When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me

Seven (aka, Number Seven, Sev-Sev) was a black dumbo. Dumbo rats are named such because they have large ears which are set lower on the sides of their head. Seven was my first dumbo rat.

Seven was the most special rat I've ever owned. He slept on my bed, we spent all our time together and he was my best friend. I'll never stop missing him.

He and Gabriel came to me from ratteries in Newcastle. I'd wanted a dumbo rat for a long time but wasn't sure at the time if anyone in england bred them since I'd only ever seen them on USA sites. Then I was told about a lady in Newcastle who bred wonderful dumbos, Shunamite Rats, so I dropped her a line to see what litters she had currently, or had planned. Alison, who owns shunamite, told me she was expecting a litter in about 2 weeks which was likely to include black dumbos. However, there were already far more people on the waiting list than there was likely to be kittens for, so I wasn't overly optimistic about getting babies from her. A few weeks later, I received an email telling me that the litter had been born, there were 15 but one sadly died at birth. It took more waiting to find out what colours there were, but I soon received an email from Alison offering me a black dumbo boy.
I received regular emails telling me how little Seven was getting on. Although he was the smallest in the litter, he was also extremely outgoing. Though it ended up involving a 6 hour round trip to Leicester to pick them up, I brought Seven and Gabriel home on friday the 18th of April, 2003.

My definition of the perfect rat is a big squishy buck who loves cuddles and licks you to death whenever he sees you. Therefore, Seven was pretty close to being the perfect rat. Even rat phobics found it hard to dislike him. Of all the rats I've owned, he was the most outgoing and loving and nothing will ever be the same without him. Often, he would sleep in my bed with me or just lay at my side. His fantastic temperament, not to mention his good health, made him a suitable breeding rat and he fathered a litter of 18 babies, of which I kept Iowa and Fenris.

Shortly after his second birthday, Seven developed a small lump on his chest which grew quickly until it was the size of a grape. I made the decision to have him operated on and was so happy when he came through the operation well. The lump was most likely a benign mammary tumour.

Seven died at 17 minutes past midnight on the 17th of June. He'd been very tired for a day or so, and had suddenly developed a small lump in his lower belly. When Seven was ill, he never wanted to be in his cage but only with me. As such, he died peacefully in my arms aged 2 years, 3 months. 7 days later, I got a tattoo of his name across my wrist. Seven was a beautiful rat, and he had friends all over the world. I was surprised how many people told me they personally were upset by his death. Everyone who met him remarked on what a beautiful rat he was and how much character he had. Seven was almost human and Im convinced he understood everything I said to him. I've never had a rat like him, he was one in a million.

Why Seven? Seven was named long before he even came to me, even before he was born. For a long time I'd wanted a big, stocky black dumbo rat named Seven. He was named after Slipknot's guitarist, Mick.

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