They call them exotic pets, but there was nothing exotic about Lily. She was blind, she didn't like to be touched, she'd bite our toes under the blankets, she wouldn't come when we called, spending many a night in the oven, but sometimes, when she was on the verge of sleep, we could pet her and she'd relish in the touch.
The first time I saw her she was on the shoulder of a teenager who sold her (and Blu) to us. We knew the minute we got home, they'd given us a blind, unfriendly rat, but we didn't care. We still loved her. Tom found her dying in the cage this morning at 4 a.m.; I took her into the vets around 9, to have her put to sleep. Her heart was strong, but she was in pain and Tom insisted I take her in. Perhaps it was the best thing, but I don't know, maybe the business of dying for a rat takes a long time.
Here's to you Lily, for being who you were without apology.