Author Topic: In memoriam Martha (6/2/16--10/22/18)  (Read 380 times)

Offline BigBen

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In memoriam Martha (6/2/16--10/22/18)
« on: October 22, 2018, 07:53:20 AM »
Life has been at me lately, and I haven't been here in a while, but the passing away of my beautiful sweet Martha has drawn me back.  Martha and her mother Mary were Holbrook rescues, adopted from Mainely Rat Rescue.  Mary apparently had a horrific time before her rescue, and even though Martha was born in foster care, Mary's trauma affected her daughter as well.  Neither girl was ever very comfortable outside the cage, though Martha enjoyed it a bit more than her mother did.  When I adopted these girls last year, they were already old enough to be difficult to place, and Mary's biting made them especially difficult to adoptees.  Unfortunately, their age and previous experiences made it hard for us to get acquainted, but I took great satisfaction in giving them a safe and loving home, and they came to trust me enough that Mary no longer felt the need to bite.

I put these very shy girls in with Bartholomew, who never got along well with most rats, and it didn't take them long to win him over.  Mary preferred to spend a lot of time by herself, but after a few weeks of "Daddy, why u do dis to me?" Bartholomew could generally be found cuddling with Martha in the space pod.  From wanting to get out of the cage at every opportunity, he became a champion snuggler.  Although he still enjoyed out time, he only insisted on coming out when one of his girls was out, and he would spend the whole time next to her and making sure she was safe.  His gentle protection did a lot to make Martha and her mother feel at home.

After Bartholomew and Mary both died (Mary of old age, Bart of a sudden, unexpected heart attack), I put Martha in with Louise and the boys, whom I had adopted at the same time as Mary and Martha.  I wasn't sure how Martha would do with the others, but she was clearly grieving and in need of companionship.  It was a good choice; she provided some female companionship to Louise in her last days, and she quickly won over the boys.  Despite her timidity, the boys never bullied or mistreated her.  In fact, she proved a great comfort to David, who was grieving his brother Peter, and he quickly became her protector and cuddle partner whenever she was not spending time with Louise.  In the last month or so, they were usually found together inside or on top of one of the hideouts.

Despite her timidity, Martha could still be assertive.  She was always one of the first to get to the treat bowl in the morning, and she was fairly aggressive at getting to my hand whenever I was passing out Yogies.  I loved the little Himalayan spot on her nose, which seemed to come and go.  She and I never really grew close, which is why I will treasure the memory of snuggling with her during her last hours on earth.  Yesterday morning, she was obviously drawing down, but the spark of her personality was still there.  I took her out of the cage for a quick hug and kiss before heading off to church, and when I put her back in the cage, David started gently grooming her.  It was clear he knew something was up.  When I came into the bedroom last night, her body had started shutting down.  She still had a bit of strength left, but she let me bring her into the bed with me, and I believe it was some comfort for her to know that she was surrounded by love during her last hours.  The end was very peaceful.  They say that there is no awareness once Cheyne-Stokes breathing begins, but Martha seemed to pass in and out of consciousness, and although she changed position a few times, she stayed right by my thigh the whole night.  I buried her before dawn in the front flower bed beside Bartholomew and her mother.  Rest in peace, my beautiful, sweet girl. :love9:
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
Rat Code:  6m2f22r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n

Offline gramma2jaakk

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Re: In memoriam Martha (6/2/16--10/22/18)
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2018, 08:59:30 AM »
Memorials always bring tears to my eyes, no matter how lovingly, hopeful, cheerful, or precious they are. And this one was no exception. I'm glad Martha (and all the other littles you have) are and were able to find some love with you. It is difficult enough being a rat, so misunderstood, but they do make the best pets, and blossom with you. I'm so sorry for your loss. But she was finally in a loving home, and with wonderful rat (and human) friends!

Offline purple rat

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Re: In memoriam Martha (6/2/16--10/22/18)
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2018, 07:26:00 AM »
I'm so sorry for your loss ((( hugs )))
Your memorials are always so touching and beautiful. How kind you were to accept and love her just as she was.
Play hard at the bridge Martha
proud mama of Spock & Streaker

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

Offline Been to the Mountaintop

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Re: In memoriam Martha (6/2/16--10/22/18)
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 06:19:58 PM »
So sorry to hear about Martha, but so glad you got your snuggles and Bartholomew finally found rat friends. What a writer you are! Your descriptions breathe life and truly honor their subjects.

BTW it was well into adulthood before I "got" the Savior's point about Mary and Martha.
--Best, Mountaintop--