I found Eva rat this morning sitting in her favorite hammock. Before actually seeing her I could hear that her breathing was labored. I gently took Eva rat out of her hammock and she turned her head up to look at me, her whiskers twitching and I could feel her bruxing...
Eva had been on a graceful decline over the last several months. I suspected she had had a stroke and made various modifications to her cage to give her comfort and ease of movement. She made some recovery but was not quite the same. However, during our remaining time Eva rat had became more and more loving and affectionate, bruxing and boggling on demand and kneading my hands with her front paws while we sat together. Every time I made kissy-faces with Eva rat she would lift her head up and press her cheek against mine while bruxing loudly. And even though she obviously lacked strength Eva rat would try to climb up on to my shoulders or go exploring.
This morning I wrapped her in a towel and held her, and I talked softly to her. Eva rat slipped away and her soft little body relaxed in my hands. I sat with her for a little longer and then prepared her for the journey. Eva's 27 months of life most have been wonderful for her to have been such a loving little old lady rat.
When I went to check Regina rat she was already in her hammock, looking off into the distance with her big, sad eyes.