One of my rats, Harriet, is dying. She’s been sick with the sniffles the last few days and in the last eighteen hours or so it’s gotten a lot worse. Her breathing seems to be okay but she’s too weak to move. She’s also lost a lot of grams — so bony in comparison to her sisters. I think it’s just her time. She’s kind of old — two and a half, almost three.

Of course, Labor Day Weekend is not a good time to get sick, for either rat or human. If she lives through the night (and I’m not sure she will) I’ll probably take her to the vet tomorrow to get put down. She’s a good little girl and I don’t want to prolong this.

In the meantime she’s with me, wrapped up in blankets, and I keep stroking her tiny head.

UPDATE: She died around 2:30 a.m.

11 thoughts on “Harriet

  1. marilynilpa September 3, 2012 / 9:48 pm

    I am so sorry about Harriet. I’m glad that you are there to comfort her.

  2. holly September 3, 2012 / 9:51 pm

    I’m very sorry to hear this. Its always hard to lose a pet. They’re members of our families. Wishing the best for you. Hope she doesn’t suffer.

  3. Kat September 3, 2012 / 10:19 pm

    My son is four. Most of my cats are 10 or approching that. I don’t know how long they will be here, but they were my babies first, and they adore my son. I’m already trying to figure out what to tell a child when his pets start dying off. They have all had good lives, and that comforts me, but I doubt my son will see his friends the same way. Bless you Meaghan, and I hope Harriet goes in peacefully and you are ok.

    • Meaghan September 3, 2012 / 10:29 pm

      I believe my first encounter with pet death was when I was seven. Our family dog, a Newfoundland named Tia, died in a very strange way. My parents had bred her with another Newfie in order to sell the puppies and make money. During the last few days of her life Tia was acting very draggy and Mom called the vet, but was told she was probably just, you know, pregnant and it was nothing to worry about. Then she died quite suddenly. I was the one who found the body.

      The vet did an autopsy and it turned out Tia had been carrying, I think, sixteen or eighteen puppies! Newfoundlands are very large dogs and their puppies are big, and the combined weight of so many had actually crushed Tia’s lungs and basically smothered her from within. It was a one-in-a-million kind of thing. The vet had never seen or heard of anything like it. He said both her lungs together were crushed smaller than one of his own fists.

      Of course it was extremely upsetting for me and I remember crying a lot. I found her in the morning before school and sobbed on the whole bus ride and was weepy all day at school. Tia was a wonderful dog, living up to the Newfie reputation of gentleness and motherliness.

      We went and got another Newfoundland, named Panda. Ironically, she turned out to be sterile. So one of our dogs went way overboard trying to reproduce and the other didn’t even go through the motions.

  4. Lori September 4, 2012 / 3:49 am

    Awww she looks so cute wrapped up with you. I’m sorry you are both suffering 😦

  5. Quinn Elise September 4, 2012 / 3:46 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss; rats are such sweet friends.

  6. Tara September 4, 2012 / 11:06 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss, Meaghan.

  7. Lisa September 5, 2012 / 12:24 am

    So sorry Meaghan:(

  8. amy September 6, 2012 / 2:27 am

    I am so sorry to hear about Harriet. Sometimes that journey over the rainbow bridge is just a much more peaceful legacy than suffering here. I had to put down 3 out of our four cats in the day and it broke my heart each time- but I knew it was best for them.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  9. A White September 6, 2012 / 10:44 pm

    Harriet was lucky to have you, and you her. It’s so sad to lose our special animal friends like that, but it’s a good feeling to know you did the best you could for a helpless little creature. RIP Harriet.

  10. Matagot September 12, 2012 / 4:01 am

    I am so sorry for the lost of your fur baby. I had a white rat when I was a kid. It’s always heart breaking to lose a beloved friend.

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