RIP Pippy

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RIP Pippy

Post by Steve » Thu, 07 Jan 2010 02:48:46



Quote:

> Pippy passed away last night.

I'm really sorry to hear about Pippy. Rats are such sweet, gentle
creatures (most of them, anyway), that it's always painful to see them
pass away.

We just lost our oldest surviving rat, Ruffles Christmas day. She was 30
months old, ancient by rat standards, and had been in declining health
for several months. Ruffles was a sweet, if unexceptional, agouti who
preferred dozing in the rathouse to playing, and her waistline showed
it. At one point, she weighted over 550 g. Despite many visits to the
vet and a couple of hundred euros gladly spent on her vet bills and
medication, she eventually succumbed to respiratory and heart failure.
Towards the end, she struggled bravely to get around the cage and even
just to breathe; it was quite distressing to watch. We probably should
have had her put to sleep some time ago, but the vet seemed to think
that the ACE inhibitor he'd prescribed would eventually help. It's much
harder to see them go slowly than suddenly, as our first rat, Ratchel,
did (see memorial posted above, in May). The cage doesn't look right
anymore without Ruffles' bulk snoozing in the rathouse.

 
 
 

RIP Pippy

Post by freemon » Fri, 08 Jan 2010 12:23:26


On Tue, 05 Jan 2010 18:48:46 +0100, SteveR writ:

Quote:

>> Pippy passed away last night.

> I'm really sorry to hear about Pippy. Rats are such sweet, gentle
> creatures (most of them, anyway), that it's always painful to see them
> pass away.

Thanks for that. Pippy was indeed sweet and gentle.

[shnip tale of Ruffles the rat]

Quote:
> did (see memorial posted above, in May). The cage doesn't look right
> anymore without Ruffles' bulk snoozing in the rathouse.

I know what you mean about the cage not looking right. And I consider us
lucky in a way, in that Pippy went really fast, so we didn't have to
struggle with decisions about her. She got sick and died before we really
knew what was going on.

My condolences for Ruffles. :-(
--
"Because all you of Earth are idiots!"
`.??.`-> freemont? <-`.??.

 
 
 

RIP Pippy

Post by Steve Raigue » Sat, 09 Jan 2010 05:39:07


I don't think my first reply got posted - I was setting up a new
mail/newsgroup client in Linux - so I'll try again with different
settings.

Quote:
> My condolences for Ruffles. :-(

Your sympathy is deeply appreciated. She's been buried out in the garden
next to Ratchel, her lifelong companion.

Yesterday, we went to a pet store and bought a tiny, lively, inquisitive
little gray or agouti (it's not clear which yet) female that we've named
"Minnie". She quickly made friends with her cagemates, Stinky (a hoodie)
and Pepper (brown Dumbo). This morning found them all sleeping
peacefully in a big *** pile. We'll miss Ruffles, but I think Minnie
will prove to be an excellent replacement.

 
 
 

RIP Pippy

Post by freemon » Sat, 09 Jan 2010 10:50:13


On Thu, 07 Jan 2010 21:39:07 +0100, Steve Raiguel writ:

Quote:
> I don't think my first reply got posted - I was setting up a new
> mail/newsgroup client in Linux - so I'll try again with different
> settings.

>> My condolences for Ruffles. :-(

> Your sympathy is deeply appreciated. She's been buried out in the garden
> next to Ratchel, her lifelong companion.

> Yesterday, we went to a pet store and bought a tiny, lively, inquisitive
> little gray or agouti (it's not clear which yet) female that we've named
> "Minnie". She quickly made friends with her cagemates, Stinky (a hoodie)
> and Pepper (brown Dumbo). This morning found them all sleeping
> peacefully in a big *** pile. We'll miss Ruffles, but I think Minnie
> will prove to be an excellent replacement.

That's great! I also went looking for another cage-mate for Pippy's
surviving sibling, Squidgy, the day that Pippy died. The store had only
one rat left, a white and light brown Fancy who my daughter named Cocoa.
Since this was the first time I'd introduced rats to one another, I
worried that they would object to each other, but to my relief they got
along great from the get-go. :-)

She's a sweet, quiet little thing, but doesn't care to be picked up. I
hope that she'll start to like being handled after some time, and come
running to me when I call, the way that Pippy did. :-)

If you don't mind my asking, when you bury them, do you just place them
in the ground, or do you prefer to enclose them somehow?

