Malka, Oct. 28, 2008 - Jan. 13, 2011
(photo credit: Maya Harjo)
I'll try to say a few words: She was the best rat a family could have. Affectionate, entertaining, brave. She'd always pop up when I came home from work, looking to be taken out of her cage and indulged with sunflower seeds and scratches. In her youth she was a great admirer of newspapers, and later used them to build extensive nests under the couch. When we first got her, I thought we'd made a mistake; she'd dash around with a crazed look in her eyes, like someone was after her. If you tried to touch her, her little body would tense up and she'd run away. But slowly she learned the ways of domesticity and liked being fed bananas in the a.m., kale and carrots in the afternoon. She slept in a hammock and often tried to jump from her cage to the table next to it, landing on the floor with an occasional thump. Her last day, she built a nest under the couch but when she came out of it, she had worsened and we knew it was time. Still it was an impossibly difficult decision, even with her tumors, we couldn't let her go. But, it's weird, they let you know, animals let you know that it's okay, they can deal with it, even if you can't. This was the last picture taken of her and if I must say so myself, she was a handsome, adorable rat, right up to the end.