Exodus was a black hoodie dumbo.
Exodus came to me after someone called me to say she had two boys she needed to find homes for, on account of not having enough time for them any more.
Exodus and his brother Elysium had been well cared for and had a nice cage with hammocks and toys; they just needed a new place to go.
Exodus was the more out-going of the two, and had a child-like lust for life. You can see him happily boggling away in his picture!
After he'd been here a few months, I noticed one day that his teeth were not growing properly. They had overgrown slightly, and were clearly not lining up as they should. This is called malocclusion, and I have had a rat in the past who suffered from this, Spectre.
However, this condition doesn't typically come on out of the blue; its usually either something the rat is born with, or can be caused by trauma to the jaw later in life, knocking the teeth out of alignment.
Exodus certainly didn't have this problem when he arrived here, and there was no evidence of any trauma, so it seemed to have come on spontaneously.
There are some medical conditions in rats that can cause spontaneous tooth issues like this (kidney failure being one) but he did not seem to have any other medical problems.
I trimmed Exodus's teeth about once a week.
Exodus began to show signs of a pituitary tumour; poor co-ordination, less activity, having trouble holding his foot, sitting in a stance with his hind legs pushed far forward, and slight disorientation.
There is no cure for a pituitary tumour, so I kept him happy for as long as I could, and he passed away at home. What was interesting was that I went to check on Exodus before leaving for work, and found him laying on the cage floor, and assumed he was already dead. When I called him, he suddenly sprung to life and raced to the cage bars, almost forcing himself into my arms. He just clung there. It was then that I realised he barely had a blink response: this is a sign that an animal is extremely near death.
I cuddled him up and kept him warm, and he died very soon after.
I found it quite touching that despite being so close to the end, and so unable to do much of anything, he still found the life to make his way to me in his final moments so we could be together when he passed. He isn't the first rat to do this.
Why Exodus? I like 'real word' names for animals, for some reason, and while thinking of names for him, the soundtrack to the movie Exodus came on my iPod!