Mickey was a mismarked black berkshire.
Mickey, and his friend Jacob, came to me after a member of the public phoned me about them. Their story is one of the most upsetting and disgusting I've yet to come across.
I recieved a call from someone whose son had found two rats inside a plastic box while he was walking in the park. I intitally told myself I would not take on any more rats at that time as I'd gotten Springer not a week earlier and was full to bursting. However, the lady caller was not a rat fan, had no desire to keep them, and really was lost as to what to do. So I agreed to come and collect them, with the intention of rehoming them later on.
When I went to pick them up, the lady showed me the box they'd been found in, they were still inside it. It was a large plastic tupperware-type box with nothing inside it but a thin layer of urine soaked shavings. The sides of the box were metal clips which locked down and sealed it, and I saw no air holes.
Huddled in the corner were Mickey and Jacob.
I know love at first site is a cliche, but thats what it felt like. They were both big, overweight lads who let me pick them out of their box and put them into the carrier without even struggling.
On the way home in the car, I got a better look at them both, and soon decided that my plans to rehome them would not happen after all. My favourite variety of rat in the entire world is a black self, above all others. And I'd been wanting a black rat ever since Seven died, preferbly a rescue. When I held Mickey for the first time, and he hung there in my arms without any attempt to get away, I knew they'd be staying with me.
Im still baffled as to why and how they came to be abandoned in such a callous manner. Thse were older rats, about a year, if that. They were both well fed, not at all skinny, and both obviously used to being handled. None of this adds up. Why would someone dump rats they'd had for a year and obviously handled regularly and fed well?
Im not saying they were in perfect condition, they were not. but certainly not in the sort of condition I'd expect an abandoned animal to be in.
This aside, why on earth would someone dump two animals in such a stupid place? If you no longer want your animal and feel you must dump it, at least dump it outside a vet or shelter or even just someone's house, at least then the animal will be found. Whoever dumped these two seemingly didn't want anyone to find them. If I ever meet the person who did this, their life won't be worth living.
Mickey was an amazingly sweet rat from the start, despite what he had been through. I was amazed how sociable both he and Jacob were, and it just shows how trusting rats are, even when they have no reason to trust humans at all.
Mickey lived to a good age. As I don't know exactly how old he was when I got him, I can never be sure how old he was when he died, but I would estimate he was approaching 3. He developed a tumour, roughly over where his knee was. Though he lived happily with it for a long time, it eventually reached a size where it stopped him being able to walk properly, and was impacting on his quality of life. It was very upsetting have to have Mickey euthanised, as he was such a sweet, gentle old boy. He'd been the granddad of the group for a while, and was always one of the first rats I checked on when I went to see them. However, he had a good, long, happy life here, a life that could so easily have ended in that box if he hadn't been found.
Why Mickey? After Mick Thomson of Slipknot.