Lost Xyzzy yesterday. It was very quick.

He was, so far as I know, asleep until just before lunch, when he started what sounded like a coughing fit. (He'd been having the same allergy issues, and therefore the same steady diet of Benadryl, that I have this season.) I fished him out of his house and went to go sit in the bathroom with a running shower, which helps when they're congested. In reality, he was probably having a seizure. He spent a few minutes jerking and batting at the air with his front paws, and when I was in the middle of emailing the vet for an emergency appointment, he gave out and died in my lap.

Almost all of my rats have died in my lap, save the ones I had to take to the MSPCA. Most of the vets will sedate your baby while you hold him, but administer the final injection in the back room once they're out. I've never woken up to a dead rat, because the little plonkers live in my room, and my brain is so tuned to normal rat noises that I wake up and check on them if they start making abnormal ones. It's been mostly dumb luck that I've never been away when one of the elderly ones stroked out, I think.

[Mostly, but not all. I value their little lives highly enough that if one of them is on death's door, I call out of anything I can reasonably call out of to sit with them until it's time. People are usually pretty understanding, especially considering I don't bother to call myself out of anything if I'm on death's door most of the time.]

Xyzzy received many pets, and ate many foods. Most of them were my foods, in fact. The night before, I sat down to eat a pot pie, and he set up a ruckus -- U HAV FUD Y I NOT HAV FUD FIX PLZ. He had food (yogurt and oatmeal), he just wanted new food, and because 'it's my dinner and I bought it' doesn't hold any water with rats, I gave him a tablespoon or so of chicken pot pie goo, which he wolfed down.

Whenever anyone asked me how he was, my answer was always 'fat and entitled', which was perfectly true. He was a fat, entitled little tribble until the very end.

Xyz has been laid to rest in the traditional fashion, in a box padded with his beloved paper towels, and stocked with a few chocolate chip cookies in case he gets peckish on his way to the afterlife.


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