Alli, Squeaky Squeakerson

August 2004

Crossed the Bridge:
December 30th, 2006

Mismarked Black Berkshire

soda boxes, toe nipping, bruxxing, Chocolate Boost

unfamiliar places, visiting the vet


A week after I purchased Voltaire, my first ever pet rat, I returned to the pet store to find him a companion. It was my friend Kevin who picked a shy black rat from the cage and dubbed him Allister, after the satanist Allister Crowley. In the beginning, Allister was a biter. He would nip through the cage bars and run whenever I tried to pick him up. Gradually Allister warmed up for me, and was quite content to sit on my shoulder or in my lap, though he still would squeak if picked up.

After the death of Voltaire, I attempted to introduce Allister to the two young rats, Rezzie and Matigan. Things were rocky. Rezzie was a very hormonal rat, and wasn't willing to submit to Allister, so there was much squabbling, although Allister and Matigan seemed to take to each other. After about a week, I felt comfortable leaving the boys together in the big cage. They would still squabble and squeak, but they seemed to be taking to each other.

I returned from school one evening to find the rats in their usual places-- Allister in his basket and the boys in their igloo. I greeted them but didn't disturb them. Not long after, my mother came to visit. She hadn't met the new rats yet, so I opened the cage to introduce them. As I was leaning over the cage, I noticed blood in Allister's basket. Looking closer, I saw to my horror that his insides were spilling out.

My usual veterinarian had closed for the night, so I called around frantically to find an emergency vet. After driving to one only to be told they didn't treat exotics, we finally got Allister to a 24 hour care center. They whisked him away immediately and I sat in the waiting room wracked with nerves and guilt. It felt like forever that we waited. They finally called us into an exam room to tell me that Allister had two options-- surgery or euthanasia. I opted for surgery.

They kept him overnight, and we picked him up the following afternoon. Because of his various battle wounds, Allister had a good deal of his fur shaved, and they also had to remove one of his testicles. The surgery didn't affect him one bit though, and he healed just fine. Allister lived the rest of his life as a lone rat.

Upon turning two years old, Allister was plagued by a variety of health issues, including a tail abscess, broken tooth, respiratory problems and hind leg paralysis. It was through Allister that I formed a very good relationship with my veterinarian. Despite all his issues, Allister was always in high spirits and simply happy to be alive. He was a frequent boggler and loved to be stroked on the cheek or between the ears. Even with hind leg paralyisis and a large mass in his groin, he still pulled himself around and even managed to climb the cage bars when he was feeling well. However, Allister enjoyed the role of "sick old man" and all the treats it entitled him, especially his Chocolate Boost. He crossed the Bridge on December 30th, 2006, at two years and four months old.

All text, images, and content copyright Lori Weeder 2006 unless otherwise noted.