--
"Because all you of Earth are idiots!"
`.??.`-> freemont? <-`.??.

 
 
 

RIP Pippy

Post by Steve » Mon, 11 Jan 2010 00:05:35


Boy, the Evolution mail client is really behaving unpredictably in its
handling Newsgroups. Back to the Windows partition, so I can write a
reply with some expectation of getting it posted. I hope this doesn't
result in a double-post, should my previous attempts suddenly appear.

Quote:
>.... I also went looking for another cage-mate for Pippy's
> surviving sibling, Squidgy, the day that Pippy died. The store had only
> one rat left, a white and light brown Fancy who my daughter named Cocoa.
> Since this was the first time I'd introduced rats to one another, I
> worried that they would object to each other, but to my relief they got
> along great from the get-go. :-)

> She's a sweet, quiet little thing, but doesn't care to be picked up. I
> hope that she'll start to like being handled after some time, and come
> running to me when I call, the way that Pippy did. :-)

> If you don't mind my asking, when you bury them, do you just place them
> in the ground, or do you prefer to enclose them somehow?

This new mail client, Evolution, is behaving really unpredictably, and
I'm thinking seriously of going back to Thunderbird. It doesn't reliably
deliver replies, and I seem to have deleted your last post - but from
the server? Is that even possible? Surely not, but I can't get it back,
even by reloading the message list from the server. At any rate I can no
longer reply directly to your last message; it's gone. I'll try replying
here, instead. Here's the old, rather lengthy, reply, that never
appeared on the server:

 > That's great! I also went looking for another cage-mate for Pippy's
 > surviving sibling, Squidgy, the day that Pippy died. The store had
only
 > one rat left, a white and light brown Fancy who my daughter named
Cocoa.
 > Since this was the first time I'd introduced rats to one another, I
 > worried that they would object to each other, but to my relief they
got
 > along great from the get-go. :-)

Yes, I think it's a good idea to introduce a new rattie as quickly as
possible after one dies. My theory is that the social situation is more
fluid after the death of a group member and it's easier for a new one to
fit in, but maybe I'm just reading too much into rat behavior. One small
area of friction that I've noticed after introducing a very young rat
with much older rats is that the little one will want to play, but the
older ones, though usually patient, don't really want to be bothered.

There must have been 8 or 10 ratties there at the store, all of them, I
think, siblings, and we almost chose a really pretty little light-gray
fellow who was the most inquisitive of all. He stood up in the front of
the cage giving us that "hi there, don't you want to take me home?"
look. Unfortunately, that one turned out to be a male, and since the two
at home were fertile females, and we don't want to become rat parents,
we had to choose one of his sisters.

 > She's a sweet, quiet little thing, but doesn't care to be picked up.
I
 > hope that she'll start to like being handled after some time, and
come
 > running to me when I call, the way that Pippy did. :-)

Our all-time favorite rat, Ratchel, was very shy in the beginning as
well, but gradually warmed to us. It seems to me that giving them small
treats by hand helps break the ice, as does frequent, gentle handling,
then putting them back in the cage before they can become nervous about
being away from home. Then, you can gradually lengthen the contact time.
Both our older rats know their names and come when called, and Minnie is
quickly learning her name as well - the trick is to pair the name with
treats, of course. Ratchel also knew that "go home" meant she was
supposed to run up your arm and perch on your shoulder to be taken back
the cage.

 > If you don't mind my asking, when you bury them, do you just place
them
 > in the ground, or do you prefer to enclose them somehow?

Ratchel, we wrapped in the "rat shirt", an old plush shirt of mine that
we would put on the floor so they'd have a warm place to hide when they
were out of the cage. It was more a sentimental gesture than sound
thinking, since that old shirt will probably take decades to decompose.
Since my wife, son, and I were away at the time Ruffles actually died
and my brother-in-law was looking after her, he was the one who buried
her. He mentioned something about putting her in a small box. I suspect
it was the straw-filled shoe box that we used to use to take them to the
vet.

I'm glad to hear you've found a new, adorable little rat to raise. Give
her a bit of time to adapt, and I'm sure she'll turn out to be as
outgoing and affectionate as any you've ever had.