I’m Roofy, and this is my story…
As far as I know. I’ve been here with my big mommy and daddy all my life.
I remember how big they seemed, and how tiny and scared I was.
But they always kept me safe, and it gave me confidence and curiosity about the world…but not too much, because I always felt safest with my family.
They gave so many tasty things to eat.
I loved to run and play with them.
Daddy has a big, scratchy face!
Big paws, too!
Mommy loves me…
And I love her, too.
Oh, mom, I’m so happy I can be with you.
I even let mommy put weird stuff on me, sometimes.
Yeah, I know…but I never complain. It made her so happy.
Now, daddy likes to put me in a basket once a day.
And then he says a number. Yesterday, it was 156 grams. Today, it was 160 grams….it keeps getting bigger…
I don’t know what it means, but he usually gives me a nut afterwards. I love nuts, but….
I’ve been getting kind of fat lately. Do you think I should maybe lay off the nuts for a while? Nah…just my imagination!
What do you folks think? Is it really just Roofy’s imagination, or is she getting more fat?
Roofy doesn’t seem to know for sure, but we think she might be 17 days pregnant today. We might be wrong, as she is Rattus Rattus, but we think she is going to have babies in about 5 more days.
Roofy was brought to us as a tiny, abandoned Pinkie. She was the only one left in her litter. She was so dehydrated, her skin was wrinkled. We fed her substitute rat milk formula every few hours, night and day, with a syringe topped with a mini-nipple. Because she had almost no hair, and no littermates, we had to carefully keep her warm with a thermostatically controlled heating pad. At first, she needed us to clean her bottom so she could urinate and defecate.
She had several health crises as a baby: she had bloat, and we had to lay her belly on our finger and gently massage it to help her digestive system pass the air and milk along. Unlike human babies, rats cannot burp, so swallowed air can be very uncomfortable. Even dangerous.
Later, she seemed to aspirate some milk, and developed noisy breathing, so we gave her some antibiotics. She seemed very fearful and shivering, so we held her, kept her warm, safe and comforted her.
Maybe all of this special love and attention caused her to become more attached to us than any other rat we’ve ever rescued. Or maybe Roofy is just special. Probably a little bit of both.
She never forgot we were her family and she never stopped loving us.
She grew up. Active, intelligent, curious, playful.
Sadly, no rat will live forever, except in our memories and through their progeny. We decided that Roofy deserved to have a family of her own when she was old enough. So, we played matchmaker between her and Stumpy: it took an effort to get them comfortable with each other but, eventually, love was in the air.
And, now, in just a few days, Roofy and her human family will hopefully experience the miracle of new life together. We just hope they will all be healthy, and maybe…just maybe, they will be as wonderful, friendly and tame as she is.
Whoever rescued Roofy and brought her to us…thank you. We have been blessed by her more than you can imagine.