Bye-bye, Binky.

Binky's gone.

I went to check up on them yesterday, and Bianca -- the rat who dodges everything, who flails when picked up, who hates being held -- wobbled up to the front of the cage, climbed my arm, and refused all attempts to put her back into her box.

That's usually what happens at the end. Unstoppable independent rats suddenly get cuddly, cuddly rats become one with the inside of your shirt. Binky slept on me for a few hours, out in the living room.

I called out of rehearsal last night and work today. Binky survived the night but clearly was not thrilled about it, so I took her into the MSPCA. It crossed my mind to wonder if I could walk her down to Angell from here, and spare her the train ride. She hated the Orange line. Regretfully, I concluded there was still too much snow between here and JP to manage it. I would have done it, in nicer weather.

I gave her Tylenol, in case she hurt, and Benadryl, so she would be too sedated to panic.

When I got there, they let me back into a private room to wait. I opened Binky's box and she crawled out onto my arm, into my coat. I held her until she was quiet again, mostly asleep. She couldn't chitter very well, but she tried, her little jaw working away at nothing. She was still quiet when I wrapped her up in an old shirt and handed her to the vet.

I owe the MSPCA $70 that I don't have. I'll deal with it when the bill gets here. I've never had an animal put down at Angell before and I expected to owe them more like $150 that I didn't have, so I suppose, under the circumstances, that went well. They're nice people. They say 'sorry for your loss' even when your loss is a rodent. I wish I had enough money to give them some even when I'm not losing a pet.

When I first got Binky home, she was so runty I wasn't sure she was going to grow up all the way. Then she was snuffly and tilty, but it didn't seem to slow her down much. She ended up seeing two Christmases, which is a pretty good run for a rodent, especially an inbred albino. Eddie and Yuki don't seem to have noticed yet that I left with the third rat and haven't given her back.

The Angell people let me take her home. Bianca got the same send-off I give all my rats, wrapped up warmly in a box with a handful of snacks. I threw in some Hersey's kisses. She can have all the chocolate she wants now, and she won't even have to fight her sisters for it.


  1. Rats are so hard. I miss mine, but not the having to say goodbye so often. So sorry for your loss.


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