|RIP Buffy, 2008-2011
||[Mar. 9th, 2011|09:50 pm]
Yesterday, at about 5:15 PM, the littlest love of my life died in my arms. Buffy had a stroke a few days ago, and her old body was too weak to recover. Chris called me while I was at work to let me know she wasn't doing well, and I rushed home. My darling rat hung on just long enough for me to say goodbye. She was barely able to move anymore, but she managed to lift her head as I petted her and thanked her for being mine. Then she was gone.
Buffy and Sniffle were our heart-rats--our firsts, the family Chris and I built when we started our adult life together. Important and irreplaceable aren't strong enough words for how we feel about them. There will be other rats, but there will never be another Buffy. When I saw that beautiful, tiny, blonde rodent pushing and shoving her littermates around at the pet store, I just knew, That's my little slayer. And she was. Constantly pouncing on Sniffle to wrestle, nipping my legs when she wanted more bed-space, snatching the food from my dinner plate, running on her noisy wheel at 3 AM... She was an incorrigible little shit, and I loved her more than anything in the world. I always will.
Loving a rat is like taking all the warmth and affection of a lifelong human friendship and densely packing it down into the short, short span of just 2-3 years. The joy of being together is incredibly intense, as is the pain of saying goodbye for the last time. There was no injury, worry, or nuisance that Buffy couldn't ease for me. When Sniffle died, she slept on my pillow and licked my tears away. When I was stressed out about work, all I had to do was nuzzle her little shoulders and inhale the lovely scent of her fur to slow my heart. Buffy was the pet, but so often, it felt like she was the one taking care of me. The knowledge that I would be coming home to her made every bad day more bearable. Being a part of Buffy's life was such a privilege, and living the rest of mine without her will be a challenge.
She's under the pomegranate tree with her sister, now. The next time its fruit ripens, Chris and I are each going to eat one and remember the short, sweet chapter of our lives inhabited by the best rats that ever were.