Clifford was a black hoodie dumbo.
Clifford came to me after someone who worked for the RSPCA contacted me asking if I had room for an old, lone boy. They had picked him up originally after he'd been dumped in a public toilet, and he'd been fostered for a while with a volunteer. But they were having trouble finding a new forever home for him, and wanted him to go somewhere for his retirement, preferably where he could live with other rats. They told me that, due to his advanced age, they knew he wasn't going to be around for much longer, and didn't want him to spend his last weeks alone in foster care.
Of course I gladly took him in.
When Clifford arrived, it was obvious he was an old lad; he had a poor coat, loss of muscle around his hind end, and made a lot of grunting, hooting respiratory noises, particularly when stressed out.
I let Clifford run on the bed with some recent youngsters that had arrived, and he was completely at ease with them. He went on to live happily in a small group.
Unfortunately, Clifford was only here for a few weeks when he became ill suddenly with what appeared to be heart failure. He died soon after.
With rats like him, you can only wonder how their lives have been, and what they have been through. For someone to dump a rat in a public toilet says a lot about whoever owned him, and it is unlikely Clifford had a great life. It is some comfort that he at least got to have some time in a nice place with companions and decent food. But it was not nearly long enough.
Why Clifford? Theres this episode of American Dad where Stan is a secret ice skater, and Francine discovers it. In this episode, she meets a knight called Clifford who guards a tunnel.......I named him after that character. I don't know why....I just thought he was a neat character!