Slugo rat's passing was peaceful.
Slugo rat has be struggling with illness from the day we first got him. This time Slugo was getting lethargic and having problems with passing urine and stool. Supplementing Slugo's diet with Pedialite, Pediasure and yogurt appeared to help him recover somewhat and with this last round of illness it appeared he was making a comeback. Slugo was having that rally of youthfulness that most if not all have when nearing the end.
Late night when we looked in on Slugo rat we found he was cold and barely responsive. I carefully picked Slugo up and he turned his head as if he was looking up to me. I sat down with Slugo rat on a blanket, he sitting in my hand. Slugo rat would make infrequent, quiet little whimpers, his body twitching with each cry. Slugo rat's front feet were pressed against my finger, his toes grasping onto for comfort. A couple of times Slugo rat reacted like he was startled or afraid and tried to move but would settle back into my hand. I quietly whispered to Slugo rat and gently scritched and tufted him, hoping to give comfort in these final moments.
I gently placed my fingertip against his ribs on the left side and I could feel his heartbeat slowing down and becoming more irregular. As he left, his body made subtle little twitches, almost as if he were still breathing. It took several minutes for me to accept that he was gone and I cuddled him, stroking his sweet little face and whispering "it's o.k." and "I love you."