RIP Sir Percival Sniffsalot
I have been putting off posting about my Percy leaving for the
Bridge. He left last month, but I was unable to tell you. Why?
Because Percy was the most unusual rat I have ever known,
and I didn't know quite how to say goodbye. He simply left after
a bad bout of myco made his life too miserable to carry on.
Percy and I met when I saw him in the feeder bin. He was a bit older than
the others and had gone the several rounds with some reptile and
been returned as unpalatable. As a result, he was banged up,
missing a finger, a toe, and had an obviously broken tail with a large bump.
I took him home, slathered antibiotic cream on his remaining swollen fingers
and toes and popped him in a small cage to incubate. He replied by chewing
a hole large enough to escape from in the back, but not going anywhere.
He did show me the hole though and let me know by poking his head through
and sniffing that should he desire, the living arrangements could be changed
at anytime, and he could leave. Quite probably leaving and never returning
through some hole I would find months or even years later in the wall with
drywall dust, several dangling wires and a rat shaped hole chewed through the
outer brick. Yes, Percy was different.
He was covered in very coarse, thick hair that would not quite lay down. When
he sat somewhere, he would shed several of his hairs as proof he had been there.
I've never had a rat with his hair consistancy and he was the second largest
buck I've ever had. Only "Fig" was larger weighing in at 1 1/2 pounds and approx
8 inches. Percy was not quite that large but he was fat and shaped like Emile
in Ratatouille. He ate anything he came across, and he ate all the time. Percy
loved, loved, LUVED his food. He could and often did chew through anything,
cloth, plastic, heavy plastic cages, wire, and metal.
He was also a thief, stealing anything that was not nailed down including my
jewelry. I've always figured if he was in the wild, he would have lived in a city
and been a pick pocket and thief, rising through the ranks until he was boss
of a gang of street thugs rats that would bring him back loot while he sat
around in padded waistcoats, eating and smoking opium. Percy was that kind
He didn't like to be held, but he loved to sit by me and get scritched and petted.
He would wag his tail and chitter and boggle while I petted and discussed my
day with him. But there was always something wild about Percy. Two
distinct incidences come to mind. Once when he was running on the couch,
a Harry Potter movie was playing on the TV. When the snake Voldemort slithered
onto the screen making snaky sounds, Percy flipped out running around and
trying to hide. I had to scoop him up and return him to his cage where he panted
and it took awhile for him to calm down.
The second incident occured when I was showering one day,
and Percy was running around on the bathroom vanity investigating
all the goodies a rat can find in a place like that. I popped out of the shower, leaned
down to his eye level and said "Boo Percy". He took one look at me, all his hair on his
body stood on end and he went "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK" as loud as
he could and pooped and took off. Valuing my fingers, I waited until he had calmed
down and come out to me on his own to pick him up and assure him I wasn't a monster.
I always realized that with Percy, he set the terms of our relationship. He was an
excellent communicator and understood human behavior and how to manipulate
it to get what he wanted. He was street smart and tough, but very vulnerable
and I miss him a lot. So do his cagemates, especially Harry Ratter who stills
seems depressed that his big pal is gone.
Percy, I'm sure you are organizing probably the first street gang up at the Bridge
and hopefully you aren't creating too much trouble up there. Don't boss the
little ones around to much and be a good buck. I love you Percy of the
stiff fur and wise eyes.
Sir Percival Sniffsalot
~adopted November 2007 - May 2009~