Novinha (adopted) 8/31/2007 - 4/15/2009 I know, she's not a dog, but I hope it's still okay that I post a little memorial here for her. Oh, my sweet girl. We all knew it was coming, but it never hurts any less. After my post yesterday, I got home from rehearsal and found her curled up in the bottom of her cage. She looked up at me when I opened her cage, when I picked her up, when I wrapped her up in a blanket, but other than that she was very lethargic. I sat with her for almost six hours last night, just holding her. She had a few licks of applesauce and a chocolate chip, but didn't want anything else after that. After six hours, she and I were both dozing off, so we decided to let her go to bed. I put her favorite fleece hammock on the floor of her cage, which she happily cuddled up in for the night, and left a few chocolate chips near her to munch on if she wanted. Jon and I said our goodbyes, as we did not expect she would be with us in the morning. Novi, however, had other plans. She was still there in the morning when I got up for work. She hadn't moved, but she was awake and waiting for me. I wrapped her back up in her blanket and sat with her downstairs for a short while before making the decision to take the trip to the vet. I do not believe she was suffering, but she didn't need to fight anymore. It was time to let her go. I love our veterinary clinic. I just took her to our regular dog & cat vet (we would have had to schedule an appointment with the exotic vet, and I just didn't want to wait that long), and they were so good to us. Even though Novi was so sick, everybody in the clinic was enamored with her. They told us over and over how pretty she is, how sweet she is, what a special little ratty girl we had... Oh, Novi, they don't even know the half of how special you are. Novi, I found you in a Craigslist ad. I wasn't even looking for a rat. Heck, it was the first time I'd ever even bothered to look at Craigslist at all. Your ad was peppered with misspellings and poor grammar, and didn't even include a photo... qualities that would normally cause me to ignore such a listing. Really, the only thing I knew about you from it was that you were a female, dumbo-eared rat. Yet, you stuck with me. You stuck with me for an entire day before I caved in and emailed the ad poster, your previous owner. I made the arrangements, and brought a friend with me to make the 90-minute drive to pick you up. Your previous owner was a nice gal. I truly believe that she had the best intentions for you, but just didn't have the slightest idea of proper rat care. She had you for six months, never gave you a cagemate, fed you guinea-pig diet, and to top it off, the only space she had for your cage was in the back of a dark laundry room. To give her credit, though, she knew she was doing something wrong, and chose to rehome you. She really did want you to have a better life than what she had to offer. And so, on August 31st, 2007, you came home with me. We got you on the correct diet, and (after a brief quarantine) set you up with two cagemates, Ela and Quara. I worried for a little while that maybe I had made a bad decision, bringing home a rat with such a questionable history, but you quickly put an end to that. From day one, you were an absolute doll, the sweetest little lady. All you wanted out of life was a cuddle, a scritch behind the ears, a treat, and so on. It also didn't take long to determine that you were not the brightest crayon in the box. Problem-solving and inventing games, things that most rats excel at, those were just not your forte. You were clumsy, uncoordinated, goofy, and often just did not "get it". But that was all okay, because you made up for it with pure love and adoration. Even if you didn't understand the game or the puzzle, you whole-heartedly desired to participate. This quality is what made you such a great shoulder-rat. I am really going to miss walking around the house with you right there with me. That's what this is all about. I'm going to miss your curly whiskers, your goofy ears, and those big, sweet eyes. I am going to miss your nose poking through the cage bars every time I walked into your room. I am going to miss giving you Yogies and cookies. I am going to miss your kisses. I am going to miss you so much. Good-bye, Novi. Now you are free.