Floyd





But every time it rains
You're here in my head
Like the sun coming out


Floyd was a mink or agouti hooded, Im not sure which, and was my first ever rat.

After literally years of asking, my parents caved and allowed me to finally get a rat. As I was only about 15 at the time and had no internet access, I knew little about rats and there were very few books around to learn from, even fewer accurate ones. So I went to the petshop to choose my rat. Initially, I had wanted a girl but when I saw Floyd and all his brothers in the pet shop, it suddenly didn't matter if I got a boy or a girl. Floyd was in with lots of others but he stood out to me since his hood was the darkest. Also, he widdled on the pet store owner when she picked him up, that had to be my boy!

Floyd was never a nervous rat and within hours of me getting him home he was ready to come out and play. He sat on my lap grinding his teeth happily. Floyd just loved being with me and whenever I was around, he wanted to come out. Often he'd just sit on my lap or lay beside me but he was never happier than when he was with me. I took him everywhere with me. He went for adventures to parks, forests and anywhere else I went.

Floyd was a perfectly healthy rat up until one sunday when I went to see him and he was gasping for air and drooling. I panicked. My friend, the only other person there at the time, called her mum and we drove to the nearest vet but it being a sunday, they were closed. I had no option but to go home and wait for my parents to get back, not knowing when that would be and all the time absolutely terrified for floyd. I didn't know if he could breathe or if he was choking, I just did the only thing I could think of which was to take all litter out of his cage (and yes he was on shavings) incase that was making him choke. I replaced the litter with newspaper and put floyd back. But even in the state he was in, he managed to climb out of the cage to come and sit with me. When my parents got home we called a vet who told us that a call out fee for a sunday was a LOT. I know my parents didn't want to pay that for a simple rat, but they did. The vet gave him an injection to take down any swelling in his throat and also some antibiotics. I know now that Floyd had advanced Myco, but at the time, I had no idea what was wrong with him. I took him home and he slept constantly but everytime I placed him back in his cage, he'd haul himself out and come and sit back with me. I eventually let him stay there and was up most of the night with him. He wasn't eating anything despite me trying to coax him. By morning he seemed better and was eating again. In a week, he was his old self. But it wasn't to last.

A few weeks later, Floyd began experiencing balance problems, finding it hard to sit up and wash, and walking in circles. I took him back to the vet who said he had an inner ear infection and gave me more antibiotics. Once again, they worked for a short time and he seemed to improve. That was how it went: a course of antibiotics, improvement for a week or so, then back to being ill. Gradually, he just stopped getting better. It got to the point where he could no longer walk and would just crawl about in tight cirlces. He was completely disorientated and wasn't eating anymore. I tried everything to get him to eat but he didn't. He would just sleep all day. Eventually, the decision was made to have Floyd put to sleep. He was dehydrated and hadn't eaten for days. He was put to sleep aged 1 year, 6 months. It always seems wrong when any rat dies under the age of two. I only have a handful of photos of him.

Why Floyd? I named Floyd such because I am a huge pink Floyd fan and it seemed to suit him. He was always Floyd, from day one
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