Sunday, February 12, 2012

Remembering Sam

I have sad news. Our rat Sam passed away tonight. He had been ill the past two weeks, and this weekend in particular he had slowed down. Respiratory problems in rats can be tough to beat, even for a big, strong rat like Sam. Our vet and Joanne at Best Friend Rodent Rescue both helped us a great deal these last two weeks, and Sam's last days were most certainly more comfortable thanks to their knowledge and the medicines tried.

In his final moments, he sought Winston out, laid down beside him, and that was it. As sad as Ryan and I were, we both lost it as Winston tucked his head under Sam's and tried to stir him. When he didn't move, Winston sat back with a hiccupy shiver and shook for a spell. It was heartbreaking. Winston has always been a shy rat, and not really one for petting, but he let us stroke him a long time tonight, just laying with his eyes closed and his paws beneath him. Right now he's tucked himself under a fuzzy blanket. He hasn't come out since we took Sam from the cage, but he's accepting grapes at least. :(

Sam was sweet tempered. His only tussles were with our rat Milo, who took a swing at him in the bathtub once and Sam caught his paw with a bite. He was half wild, and so his instincts were pretty strong. His ears were quick to perk up and he liked to bury his food. He spent nearly every moment of the day beside his brother Winston, eating, sleeping, and nuzzling. He was a good boy.

Sam and Winston curled up together last summer.

Sam and I.

Sam and Winston enjoying a grape break.

Sam's the only one staring down the cat.

Sam, a couple of weeks ago.

Sam eating oatmeal last week.

Sam hiding under a blanket....

...Winston joining him, a moment later.

We try not to have favorites, but it's only natural that certain rats bond a little closer with each of us. Sam was very much Ryan's rat.

Ryan and Sam being goofy and sporting their Christmas sweaters.

You may recall our Christmas card this year.
Sam is the one on Ryan's shoulder....

...It was his favorite perch.

Rats live an average of 2-3 years, so keeping pet rats can sometimes be a little sorrowful like tonight. We adopted Sam when he was already an adult, and we're thankful for the time we had with him. Their lives may be short, but their personalities and hearts are big.

We shot this video last August of Puck and Sam being cute while the credits to 'Overboard' were playing. (What? We like 'Overboard'). We keep watching it tonight, so I'll end the post with it.

Thanks to everyone who wished Sam well and asked about him.


  1. Thanks for the honorable mention Georgia. I wish I could have saved him though! This is a beautiful tribute to an amazing rat. He was so lucky to get to enjoy the last half of his life with an amazing couple like you and Ryan. Thanks so much for taking such wonderful care of all your rattie boys!

  2. I know how it feels to lose a beloved pet, no matter the species, love is love. He had a good life with you and Ryan and that's what matters most. Poor Winston, he's going to miss his brother terribly.

  3. Oh, I am sorry. It's amazing how even the smallest creatures can leave such an indelible mark on our hearts. Am glad you have so many wonderful memories of Sam to carry with you. (The video of Sam and Puck is darling.) Sending warm thoughts to you both, and your Winston, too.


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