Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Papaya - A Creature, Great and Small {Final Chapter}


Sweet Papaya was laid to rest on April 2nd, 2007.
I didn't think I was going to make it back home.
She is missed deeply.
Papaya left deep rattie prints on our hearts.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Thank you for sharing that, Maria! Your Papaya sounds so much like my Star and Sable do.

Breakfast here alternates days between oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches. The cage lives to the left of my arm chair. To my right is a small side table, and beyond that, an ottoman that bridges the gap to Bill's chair.

Bill brings us breakfast, and Star and Sable go dashing across my lap, the table, and the ottoman until they reach Bill's lap. There is a frenzy as they jostle each other aside to get the next lick of the oatmeal from his finger, the next bit of the english muffin. Between nibbles, they crawl down in the corners of the chair by his side, or squirm around under an afghan on his lap, or climb up to his shoulder to nuzzle his ear and peer at his mouth (hoping to find a goodie waiting in his lips for them to take).

I spend nearly all of my day within a couple of feet of them, here in my chair in the living room. If I have to be away for much of the day, they get a bit upset - even if they're not out of the cage and snuggling on my lap, they want to know that I'm nearby. Coming home frequently requires a little extra rattie time to reassure them.

When I have a salad, they come for bits of lettuce and carrot. When I have my fruit, they get some of that. The smell of a banana still in its peel is enough to get them excited - heads pop up over the edges of sleeping bowls, little feet start leaping onto the side of the cage. Kiwi and cantaloupe are equally desirable.

They're so comfortable with us that they often spend time just sitting around. At my left knee, there's another ottoman on which I keep one of their Kleenex nest boxes - Sable especially likes to use it as an alternative to the various nesting options in the cage when she can, and will sometimes snooze out there for hours, peaceful as can be.

I know the pain of losing Papaya is fresh. But as much as you're hurting now, you clearly have a love for rats that will endure. There will never be another Papaya, but I know you're going to be loved by another rattie.