Your Pet Loss Stories

'Murphy the Rat'

by Jamie
(Winchester, VA)

Murphy

Murphy

I know it sounds very silly to grieve over a rat. I never thought that I would. Rats have a life expectancy of 2 years so I was prepared for it. But tonight he died as I watched him, he died in my arms, seeking comfort for the last time.


Murphy came to me from a friend who had received him from another friend so I guess you could say that he was third hand. I was looking for a pet for my daughter so I did research and found that rats made good pets because of their gentleness and intelligence. It was a lot of fun to carry him around on our shoulders and feed him treats.

Rats are supposed to have roommates so eventually we bought him a friend (we saved him from being snake food). After his new friend, Sleepy came, Murphy wanted little to do with us any more. Every time I tried to take him out of his cage he would fight me. Yet, when he was on my shoulder and hiding under my hair he would make this clicking noise. I could not figure out if it was out of anxiety or pleasure from the attention.

So eventually I decided to just leave him alone with his friend. It seemed that he did not want my affection, or so I thought.

But I discovered tonight that yes, rats do have feelings. I know it's hard to believe but they do. Tonight the question that I always had in the back of my mind was answered. Every time I tried to put him back in his the box that had become his death bed he clung to me, not wanting me to let him go. I tried to make him as comfortable as possible but he would only relax if I held him against my chest.

Eventually I decided that he would have to stay in the box so I covered his frail body with a satin piece of fabric and pet him for what seemed like hours. Every time I stopped he would start moving around looking for my hand. I thought to myself that it couldn't possibly be true, but there it was. He needed me. I gave him comfort in his last few hours of life.

When eventually he settled down, It seemed that he was not breathing anymore so I laid my finger on his chest and I felt his heartbeat until it suddenly stopped. Feeling the life leave from my friend was one of the most heart wrenching experiences I have ever had.

And yes, he was a rat, but Murphy was a wonderful creature that brought me joy during his life and who loved me right up until the end. Rats are capable of more than we think....

Click here to read or post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Pet Loss Stories - All Other Pets Stories .