Thursday, November 30, 2006

Spending (aka Retail Therapy)

I succumbed to Jake Jabs and his damn After Thanksgiving Day Sale... I finally decided to buy myself a new couch. I'm so lovin' it... just need to get it softened up a bit, like the one in the store. =D

(It will look even more cozy and comfy when I eventually paint that wall brick red.) Now I just have to wait for the motivation to do the painting...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

RIP Ripley (approx. May 2004 - Nov. 25, 2006)

My big boy Ripley (pictured from last night) had to be helped to the Rainbow Bridge early this afternoon. I've had him for two years this month... adopted him from the Humane Society.

He weighed in at one point at just about 2 lbs., but today at the vet, he was 1 3/4 lbs. He was the biggest boy rattie I've ever had... ever seen actually. One big lump of fur and attitude.

About two weeks ago I was combing him after cleaning his cage and I discovered a plum sized tumor in the area of his right hip. It wasn't there a week or two prior... it came out of nowhere. I had decided against removal surgery, due to the fact that he was up there in age (2 1/2 yrs.), and he was a bit on the overweight side. I didn't want to put all that undo stress upon him, so I chose to make him comfortable and help him live out his life as best he could, for as long as he could... with the growing tumor.

Yesterday, he came down with a really severe case of diarrhea, and this is when it became evident that he was also unable to bathe himself any longer. I cleaned up his cage, along with the mess he made of himself throughout the day and this morning... along with giving him some yogurt and Mylanta to try and help whatever was upsetting his tummy. He loved to eat and drink lots of water, but that had pretty much stopped over the past day as well. His breathing had also become a bit labored, and he was letting me pick him up and hold him! He was a grumpy rat who didn't like to be held at all, and suddenly, it was something he enjoyed. This, I realized, cannot be good.

Off to Dr. Bock we went... he confirmed that the tumor had pretty much eliminated Ripley's use of his right, rear leg, that his lungs were "harsh," his eyes were "hazy," I forget what the diagnosis of the diarrhea was, and his body temperature was lower than it should be... he needed food / fluids / warmth / some meds to MAYBE make him start to feel better. However, the large tumor remained a major concern, as did his age.

I weighed all the scenarios, all the options, and made the gut-wrenching decision... once again... to say a very tearful goodbye and help him go to sleep.

I'm thankful for the past 24 hrs. where I got to spend so much time with him... holding him close to me, petting him, talking to him... all those things that I wasn't able to do before. I feel badly that I got that time with him only because he was so ill... I suppose it was a mixed blessing.

Ripley-Roodle, your mere presence in my home made me very happy, and I miss you so much already. Who will be there to bite at me... just because? Who will I very carefully hand-feed whole wheat noodles to now, that loves them so much? Who will I listen to drinking, and drinking, and drinking, and drinking from their water bottle... until I think it's going to empty all in one sitting? No other rattie, Ripley... there's only one you.

I hope you're at peace forever. Thank you for being my friend...

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Holidays Amplify my...

Thursday, November 23, 2006


A Happy and "Feasty" Thanksgiving to whomever reads my blog.

And remember... EAT TOFU!!!

Fun with PhotoShop?

OK, so I think this picture is awesome. *waiting 'til my new Nephew gets a little older*
Just kidding K&J! Don't panic.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

RIP CareBear (approx. March 2005 - Nov. 21, 2006)

My spunky little CareBear passed away sometime between 7:25 this morning and 1:05pm, when I arrived home for lunch. I found her at the bottom of her cage, still slightly warm, but with the stiffness of rigor mortis beginning to set in. As I sit here now, she is on my lap (after I had to leave in tears and get my flu shot). She looks to be at peace... like she's just resting on my lap.

She's been fighting Pneumonia for over three weeks now. Dr. Bock and I have tried three different treatments, none of which have made any progress in the direction of improvement. I've spent this time comforting her, we had much quality time together, I medicated and fed her via syringe, all the while hoping for a miracle that she would start to get better.

I had a feeling she was going to pass to the Bridge today. She was agitated all morning while I was getting ready for work, rather than just lying in her bed and struggling to breathe. I did the best I could... I gave her love, comfort, and care during her last days with me. I only wish the last days weren't so difficult on us both. This morning I placed a hand towel and my heating pad on "low" over part of the top of half of her bed area to keep her warm, since she was feeling cold when I held her... her tail was cool too. (Before I left I checked the temp. to make sure it wasn't too hot... seemed mighty cozy in fact.)

CareBear, I will miss all of your rattie kisses (as no rattie of mine has given or will give me). I will miss having to say, "NO!" repeatedly, as you jump off the couch to walk around my condo... wherever you please... and watching your little body wiggle its way down my hallway. I will miss the sound of your teeth grinding against the metal bars of your cage... as if you were trying to chew your way out. I will miss YOU, CareBear! I thank you for all the giggles and laughs you have given me... along with the smiles and cuddles when I was down. These things will never be forgotten. Sleep peacefully my dear friend...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dating Without Disappointment?

I believe I've found the key... for me at least:

High hopes, and no expectations.
It's much easier this way, (especially when there will be no second date).