> > I is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Whiskers. He
> > was my daughters Katie's first pet. We were all a bit surprized by her
> > choice of a rat, but Whiskers won all of us over with his playfulness
> > and intelligence, and the close bond he formed with my daughter.
> > Whiskers was taken by a respiratory infection. Despite heroic measures
> > on the part of our excellent vet, he continued to worsen until breathing
> > became a chore and he began to show signs of extreme distess. With
> > heavy heart Whiskers and the family made the final trip to the vet. He
> > passed peacefully.
> > I cannot help but reflect how such a small animal could become such a
> > big part of all our lives. He will be sorely missed.
> Ideed - there's a reason rats are called the dogs of the small animals.
> They have such wonderful and affetionate personalities. My condolences to
> you, Katie, and the rest of your family. It's never easy to watch a family
> member die, and that's what rats become.
> As for your question about when to get a new pet for your daughter, I'd
> urge you to wait at least 2 to 3 weeks, or even a month. Too many parents
> instantly buy a "replacement" pet for their child.
Am I right in saying this, but it doesn't say how old Katie is anywhere in
Tod's post - she could be well into her ***s for all we know. <smile>
I should imagine if she is old enough to make the choice as to what pet she
wants, she may well already be old enough to realise that he can't be
instantly replaced with Whiskers 2.
>It's important for your
> daughter to have a chance to mourn Whiskers, to understand that he's gone
> and he cannot be simply replaced. Let her honor the memory of Whiskers for
> awhile. At that age, it's probably important to have a little service.
Indeed. I still have services for my babies, and I'm twenty nine. So I think
it is a nice thing to do for the passing of a family member full stop,
whatever age you are.
You'd have to judge when it was right for your daughter, from an emotional
point of view, yourself, Tod - I know it was more bacteria and risk of
infection you were asking about, as to when you should get another rat, but
I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that. As I understand it, respiratory
infections are airborne but don't live long outside the host so as long as
the areas frequently visited by Whiskers are well cleaned and disinfected, a
week at most should be fine. Don't quote me on that though. Someone here is
bound to know a definite timescale.
Please send ratty hugs from my ratlets to Katie and also my best wishes and
condolences to her and you. In time you'll be able to remember the happy
times with Whiskers rather than just the recent events and the pain won't be
so sharp. It never goes away entirely but it does fade, slowly.