My husband is working away this week and evenings in our little home are quiet, just me and the pets. Last night, although Ty and Harvey were out too – building dens and hiding behind bookshelves, as is their way – I spent most of my time with my little old man, Winnie.
He has seemed even older than he has done up to now in the last little while, and his free ranging consists of cuddling in as close as he can (usually on my shoulder!) and bruxing and boggling away, or settling in a sleeve and being happy to stay there even if I come and go, one handedly making cups of tea and stirring soup with the other providing his chosen carry spot for the night.
Winston is nearly 2 years and 4 months old now and is quite a wee inspiration – he’s had so many health problems in his life and we’ve spent many a Saturday morning driving up and down to the vets – at first all planned out in the travel cage and laterally just cuddled in a hoodie pocket as relaxed as you like. Most of his ailments have been chronic, and he’s struggled with respy problems and abscesses on and off, but he’s never let any of them stop him enjoying life and has always been so enthusiastic about life in the cage and out.
Now, he seems to actually enjoy everything more than ever, the slower pace suited to the natural inclination he’s always had to take things easy, and times enjoying soaked easy-to-eat food seeming to be the highlight of his day, although loving long hours squished between Harvey and Ty in their bed too.
One of the main drawbacks of keeping rats is that they seem to reach old age so soon – but the joy of all the phases of their little lives are so worthwhile, and after the curiosity and exuberance of his kittenhood, the middle times reclining with his brother Chae and teaching Harvey and Ty a thing or two when they were just young things, it’s so lovely to enjoy Winnie’s pottery old age with him too.