It’s a sad day at the Christensen home.
Over Thanksgiving, our pet rat Butters had what we suspect was a mild stroke. For a while it looked pretty bad, but she actually came through reasonably well. Though she had lost some mobility, her appetite steadily increased and she seemed to be back in the swing of things.
Sunday morning we awoke to find her wheezing, breathing heavily and refusing to eat. In addition, the symptoms that accompanied her suspected stroke returned, and she has had difficulty moving about and staying balanced.
These conditions have forced Jessica and I to make a decision that no pet owner ever wants to make—do we euthanize?
After much thought, we have decided to euthanize. Butters’ previous spark for life is gone and, while I morally oppose human euthanization, this decision seems to be the only humane thing we can do. Having once watched a beloved pet whither away over a prolonged amout of time, I simply don’t think I could allow that to take place again. It is a difficult choice to make.
But Butters has lived a long and joyful life. At a ripe old age of 3 years, she has well fulfilled the average lifespan for a domesticated rat. Since I saved her and her sister from the horrible fate of becoming snake food almost 3 years ago, she has been a gentle companion, little buddy and kind animal. We will miss her.
Even though I have had several pet rats since I was a nine year old kid, it never gets any easier to lose one. A rat may be an unusual pet, but it is a beautiful animal with a unique personality just like any other creature.
Butters’ sister China passed away almost a year and a half ago. We’d like to think that there’s a big Habitrail in the sky, and that China is there waiting for her sister.
As has been our family’s tradition for as long as I can remember, Butters will be buried this evening alongside her sister in a special spot in my parent’s backyard.
Thank you for indulging me in this less than usual entry. No word yet as to whether or not there will be new pets in the near future.