March 22, 2005
Crossed the Bridge:
August 1st, 2006
People, going on outings
Other rats, carrots
Biography:I adopted Morgenstern on May 27th from a kind woman in Indiana who had rescued him and three of his sisters. Morgenstern's name is German for "Morning Star."
I had originally meant for Morgenstern to live with Allister and Voltaire, but months of introduction attempts proved futile. Morgie had such aggression against other rats that even neutering didn't help. He was what I call a people rat. He was a snuggler, and liked to nuzzle up against people and perch on their shoulders. Morgie was my first and only licky rat, and he also had a fascination with eyelashes, lips, ears-- anything he could get his nose and paws into.
Morgenstern had such curiosity and personality that he was a natural for photography. He easily interacted with props, and was willing and eager when I would dress him in costume. Any sort of attention was fine for him. Like Voltaire, Morgenstern loved to travel. Tucked into my giant purse, he would run errands with me, go to the store, even attend concerts.
Once for school I did a project that involved casting multiple plaster rats. I wanted them to have flexible tails, so I went to the craft store in search of something tail-like. Naturally, I brought Morgenstern along. As I was checking out, the clerk casually asked what I was working on. When I explained about the rats he was surprised. I continued to say I was quite fond of rats, and almost on impulse, I fetched Morgenstern out of my bag. The expression on the clerk's face was priceless. He called the other workers over, and everyone marvelled at my rat-- how well behaved, how clean, how pretty. Morgenstern was the perfect public relations representative. I was told to bring him back any time.
In spring of 2006, Morgenstern came down with a bad case of sneezing and wheezing, so I took him to the vet and was prescribed Doxycycline and Baytril. I'd planned to house sit for my parents that weekend, so I brought him along last minute. Unfortunantly, Morgie's condition just got worse-- he wasn't even eating. At the vet's direction I cut off the Doxy and just gave him Baytril, and his appetite returned.
While on medicine, Morgenstern was fine, but as soon as his medicine stopped the breathing problems came back. I was making monthly visits to the vet for more Baytril. On July 31st, I came home from work to see Morgenstern gasping for breath. I rushed him to the vet and got an x-ray. The results showed that his lungs were completely consolidated. He couldn't breathe.
I decided the best choice was to let him go. I took Morgenstern home for one last night together. We went for a final walk, played and cuddled on the bed, and I got to say goodbye. On August 1st, Morgenstern joined Voltaire at the Rainbow Bridge.