Juju






06.07.05 - 13. 07.06

JuJu was a black rex dumbo, and Seven's great grandson.

The first thing which struck me upon seeing Juju for the first time was how much he looked like Seven. A lot of people think rats all look very similar, but when you've had them a while, you realise this isn't so.
I had assumed that I wanted a rat which looked like Seven, but in actual fact, seeing JuJu and how similar he looked to Seven was rather upsetting in an odd way. It didn't take a great deal of imagination to pretend he was Seven, and holding him was like having Seven back again. Far from being a comfort, this made me uncomfortable for I didn't want Seven's memory to be obscured in anyway. As such, I tried to distance JuJu from Seven as much as possible. Originally I had wanted to give him a name related to Seven in some way but I quickly decided this wasn't what I wanted and that he was his own rat and needed his own name.

Juju was one of two rats I lost during the breakout of an infection/virus in the UK in July of 2006. No-one knew what it was, or where it had come from, but many people lost their rats to it. I still don't know how I got it in my colony but it killed both Juju and Olly. Juju should never have died. He was young, fit and I thought we'd have plenty more time together. He became ill wednesday night and died Thursday lunchtime, despite aggressive antibiotic treatment as soon as I realised what we were dealing with. To lose a young rat is awful; to have one go from perfectly well to dead in less than 24 hours is something no-one is ever prepared for.
Goodbye little Jubles.

Why JuJu? JuJu was the hardest rat to name. I picked him up on a sunday and he didn't get his name until thursday. I trawled through every single baby name website I could find, I read books on various cultures and myths, I went to other people's rat websites to see what they named their rats, but nothing fitted. I didn't even have a clue or a name to fall back on if I found nothing else. I was well and truely stuck. I think that the fact that he looks so much like Seven was making it harder because that was all I could think of him as. Eventually, my brother suggested JuJu and when I found out the meaning, it seemed suitably both cute and spooky so he became JuJu.

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