Chi came along with Zero.
I'd always wanted a blue rat.
Chi was the only rat to ever bite me. The first time was my own fault, admittedly. I was putting him back in his cage, he'd done his usual trick of spreading his legs across the doorway so he wouldn't fit in and I hadn't noticed he'd caught his foot in the door in the process. I tried to force him in, he didn't like that so he bit me. I still have the scars. But I accept full responsibility for that. The second time however, I can't explain it. He was out playing around with Zero and running about on my bed. I reached for him to pick him up and he lunged for me. I to this day cannot explain why he did that. Rats are NOT aggressive animals and should not bite unless in pain or scared. In fact, 95% of rat bites are the owners fault and not the rat's. The only option I can think of is that I may have startled him by reaching for him or maybe he thought I was Zero.
Chi died very young. He was barely a year old. I had been gone a few days at a music festival and he was fine when I returned, pleased to see me and looking good. The next day, he was off his food a little. Quite quickly, he lost a noticable amount of weight and his coat condition was terrible. Yet he was eating again by now, but still getting thinner. I took him to the vet who said he may have some sort of bacterial infection and put him on antibiotics. I was feeding him baby food and mashed banana at this point which he took readily so obviously he wanted to eat but for some reason just wasn't putting on any weight. After a week, I took him back to the vet. You could now feel his ribs very easily. The vet said that whatever he had should have been cleared up by the antibiotics and if it hadn't been, it could be something like his teeth. The vet said he was 99% sure that Chi must have had some problems with his back teeth growing into his gums, making it difficult and painful for him to eat hard foods. Teeth problems in rats are incurable. Rats teeth grow constantly and if they're not wearing them down at the same rate, they grow into the gums and cause pain.
Chi would never be able to have his teeth fixed and the only option was to have him put to sleep. I only have a small number of photos of him since I had no digital camera when he was alive.
Why Chi? Chi was named after Deftones bassist, Chi Cheng. My boyfriend of the time named him.