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20 December 2007

Rat's Were Two, EEE!

There was a mild sense of frantic-ness at our house last evening. Faced with a spate of parties on the schedule, gifts to buy, an annual letter still to send and having to actually find previously hidden gifts that are secreted who knows gets the idea that spiked eggnog was a product of need sparking its invention.

It is hardly a big deal though, it is just the first time this season that we are all going in 3 different directions. Ethan doesn't get afforded his own direction yet. He is tethered to OWB/B (One With Breast or Bottle).

Tonya was off surreptitiously shopping for who knows what. She won't fall for any of my guilt trips designed to solicit clues any more, but if I were a bettin' man,
I'd say cologne is on the list.

There is nary a chance this gifting/giving season will be like some in the past.

  1. We weren't in a financial, uh, marriage with our hospital to reimburse them for their excellent care of Tonya and Ethan for those oh so many days and nights.
  2. We do not (or do we? hmmm...) have any live animals to hide and to mute until Christmas morning.

Did you know that the word hospital is derived from the same Latin word, hospes, as did host, hotel and hospitality? Neat huh? Now go have some fun at your next holiday party and ask your party host for a bedpan and a gown that ties in back and let the fun begin.

But I digress...

You still think diamonds are a girls best friend? Fuggetaboutit, try live Rats. Sure, they don't go too well with a cocktail dress, but to see a little girl's eye's light up when she sees the little whiskers, the beady little eyes, the long, scaly tail....well, it is just priceless.

A few years ago, Emily did the research and wanted a rat, badly. Better than gerbils, hamsters, rabbits and Tasmanian Devils she said. We corroborated the research and sure enough, rats are cleaner, bite less and are more social than the other fur balls mentioned. Who knew?

Christmas Rat #1 was Sweetie Pie. Not a sweetie pie, but that was her name, Sweetie Pie. SP, as her monogrammed holiday stocking read, was gentle, playful and was actually a good little pet as far as rats go. Being the voracious researchers we are, by the time we made the move to find a rat, the available pet rat population in our metro area around Christmas time had diminished considerably (people have to feed snakes too, apparently!). So around town we go on Operation Vermin; and Sweetie Pie was eventually found, alone in a cage at a faraway store, with a gimp foot. That gimp foot became her calling card and is part of what made her endearing. She didn't know she had a gimp foot, until it eventually developed an infection that quickly took her life.

Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it. - W. Somerset Maugham

The memorial service and subsequent backyard burial was, well, Sweet.

Here's to Sweetie Pie,

One heck of a rat;

So sweet & so special,

She was all of that!

She made us laugh,

She even made us think;

She was pretty to look at,

But boy did she stink!

There's never been a better rat,

And it was hard to say goodbye;

But happier memories are ahead,

So here's to Sweetie Pie!

Christmas Rat #2 was Squeaky Pie. Partly because she, silly, because she squeaked like a rusty wagon wheel and partly because I refused to buy new Christmas stockings for the fireplace every year; so the miniature stocking with "SP" was Emily's only option. Poor Squeakers only made it a month. Respiratory distress. Sudden onset.

We thought she had blockage so there we all were huddled on the bed, Emily having the come-a-parts, as we tried gallantly to fish the unknown object out of the rat's non-cooperative, squeaking mouth. No luck. So I ran to the Internet for a quick search and lo and behold....there are people that develop entire websites about vermin, I mean, Rat First Aid. Add those people to the same party with the bed pan and the spiked eggnog and then Katie bar the door! A funkified Rat Heimlich (yes, it's true) that was more like a trapeze act was deployed with no success. Then, the Rat People said...if all else fails, perform a modified CPR on the rat and - ready for this? - Suck The Object Out...

Folks, I may not be the best Dad; but it can never, ever be said that I do not love my kids. I sucked that rat's face. And sucked and sucked and sucked. Nothing but rat spit came out. And poor Squeaky died anyway. What a rat purgatory that must have been to have your last clear vision to be a grown man's mouth puckering-up over your whiskered schnoz.

Maybe we all need some spiked eggnog now.

[If you have friends, besides those at the humane society, that would find some enjoyment in the above tail :), click the below email icon and forward this entire post to the recipients of your choice.]


Two Date Diva said...

Oh what a great dad, to suck face with a rat for your daughter! I don't know many dad's that could boast the same!

Michael M. said...

Thanks! The taste and bad dreams only took 6 monthes to fade away. Now she wants another rat. What to do, what to do... stay tuned :)