Sniff the white (champagne tinted) rat Born in 2011, Sniff was always a beautiful creature. Pink-eyed and white (well, champagne tinted), he was a gentle rat. He had a kinder and gentler temprament than his mate and surviving companion Waggle. Sniff was recovering from a bout of repsiratory illness and was responding well to antibiotic treatment … he was found dead this morning in his enclosure with no obvious cause.

Now, I’ve never kept rats before. We have a cattle dog, chooks (well, maybe one fewer chook soonly) and up until this morning two rats. We got the rats (two boys) after about six months of consistent interest and prodding by the children. They got desexed and live in a large penthousey enclosure, eat healthy food and are handled regularly and lovingly … sometimes a bit too lovingly by the youngest yet they do not bite or have ever gotten aggressive.

They are bright and intelligent little animals, curious and with distinct personailties. They seemed to like exploring and checking things out. Their whiskers are something behold! I find it quite amazing to realise that people by and large do not believe that creatures (other than ourselves) can think and feel … that they are driven only by instinct and some kind of genetic program. A distinct lack of empathy on their part I say.

Sniffy you will be missed by all of us.

Vale ‘Sniff’ – Died 4th April 2012


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