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Fitz (RIP)

Origin: Manchester Rodent Rescue
Born: 1 September 2011 (estimate)
Died: 10 January 2014: Aged 28 months
Cause of death: PTS with suspected tooth abscess (visual PM revelaed osteomyelitis/bone cancer)
Colour/variety: Black hooded, with tiny headspot
Health: HLD from 24 months, wax build-up in one ear
Weight: 558g
Temperament: Neutered due to being rat aggressive/hormonal but now lives very happily with a group of quite feisty girls and shows absolutely no aggression to them or the smell of other rats. Loves people and is really affectionate, a total sweetheart.
Nicknames: Fitzy, Softlad

11/01/2014: Fitz increasingly lost function of his back legs over the past couple of months, but was very happy with mostly living on the floor and lower levels of the cage, set up with cubes and other sleeping places within easy reach. He would pull himself out of the cube every time I opened the cage, pull himself up to standing and greet me at the door. He ate well until the end and kept both weight and condition - the only thing he struggled with was cleaning his cauliflower ear, so I had to help him with the wax build-up a couple of times a week. Fitz enjoyed that (as he enjoyed everything about his life), bruxing away and grooming my hand. He is one of the very most straight-forward, unproblematic and above all, happy and utterly content rats that I've ever had. A beautiful soul and a calm ray of sunshine; impossible to throw off balance, he was always composed and taking things in his stride. What we thought was a tooth abscess literally came up overnight, and I decided to let him go quietly rather than attempt invasive and likely ineffective treatment. We subsequently found out (via visual PM) that he had in fact quite advanced disintegration of the jawbone due to osteomyelitis or possibly bone cancer, so it very much turned out to be the right decision. I am enormously grateful that he came into my life. Rest well my love, I miss you so much.


Fitz came to us in October 2012, having been abandoned by his previous student owner following a house move and handed into rescue by the landlord. The rescue tried to introduce him to other rats but he was too hormonal and aggressive, so Fitz stayed at the rescue as a lone rat for four months before being rehomed to us, with the explicit intention of neutering him to give him a chance to have ratty company again (which the rescue was more than happy with).

Post-castration, Fitz was introduced to my trio of young girls (Maven, Tusk and Umbra). He was initially very wary and unsure of them but came round eventually. Fitz is very much a people rat and revels in cuddles - he is such an endearing guy, bold and loving, affectionate and attention-seeking, and we're getting along swimmingly. He has a thick wrinkly/misshapen "cauliflower ear" which adds to his funny sweet looks.

Due to having to shuffle my groups around because of some other unhappy rats, Fitz now lives extremely happily with a group of girls who are a few months older than him. From around 24 months his HLD started becoming worse and in the past few weeks he has had wax buildup in his mangled ear that needs some help with cleaning.

Fitz received a NERS Bronze Longevity Award for reaching 28 months.

(click thumbnails for larger versions)


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