Friday, October 26, 2007

Best Wishes for my Bazza

I was always told I had an over active imagination as a child, but I really think I have some strange preconceptions about things. I tend to think if I diet, in three days or so I will be a fit, toned and svelte version of my former self. Same came of odd thoughts with death. Basil went to the vet today - he has a cut on his eye and penis, and was breathing very hard and basically looked like death warmed up. They think he has kidney disease, and being two years old, and, well, a rat, there's not a lot to be done. Although I knew it was coming really, it still upset me. So when they offered to give him some fluids and vitamins, give him a little heat and inject some sort of ratty goodness into his belly, I jumped at the chance. I had visions of him coming home to me in an hour, like his normal self - slightly overweight, scuttling around the room taunting the dogs by nibbing their noses; sneezing at the dust bunnies under the couch.
I don't really deal with reality well. My friends aren't "just people I giggle with a lot" and food isn't "just something I do to stop myself being a skeleton", just as my pets aren't "just a rat".

So I thought I'd share a little insight into that.
Basil came from a petstore who was selling cute fluffy baby ratties. I'm always a sucker for a sob story, so when I saw the 'poor, old fully grown rats' that had been returned to the store when they were no longer cute, I immediately chucked $25 at the surly sales girl and left with a box full of sawdust and a gangly rodent named Beige.
I initially got him for a reason. I had an ulterior motive. I was, at the time, living with 3 other people - one of whom continually stole all our possessions. Nothing was safe from this girl. Socks, underwear, plates, food - it was all fair game to her. We'd often see her walking around with various articles of our clothing, pinched directly from the washing machine in the few minutes they sat there before we hung them out. I honestly don't know how she did it - she was a good two to three sizes bigger than myself, and my underwear isn't exactly loose.
If we ever dared ask her why she nicked our stuff, we never got an answer - nor did we ever see the stuff again.
One day my fellow roomates and myself had had enough - we hatched ourselves a plan. We'd find ourselves an excuse to creep about her room, and in the process, lower ourselves to her level - steal all our stuff back.
So once Basil was happily ensconsed in his cage in the laundry (and munching his way through an entire slice of my room-mates toast with vegemite every single day) we soon got to business. The first few times we actually placed him in the offenders bedroom, but we soon realized this would be considered cruelty to animals. This girl didn't clean a lot. In between piles of dirty underwear were piles of cat crap. When her cat went potty in our bath/kitchen sink/food cupboard/sofa, it would sit for a few days then be removed to her room, where it sat and grew fur.
Basil was hastily removed, and we entered at our own risk, complete with large sticks, protective eyewear and a tea-towel for a face mask. In the end, we only found a few of our garments, and even after thorough disinfecting, we never wore them again. It was the principle of the thing. So although he was soon made redundant as our Believable Excuse for snooping, he was soon a much loved member of our family, and the Chef's and my first pet.
Whenever we had a poker or drinking night, we'd drag our kitchen table onto our deck, and sit around in a big circle, with Basil circling it, running across our laps, looking for stray cheese. That rat loves cheese. I hope he comes home feeling as good as old times, and can have another Summer spent in our fridge. (Joking! He was only in for a few seconds while we filmed. And him and the kitten were great friends. He actually seemed to like it. Hes a very open minded ratty. Honestly. I'd never do anything to harm either of them).

UPDATE: Baz has had B12 injections, vitamin C, Iron, anabolic steroids and vitamins and minerals through a drip. He's snuggled up in my bedroom on my hot water bottle, with a bowl of Sultana Bran, carrots, corn, capsicum, apple, banana and lettuce, and a few coco pops. He's meant to have Ribena every few hours, and I was told if he didn't want to eat the magical ratty syrup he's got, then he's severely ill. He won't touch it. I've got a miniature syringe and have tried to hand feed him, but he's not interested. I've left him with the hot water bottle and a face washer to get some warmth. I feel horrible not doing more for him, but when I push him to eat and he emits little protesting squeaks I feel even worse. I don't want to let him die, yet I fee I should give him some peace after his stressful day as a pin cushion. My poor boy :(

Now playing: The Potbelleez - Don't Hold Back
via FoxyTunes

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