I had to say goodbye to my best friend and companion when Nonnie's little lungs, damaged from chronic respiratory disease, could no longer support her and she had to be put to sleep. She was a fighter. Nonnie had cataracts in one eye, was partially deaf, survived two mammary tumor surgeries, and lived through a year and a half of intensive respiratory treatments for mycoplasma pulmonis, which included hundreds of doses of antibiotics, weekly injections, countless hours in a nebulizing chamber and dozens of trips to see Dr. Bean, her very dedicated vet.
Nonnie sat on my shoulder for walks, rode in my hooded sweatshirt on trips to the vet, slept soundly with me when I let her spend the night, and came to me whenever I called her name.
On her last day with me, Nonnie woke me from my nap by licking my nose. I petted her while she lay next to me and we both fell back asleep. A few hours later, she woke me again and I could tell she was not okay. It was the last nap we ever took together. Even as I write this, three months after she passed, my heart aches and I can't fight back tears. I miss her so, so badly. She was my last living rat friend.
Rattie Nonnie's bio as it was written before her death:
Rattie Nonnie is our most daring and loving rat. Jumping dividers in a single bound, climbing curtains, and escaping to hide under the kitchen counter are all in a day's work for her.
We found Nonnie in a pet store. She was all alone in the glass cage and looked scared. A young girl, who had rats of her own, worked there and assured us she gave this little one the attention she deserved when she could. She also said the little rat's sister was "in the back with respiratory problems." We already had our two older girls, Surf and Skittle, but our heart went out to her and we brought her home.
Nonnie has only become sweeter and cuddlier as she has settled in and grown. She is smart, agile, and loves bananas, Yogies, and grooming her owners.