Our Berkshire ratty Faith (better known as Flea) had two tumours removed from her little body this past week. Because one of our previous boy rats (Scribble) passed away during such an op, Ninja and I were very nervous about sending Flea in.
But she made it through, and now Flea has proven to be quite a fighter! I’m so proud of her
She was understandably grumpy for the first few days. Just like us, she’s been suffering from the loss of her sister Coffee this week. From what I can tell, she’s also been in considerable pain from the op… and on top of it all I’d venture to say that it’s been an affront to her dignity that she was shaved for the op 😉
But she’s recovering well, eating a lot to get her strength back up, and fighting her meds with a big show of squeaking, hiding and resisting. She’s finished her course of painkillers and antibiotics now, so in a few days’ time she’ll go back to the vet to have her stitches removed. (Not that she hasn’t already tried to remove them herself!)
In a way I feel that Flea’s personality was sometimes overshadowed by the exuberant forcefulness of her sister. Now that we’re spending time with her alone, her own sweet nature is really shining through.
We’re in a bit of a pickle now, though, because ratties aren’t meant to live alone. They need the company of other furries to keep them from getting lonely and depressed. Plus it’s winter now, so Flea probably misses the warmth of a shared hammock.
Our options are limited at the moment. We only want male rats from here on in, so we can’t get her another female as a friend. And we’re also not ready to book our hoped-for baby boys until it’s clear that Faith is getting very old. So the only option we really have is to adopt an adult, neutered old boy to live with our single lady.
For now we’ve decided to wait until Flea has completely recovered from this op, and also to see how she’s doing by her 2nd birthday, in August this year. It’s only two months away (still a long time for a rat, I know).
In the meantime we’re taking the best care of her that we can. We’ve upgraded her cage with some interesting new toys and I’m boosting her diet with the healthiest ingredients I can find. Plus we’re giving her daily runs outside the cage (which will last longer once her stitches are out and she’s able to climb and run like before). I’ve also been spending extra time with her napping next to me for warmth and companionship, and in the evenings I position a hot water bottle nearby to keep her snug in her cage.
She sure is a brave little warrior, and her hopeful spirit is encouraging to me 🙂