Saturday, October 22, 2005

Lesson Learned: Sleep, like silence, is golden. Not a creature was stirring, not even a rat.

Greetings, one and everyone! Yes, it's good to be back. I have a million reasons why I haven't posted in so long: got married, school started, overwhelmed, been sick, am lazy. But now I'm back! Woke up from a nap not to long ago. Tim is napping, and Barbara is finally asleep...with no collar.

Let me bring you up to date. Barbara had 3 tumors removed yesterday. Because of her penchant to remove stitches, the vet only put in subdermal stitches and not external ones. Well, after her first surgery, she was very groggy. This time, she was slow but more active, and began to take care of herself. Unfortunately, "rat medicine" only has one treatment: clean and pick. She not only managed to chew off some of the liquid bandaid but got two of her three sutures open, and was undoing one of the understitches! We tried to fashion a collar, like the one's you give to dogs and cats, but she would wriggle free or get so frantic trying to remove it that we felt the stress of the collar was too much. But the open cuts and minor bleeding (all over one of my wool sweaters btw, but I don't care. Barbara is more important) was too much for us so at 9pm we decided to take her to the animal emergency room. Sadly, they had 3 cat emergencies at the time, but they said they would call us or we could leave the rat. We felt that no one would be able to keep her from picking her cuts, so we decided to take her home. They did give us some x-ray film and Tim made a collar that seemed to work. It was heartwrenching to watch Barbara struggle, but eventually she calmed down (or gave up, more likely). I fell asleep on the floor watching her before the emergency room called us back. Luckily, the procedure was short. Collar back on, we came home, tried to make Barbara comfy, and fell asleep.

Today is spent catching up on sleep and giving all the other rats (and new baby rats!) some more attention to make up for yesterday. We are removing the collar for short, supervised periods of time. We're planning on taking it off for good tomorrow.

As far as school goes, the kids are great! So much better than last year!