My beautiful Grace walked on last month, she’s missed. Here she’s having a delicious skate, cleaning up maple syrup, one of her most favourite things. Click for full size.

© C. Ford, all rights reserved.


  1. says

    Oh, it depends, anywhere from 1 to 3 years. Pearl, who was the last survivor of the Chemical Crew made it to 3 years, 3 months. Some live longer than that, but it’s rare. That’s the heartbreak of keeping rats, but new ones always grab your heart just as hard. They live intense, full lives, and they give a lifetime’s worth of joy. Grace was 3 years old.

  2. Mark Jacobson says

    I love rats, but I don’t think my heart could take how fleeting they are.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    My condolences. It’s like elves and humans in fantasy literature, we get to be like elves and rats get to be like humans.

  4. says

    Ice Swimmer, very much so.

    Mark @ 3:

    I love rats, but I don’t think my heart could take how fleeting they are.

    It’s not easy, but the sheer joy they bring to you every moment you have with them, it’s so very worth it. I still fall apart when I think about my Chemical Crew, but they were so damn amazing, I would not be without them or the memories of them for anything in the world.

  5. jazzlet says

    I bet she had a great time cleaning up her sticky feet after all that skating on maple syrup!

    It’s always hard losing loved animals, they have such short lifespans compared to us, my sympathies.

  6. Nightjar says

    She looks so focused on the thorough cleaning of that dish! I’m sorry to hear she’s no longer with you, goodbyes are always so difficult, but I’m sure her life was as happy as a rodent life can be.

  7. says

    Jazzlet & Nightjar, thank you! Oh yes, Gracie had a wonderful time cleaning the plate and her hands and feet! She loved maple syrup. Grace was always a very happy girl, an intrepid explorer with a voracious sweet tooth. And she loved being tickled.

  8. voyager says

    I’m sorry that you’ve lost your beautiful Gracie. When an animal dies it always feels like you haven’t had enough time together.

  9. says


    When an animal dies it always feels like you haven’t had enough time together.

    Yes, and that’s a serious shot to the heart when it comes to rats. You’d do just about anything for one more day. Back in the day, when a certain slymepitter had nothing better to do than link to posts at Rattitude for an incredibly stupid and obsessive reason, my post about Rubin’s surgery was the subject of talk. Rubin had a large tumor removed, and she looked fair gruesome. A number of people were baffled by us spending money on Rubin, because “hey, I mean it’s a rat. Just kill it and get another one” and so on.

    I pity people like that, because they have no sense at all of the individual. Rubin was unique, and extra-special to us when we learned that the notch in her ear had marked her for sale as a feeder rat. Just because an animal has a low dollar value doesn’t make them expendable. Rubin had a lot more time with us because of that surgery, and more importantly, Chas & Esme had more time with her too, and they loved her to pieces. Over the years, we’ve had a great many rescues. Well, most all of them, dogs, cats, and rats.

    Our first rat, Ash, was a rescue. Until that time, it had never occurred to either one of us to have a rat. Ash stole our hearts, and we haven’t been ratless since. I can’t really imagine being without at least one, they are that special. Just as any animal anyone has, who they love dearly for all the reasons.

  10. Raucous Indignation says

    We kept guinea pigs for several years way back. Good companions who would love you to death for the price of some carrot greens. Not a bad bargain.

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