awwh I saw this thread and couldnt help but think of my rat Monty - he was the first rat I ever got and was a very special little guy!
I got him from Petco shortly after my first big breakup with my 2 year boyfriend, I named him C. Montgomery Burns because when he would clean his little whiskers I swear I could hear him go "Excellent!" lol
I would have him out of the cage for hours - he was somehow automatically potty trained - I to this day dont know how he knew but he always went to the bathroom in his cage. He would follow me literally everywhere - he was my constant companion!
I will never forget the day I got him at the petshop the employee opened the cage and all these pure white rats scattered and hid and there he was - standing on his hind legs as if to say - here I am take me home - he had a bit of a sneeze / wheeze so he had been left behind from an earlier litter I fell in love immediately. On the drive home we bonded - he crawled down into my t-shirt and poked his head out and made these little clittering sounds - it was like he was talking to me - introducing himself.
I was able to have 3 amazing years with Monty before he passed away from old age - I will never forget when I first discovered blood in his urine and knew it wouldnt be much longer that I would have with him - I was so sad - he slept with me those last few days - after he passed I wasnt even able to clean up his belongings my mother had to come over and take care of everything. I missed almost a week of work - I was inconsolable.
Now I am able to remember the good times I had with him all the memories and pictures - he was the best pet I had ever had up to that point - now I have sugar gliders - and they have a considerably longer life expectancy - thank goodness (15 years or so) so it will be a long while before I have to go through a loss like that again, but I will never forget my precious Monty!