Author Topic: In memoriam James (approx. 2/15/14-12/16/16  (Read 616 times)

Offline BigBen

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 7320
  • Rattos habeo, ergo sum
In memoriam James (approx. 2/15/14-12/16/16
« on: December 17, 2016, 04:34:35 PM »
I came home just now to find my beautiful sweet James lying cold and limp on the floor of the cage.  He was about thirty-two months old, and most likely died of congestive heart failure.

James was the third boy of the trio I adopted to keep my beautiful sweet Catherine company.  He was, I understand, two months younger than Peter and James, who were littermates.  But I was told that he came from the same store, so from that and from the fact that he and John could have been twins, apart from their color, my guess is that he was a full brother to the other two--or, at the very least, from a very closely related line.  Like John, James developed HED; and like John, he started to waste away; and like John, he was showing signs of congestive heart failure toward the end.

Jamesie was a somewhat reserved rat.  He was closest to Johnny.  In their younger days, the two of them loved to pounce on each other and power-groom away, while the pinned one squeaked, often softly, but more usually quite loudly.  The cage was a loud and rowdy place when they were in their prime.  (Fortunately they taught the West Side Highway boys well, and George, Andrew, and David are carrying on the tradition.)  The wrestling and noise were mostly good-natured, though every now and again someone would get carried away and really annoy the other one.  Only then did I feel compelled to intervene.  But these rows were the reason I named the pair after the disciples Jesus called the "Sons of Thunder" in the Gospels.

Although Peter was more focused on me than on his brothers, James and, to a lesser extent, John cared deeply about him.  He was their alpha, though not in an overbearing way.  He was just the natural leader, and they appeared to enjoy following him.  James in particular seemed to feel the loss when he died, but his connection with John sustained him.  When John passed away last month, I had a feeling that it was only a matter of time before it would be James's turn.  James's end came as a sort of speeded-up version of Johnny's declining months.  He developed HED fairly quickly, began wasting away, and about a week ago started to show signs of CHF.  I think he must be happy now to be with his brothers again.

Jamesie was a very sweet rat.  He was reserved, as I mentioned, but enjoyed receiving and giving affection.  I will always remember how touching his concern for Johnny was when we were rushing to the vet's, the time John came down with pneumonia, and the relief I felt when I saw Jamesie relax, as he realized John was going to be okay.  Seeing that was what allowed me to relax, too.

Our last month together was particularly sweet, without Peter to horn in on, or John's needs to distract from, our time together.  We had a number of really good cuddles, especially in the past week, and although he was steadily weakening, his attitude was always positive, even enthusiastic.  Unlike Johnny, Jamesie never tried to navigate the ramps in the DCN once his hind legs started to go; he stayed mostly in an igloo on the food level, and would always come crawling out for treats.  I worried about him at morning baby food time, but he always made it first to the bowl and seemed to be able to hold his own against the other three ratties, even when they were crawling over him to get to the treat.  He had a definite preference for the uncooked pasta ruffles that were part of the evening treat, but he never passed up a Mighty Bone, either.  And he loved popcorn, mealworms, broccoli, and cooked spaghetti as well.  It was part of his easygoing nature that he would even accept pieces of Oxbow as treats whenever I filled the food bowl.  He was obviously the gourmet of the cage!

There always seems to be one rat in the mischief who claims my attention more than the others at any given period, and I really enjoyed the time of Jamesies's ascendency.  James's passing away is truly the end of an era in this mid-Hudson mischief.

My beautiful sweet boy:


What treats do you have for me, Daddy?


The Sons of Thunder in their heyday:



What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
Rat Code:  2m1f22r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n

Offline Kitsch Slapped

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2926
    • All About Rats
Re: In memoriam James (approx. 2/15/14-12/16/16
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2016, 06:37:07 PM »
Im so sorry to hear this. :( Another rattie so soon. Rest easy James. Sending good thoughts your way  :heart:
Rattitude - Hammocks & Treats
rattitudehammocks.etsy.com
youtube.com/allaboutratschannel
facebook.com/allaboutrats

Offline gramma2jaakk

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4309
Re: In memoriam James (approx. 2/15/14-12/16/16
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2016, 11:38:07 PM »
I'm so sorry. I know you recently had John put down. It hurts so badly each time one of our ratties leave us.

Offline ILoveMyRatties

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1167
Re: In memoriam James (approx. 2/15/14-12/16/16
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2016, 09:39:27 AM »
So sorry for your loss. Rest In Peace sweet James.

Offline Alpha1

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: In memoriam James (approx. 2/15/14-12/16/16
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2016, 09:45:13 AM »
This is so sad. I am so sorry.

Offline Been to the Mountaintop

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2473
Re: In memoriam James (approx. 2/15/14-12/16/16
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2016, 09:39:38 AM »
So very sorry. All three apostles were really special boys and I was honored to enjoy them while I could.  :heart:
--Best, Mountaintop--

Offline purple rat

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 188
Re: In memoriam James (approx. 2/15/14-12/16/16
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2016, 08:05:10 PM »
What a wonderful memorial for a beautiful boy  :heart:  I'm sorry for your loss, especially so soon after losing John
proud mama of Spock, Merlin & Streaker

missing my babies at the bridge: Remy, Tuck,   Neo, Crash, MRR Canadian boys Kirby & Digby, brothers Baxter, Abbott & Bentley. Goober

Offline BigBen

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 7320
  • Rattos habeo, ergo sum
Re: In memoriam James (approx. 2/15/14-12/16/16
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2016, 12:59:43 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for your good wishes.  We are all surviving but a bit subdued.  The West Side Highway boys miss their big brothers--and so do I.
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
Rat Code:  2m1f22r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n