Thursday, January 13, 2011


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.


  1. What a fine, good rat she was. I know you & your family loved her dearly, and your enjoyment of Malka and her antics has given us, your readers, great pleasure. For that, thank you to you & your dear, brave rat.

  2. Yes, thank you dear Malka, for all the pleasure you brought to the Harjo clan and to the readers of the Rats Nest blog. I always loved looking into your eyes and your wonderful sense of humor. dear rat. Rest in a heavenly hammock feasting on almonds and celestial kale.

  3. Thank you Melissa and Louise for your kind thoughts. I'm glad Malka was able to make her debut on this site. It's strange: the first time the Rat's Nest has been without a rat....