Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rest in Peace, Nooch the Super Rat

After three years of excellent friendship, Nooch the rat has died.

I bought Nooch to save him from being snake food. Fancier rats—ones that have cool colors and markings—usually make it as pets, but brown "sewer rats" like Nooch don't seem to fare as well. So I brought him home to keep me company. He was the first pet I would have since moving from North Carolina to Maryland. I had missed having an animal to take care of. More importantly I was at a rough spot in my life—work was stressful, and to make matters worse I was having neck surgery. The time I would have to take off of work was perfect for bonding with my new addition.

I've had rats before but Nooch was, by far, the best (no offense to Cooper, Lewis, and Oswald). He was puppy like—always seeking out my company, ready for a game of chase, or a session of mutual grooming. He was cheerful and cuddly even when he developed a lump on his side.

Death is hard to watch, but I'm glad I was able to be with Nooch the evening he died.

I wanted to bury Nooch, but I live in an apartment. So, I had to get a little creative. My solution—a small, mobile cemetery in the form of a flower pot.

A flower pot, or urn (if you like), befitting Nooch's final resting place.

We drilled a hole in the bottom and put small river rocks for good drainage.

Next, a comfortable layer of dirt was added. Nooch was placed cozily on that—along with a yogie for the after-life.

More dirt was added over Nooch, up to nearly the top.

Since we'll being going out of town in a couple days we decided not to plant anything just yet. We want to make sure it gets a good start with watering and such. For now, an orange flower will be Nooch's token.

A ritual deserving of a super rat. Rest in peace, Noochy.

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