Friday, April 10, 2009

RIP Oreo

My rattie Oreo passed away this evening at the ripe old age of nearly 3-1/2 (approximately 100 years old in human years!).  She lived such a good life, and while I'm sad to see her go, it was her time.  Despite chronic mammary tumors later in life and several abdominal infections (from ripping out the stitches), she was a trooper.  She outlived both her sister Skittles (about the same age), and her baby sister Nala.  

I got Oreo soon after I got Skittles in January 2005.  As a college student living alone in an apartment, I wanted a dog, but my dad wouldn't let me so a friend of mine had rat babies she was giving away.  I picked up a little albino rattie who I named Skittles.  

Oreo came about a month later from a local pet store that specialized in rodents.  She was a black and white hooded rat, so Oreo was quite fitting.  Oreo had many nicknames over her lifetime, most notably - Houdini, Trouble, Cookie, and Ornery Oreo.  

She's most "famous" for her ability to run around in her rat ball like she was driving a car - maneuvering around furniture, pets, people, and stairs.  If she wanted past you she would wait patiently, and then gently ram the ball into your legs so you'd lift them up and let her pass.  Her other character traits were her love of human attention, and her inability to stay in one place for longer than 1.2 seconds!  She also loved to jump, usually up onto high shelves - especially bookcases - and hide.

Ornery Oreo was her name and it fit her to a tee.  She has gotten into more trouble than one would think possible, including chewing her way through her cage, escaping from the vet and taking off through her office being chased, and eating a multitude of stuffed animals, pillows, and anything else that has come within 6 inches of her cage.  She was even known to go into the bathroom while running in her rat ball and pull the trash bag out of the bin and drag it across the floor!!  And then there was her breaking into her own food bag and trying to eat it all.  Nothing was safe when Oreo was around because she was the most curious of all.

Even in just yesterday she was adamantly trying to bend the bars of her cage and stick her head through!

Her favorite foods was chocolate, hands down!  She would dig through my candy jar and ignore everything else until she found the very last Hershey Kiss hidden at the bottom and proceed to unwrap it and eat it with so much pleasure that I couldn't dare take it away from her.  Later in life she got to begging for chocolate chips, but was hardly picky when it came to people food.  Rat food on the other hand, was a different story.  She became queen picky, and would dig through the food dish only eating certain types of the dry mix.

Oreo was a great rattie girl.  She loved everybody, and relished in attention - for the second she would stay still to get it.  She was best known as a busy-body and was always on the go....even as she was losing her ability to move freely.  In the last few weeks and months she still was spunky as ever, going and getting her own food and water, and coming to the cage door to be petted or held.  She would be heard in the middle of the night crunching on food, gnawing on her cage wires, or chattering away to herself.

Oreo will be missed by all but she lived a long and happy (and of course ornery!) life.  In some way she touched everyone she met, whether it was getting over a fear of rats, or the amazement that she smelled like grape soda, or her feisty demeanor, or just because she was as sweet as sweet could be.

*~*~Rest In Peace Oreo~*~*

December 28, 2005 ~ April 10, 2009

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