Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Hadley is Dead
He was cold when we found him yesterday. I don't remember if we definitely played with him the night before or just two nights ago. I hope it was the night before.
Both Hadley and his brother have suffered from mycoplasma--the most common rat disease, a respiratory infection, similar to a chronic common cold in symptoms--all their lives. Hadley always had it worse, constantly wheezing and having a few sneezing fits now and then. Nevertheless, until recently, I couldn't be convinced it was mycoplasma though, because both rats' breathing sounded fine and they were both endlessly energetic. I suspected it was just a strange rat noise or something, because they were both strange rats indeed. Nothing seemed wrong for almost two whole years--until Hadley stopped eating.
I feel terrible thinking if I'd been more worried, all it would have taken was a trip to the vet to get a check-up and some benadryl and everything would be okay. (That being said, Quibble is gonna have to go to the vet as soon as possible to make sure nothing ever goes so wrong so fast with him. He is sounding much squeakier than usual.)
I will miss being able to make squeaky kissy noises only to find a rat at my feet within seconds, curious to investigate the source of the exciting rat-like sound. I will miss him climbing up to my shoulder and patiently waiting for me to turn my head to him so he could lick my lips and try to pry open my mouth. I will miss him sticking his curious nose inside my ear and sniffing around, and the way his whiskers tickled all over.
But I think Quibble will miss him most of all. I've had a few pairs of rats in my life and never before have I known two male ratties to get along so well. Absolutely no squabbles, no fights to settle dominance. They played, quite gently actually, but never fought. They snuggled together in their hammock and slept on top of each other, even throughout the hot summer. Neither of them were neutered. It was a remarkable relationship. I don't know how I'll ever be able to fill the hole Hadley left for Quibble, but I'm going to try and I'm gonna play with him as much as I can and let him perch on my shoulder as much as he wants whenever I'm home.
Goodnight, sweet Hadley. We love you more than we ever proved, and I am so sorry for that.