I adopted Tonka and her mom Ashe on August 14, 2008. They were originally from a family that was moving to Alberta (rats are illegal there) and they had 3 days to find these 2 girls a home before they left. My rescue friend took them in, and I met them when I was visiting. We meshed. They came home after Tonka had a cyst removed from her armpit/chest and was spayed. It was a good thing she was spayed as her uterus was full of cysts as well.
The background on my lovely pair is that they were breeder stock…well as much as we have here in Ontario, where there aren’t any real breeders trying to improve our pet rats in any way.
Tonka was from an oops litter with Ashe and her brother. Tonka I believe also had an oops litter.
The girls came home to me and very very quickly became not just special rats but Super Special ones. They loved to cuddle and be on me, and run around and explore but I was always home base, counted on for rubs, scratches and long petting sessions. I nicknamed Ashe, Monkeyface for the comical expressions she had, and Tonka became Tonka Toy. After the spay Tonka Toy got bigger and became a VERY solid girl, so she was then called Tonka Truck., Little did I know that the solidness was actually a very large cyst deep inside her abdomen. It finally caused a little curve on her flank in April of this year and I saw it and gave my solid girl a very careful feel and found a freakin’ goose egg inside. It didn’t affect her at all until May 18th, and she went in for surgery the next day to have her cyst lanced. Well it turned out to be a very large nasty abscess and she had to have a new technique (for my vet, on rats at least) to anchor the abscess to the abdominal wall so that it could be cleaned out. She bounced back and was fine for another 2 months when it came back and she had the surgery again, but this time with antibiotic embedded beads left in the cavity to inhibit the infection. The beads dissolved and our old “friend” came back. This time, only 5 months later, her health was just not strong enough to be able to fight this good fight yet again, so she will be let go tomorrow after her mom Monkey goes for her surgery.
Tonks was my special girl, always kind, everyone loved her in the cage, but she loved me just as much if not more. They were the girls I pulled out when I needed comfort when sick, or sad or just wanted company. I would call their names and they would wake up from their box on the end table and come running to me as fast as they could. I will miss that odd but beautiful blue face with those amazing eyes.
Meeting Tonka before I knew they were coming home with me
The Truck Arriveth!
Tonka and Shama the newcomer
Tonka and her Talty pillow
Talty and his Tonka pillow
Tonka’s bright spirit always shone from her eyes
and only a few days ago, I had Lilith, Clare (formerly Snake) and Tonka sleeping cuddled up in the box together. ALL of these girls are from different colonies.
Tonight I just walked around looking for rats to cuddle and hold while I was sad and realized that since Monkey (and Tonks) weren’t here tonight, I would have to “make do” with Fred and Marley. I guess I had better tell them they have some pretty awesomely big shoes to fill.