Tag Archives: pet burial

Rest in peace faithful Flea

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Yesterday¬†we had our old Flea put to sleep ūüė¶ Ninja and I couldn’t bear it anymore to see her struggling so much; the smallest movement became a flailing effort to our arthritic old ratty. We felt we’d done everything we could,¬†and there comes a point where treatment becomes more stressful for a pet than a peaceful passing would be.

Baby Flea in Ninja's pocket

Baby Flea in Ninja’s pocket

Afterwards we took her to my parents’ garden, to bury her near the spots where Muesli, Scribble and Coffee were laid to rest. Of all the options available to pet owners for saying goodbye to their furry friends ‚Äď be it cremation, burial or leaving the body with the vet ‚Äď I’ve always felt that burial provides the most honour and closure.

Young Flea in a basket

Young Flea in a basket

Looking back on her 60-odd rat years, I can see how this fancy rat lived up to her proper name, Faith. First, when she was tiny, Ninja named her because she seemed to need a good dose of faith to venture out into the world. Later when she became comfortable roaming around our home we called her Leap of Faith, because she was never afraid to cover great distances in one bound… just like a small black¬†flea, of course ūüôā

Old Flea in the same basket

Old Flea in the same basket

Much later, after her tumour removal and the loss of her sister, she continued to live up to her real name, fighting bravely to heal after such an invasive op. And finally, just before her second birthday as she began ageing rapidly, her faithful little personality still led her to wake us up every morning for breakfast, even if she could only just drag her tired legs around.

Flea enjoying sweet papaya

Flea enjoying sweet papaya

Another thing that I loved about Flea was that she always seemed ‚Äď if one can say this of a rat ‚Äď grateful for the smallest thing. Towards the end when I had to pre-chew all her meals and wipe her face with a cloth because she could no longer groom herself, she would always brux and boggle happily in thanks afterwards. Ninja and I got to have many very sweet moments with the old lady as she cuddled with¬†and slept by us for long periods.

Faith ~ 25 Aug 2011 to 11 Sept 2013

Faith ~ 25 Aug 2011 to 11 Sept 2013

Rest in peace our sweet old Flea. You were the softest ratty I’ve ever kissed and I loved your beautiful fluffy and colourful¬†coat. You showed us the very best side of girl ratties and left us with so many funny and heartwarming memories.

I’d like to share with you a poem that was given to us by the vet yesterday (it’s marked as anonymous so I don’t know who to attribute it to). It was a blessing to me and I hope it’ll bring comfort to you if you’ve also had to make that tough decision to say goodbye to a furbaby. (But I warn you, keep the tissues handy!)

If it should be…

If it should be that I grow frail and weak

And pain should keep me from my sleep

Then you must do what must be done

For me, the last battle can’t be won

You will be sad ‚Äď I understand

Don’t let your grief then stay

For this day, more than all the rest

Your love and friendship stands the test

We’ve had so many happy years

What is to come can hold no fears

You’d not want me to suffer, so

When the time comes, please let me go

We’ve been so close, we two

Through these years

Don’t let your heart

Hold any tears

Take me where my needs they’ll tend

Only stay with me until the end

Hold me firm and speak to me

Until my eyes no longer see

I know in time you too will see

It is a kindness you do to me

Although my tail its last has waved

From pain and suffering I’ve been saved

Don’t grieve that it should be you

Who has to decide this thing to do

Goodbye sweet Coffee

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So my sweet little girl’s condition only deteriorated over the weekend. The meds did little to help, and Ninja and I spent the weekend preparing our hearts to say goodbye ūüė¶ When I took Flea to the vet yesterday for her op (tumour removals; another story for another post), Coffee went¬†along for a checkup.

The vet said we could try a dose of cortisone for Coff, but that would only prolong the inevitable. It was time to say goodbye and let that sweet spirit return to the Lord who made her with such care. She was put to sleep peacefully and I was able to bury her in my parents’ garden, in a sunny spot near the graves of our previous ratties, Scribble and Muesli.

To celebrate the short but lively life of my Coffeebums, here are a few of my favourite pics of her.

Day one

Day one

From the day we brought the sisters home, Coffee showed herself to be top rat and¬†leader of the mischief ‚Äď as you can see, she was quite happy walking all over poor quiet Flea!

USB mouse?

USB mouse?

Coffee was incurably inquisitive. Here she was taking a nibble at my USB flash disk.

Loving licks

Loving licks

One of the best things about Coffee was that she was very affectionate (fairly unusual for a girl ratty) and liked climbing on, grooming and being close to us humans.

Pistachio

Pistachio

But… she always wanted things to go her way. In the pic above she was getting frustrated when she couldn’t gnaw her way through a pistachio nut shell. I love that intense expression!

Beautiful Siamese rat

Beautiful Siamese rat

As a Siamese hooded rat, Coffee’s¬†coat faded into lovely markings. When she was but a pinkie, I chose her for her white-tipped tail (she was the only one like that in the litter), and as you can see in the pic above, that little white tip grew with her ūüôā

Curious Coffee

Curious Coffee

This ratty brought so much laughter to our home with her forceful nature and boundless energy. She was always getting up to something amusing; I wish I’d had a camera at the ready all the time.

I'll miss that cheeky face

I’ll miss that cheeky face

The pic above is my all-time favourite shot of Coffee, frozen for a brief moment amidst her characteristic rushing about investigating the world. This pic just sums up her personality so well.

Towards the end

Towards the end

What a¬†contrast between¬†her normal pace and verve¬†and the sad and listless behaviour of the last few days! I spent much of this past weekend with her cuddled close to me like this. I couldn’t bear to see her in such pain and confusion.

25.08.2011 ~ 04.06.2013

25.08.2011 ~ 04.06.2013

Goodbye my sweet Coffee, we love and miss you. Thank you for bringing so much joy and warmth to our hearts and home!

Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. ~ Eccl. 12:7