling like he's congested or wheezing like he's asthmatic. He's just sucking in air like a little bellows. At least when he's awake. And not distracted. He's suspiciously fine when sleeping or nomming.

Since he seems physically okay, at least in all the parts I can check without a radiology suite, I sort of wonder if it's anxiety. See, Grue appears to have some sort of panic disorder. I took him specifically because of it. Plugh and Xyzzy are pretty much rats. They ran from me at first, but…

The King is dead. Long live the King.

Flathead deteriorated while I was performing at Arisia. He did survive the weekend, but looked very ill. I felt slightly less horrible about having to leave him when Grue appointed himself the Designated Cuddling Rat. Whenever Flathead was on my lap, Grue camped out on the cage door, staring at me and emitting little fweee fweee noises. 'wat happen, wher my bruvver, u giev him bak'. I tried in vain to explain to him that, just this once, in this very specific situation, sitting on the other rat's head was the opposite of help.

(Normally I would catch the offending rat and give them a moderate smishing, to demonstrate what that feels like, but it wouldn't work on Grue, because smishing is Grue's favorite. He likes being mooshed into the bedding and smashed in various directions. He'll even let me clean out his ears with my big fat clumsy human fingers. If I do it long enough he falls asleep with his face smushed into my palm. So I just kept intercepting his misp…
So apparently it's 2018 now. Somehow we're not dead. Kind of a surprise. I've been awaiting the fall of human civilization for about a year now. You think I'm kidding, but this is why I have sedatives. I assume my readers aren't dead, anyhow; if you are please leave a comment and let me know what kind of bandwidth you get in the beyond, and if you're still stuck with Comcast even if you've led a virtuous life.

Flathead is feeling better. I honestly thought he was going to die of snurfles, but a couple of days ago he shoved one of one of the other critters off their front porch when he noticed I was petting the wrong rat, so clearly he's recovering. He is not 100% and given his age may never quite be again, but I've also caught him shoveling corn and tofu into his eensy little face with both hands, and last night he sat on Grue and forcibly groomed his brother's head for no real reason. In rat terms, an appetite and strong opinions are both good …