There is nothing quite like a “pocket pet.” They are active, fun, zany little creatures that offer endless amusement and are easy to love. I have had many — guinea pigs, hamsters, sugar gliders, and now rats.
I must say that I never thought of myself as a “rat person”. My mother had always favored pugs, as have I, my father has cats. One day, I happened through a pet store that had the most unusual thing that I had ever seen: A hairless rat. They didn’t look like rats to me. I ended up getting a pair — Khufu and Khafre. Years later, I remain rabidly addicted to these wonderful little creatures. For me, they are pets and companions. I don’t breed them or show them, but I find them endlessly amusing and entertaining.
I have even gotten some of my friends to come around to them. As a vegetarian I eat no meat, but some meat is important in the diets of some small animals. My friends will send home leftovers with meat scraps, or other tasty treats, from dinner for the fur children that reside here. I am pleased to see this consideration for my four-legged friends!
That started me thinking on the profoundness of these wondrous little ones. Death was something I had always studied but only truly experienced with my pets. Yet, with rats, hamsters, and other pocket pets I had been forced to experience death at a faster and deeper level. It seems, however, that death is not a random unknown for these little wonders of nature. There is something within that goes to a deeper level.
Take, for example, the subject above: rats. They are healthy, vibrant and colorful characters for 2 – 4 years. Then, 3 months before they die they rapidly age. On the last day, they seek companionship and comfort. In their last hours, they desperately try to climb “up”…even as their bodies fail them. I have been amazed that the rats seem to wait to die — they wait for someone to bear witness. I have held vigil for all of my rat children over the years and I believe that they take comfort in it. Perhaps they do not wish to die alone. Or, perhaps it is that they really do form a bond with their human companions that transcends that of a mere pet to pet owner. Could it be that this bond transcends death?
What happens to small animals when they die? Let me start off by saying that I do believe that all animals have souls, or at the least, spirits and thus transcend death. I agree with the Buddhist and Hindu ideologies that animal forms reincarnate. In the Buddhist ideology there is the concept of the Six Realms of Existence. The three higher realms are those of the gods, the demi-gods, and the humans. The three lower realms — the Hells, Hungry Ghosts, and the Animal Realm — are the most populated of all the 6 levels of existence. Animals, though, do have multiple levels of existence and understanding, just as humans do. This is partially due to the idea that in Buddhism we have reincarnated into all levels. This means that we could have been animals, then human, and, if Enlightenment is not gained, we can return to the level of animal again.
In the paranormal investigation world it is said that some animals can hang around (prior to reincarnation/rebirth) for periods of time — cats for 6 months, dogs for a year. Yet, many of the stories associated with these animals indicates that each had a strong sense of individuality. I can see how this might seem possible. I have met pets that are remarkably “human” and intelligent. They appear self-aware and have remarkable personalties. Currently, I have a pug who is, I swear, nearly human and a rat who curls his tail up like a pug. If I didn’t know better, I would say that he was a pug in a rat’s body.
So, if these things are possible, where are the stories of pocket pet ghosts? I am a paranormal investigator. I have heard many a story of animals with ghosts or animals as ghosts. Yet, I have only read one ghost story of a potential rodent ghost, though at present I cannot find the book. The story, in summary, is that a woman was going through a vacant house. She reached out to open a cabinet when a rat came out of nowhere and ran across her arm, then vanished. Unnerved, the woman managed to gather enough courage to return to the cabinet. Upon opening it, she found inside a mummified rat corpse. The author mused whether her contact with the cabinet released the soul of the rat that had been trapped within. I find it a fascinating specualtion.
I just cannot believe that humans, cats, and dogs are the only ones who can produce a spectral presence. I am requesting folks who have other paranormal pocket pet stories to send them in for posting. I’d like to see what we get. To submit a story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and I look forward to some most interesting readings!
Is Shadow now a true “Shadow”?
Submitted by: Brandy, site owner
May 8, 2009:
I guess that I shall be the first to post a story. This concerns Shadow the rat, who is also pictured above. Tuesday two weeks ago I had to have him put to sleep because of inoperable tumors growing from his chest into his throat. I have been so upset as Shadow was NOT a normal rat — he loved the pugs, acted like a dog, and did not associate with other rats. He was a true character and people would actually ask me about Shadow — even ask about “Shadow stories”. He is the only rat who went to work with me (I teach at several colleges and universities and I brought him in to class one day). Heck, he would slip out of his cage and climb into bed to sleep on my shoulder some nights.
I knew something was wrong when Shadow got out of his cage and disappeared for two days. I called for him and, unlike his normal response, he did not show up. I actually had a feeling that I would not see him again and it was OK. I can’t even begin to explain that reaction as I am quite paranoid over the well being of my pets. However, I called for him one last time and he came out of my closet, wild eyed and breathing very hard. I rushed him to the vet. My intuition said that this was a tumor issue, but I had to be sure it was not respiratory. Somehow, and I can’t explain how, I really felt that he was asking for help. My regular exotic vet was not in; the woman he saw thought that it might be respiratory and gave him antibiotics. She did say that if it did not clear up it was likely a tumor issue. For two days afterwards he was fine. Monday, however, he started to breathe hard again. I noticed that he was not eating much Monday night. I also, for the first time, saw the tumors in his neck. My heart began to fracture at that because I knew that my gut was right all along. It was too late to get him to a vet and he didn’t seem to be highly uncomfortable. I did my best with him and also let him hang out in his old stomping grounds (my closet). That night I brought him to bed with the pugs and myself. He was happy sleeping with each of the pugs and I found him throughout the night cuddled with different ones. Even the ones who were less tolerant of him, such as Titania who would get up and walk away from him in disgust, let him sleep peacefully with them. He even rested on my stomach for a time.
The next day, I had two early morning classes to teach from 7 – 9:15. After that, I rushed home and picked him up to get him to the vet. My exotic vet was in and after examining him determined that the tumors were inoperable and protruding into his throat from his chest. His lungs were also having a hard time. I had little choice but to put him to sleep — I did not want him to starve or strangle to death. I think that I cried for 3 days after that, but I was sure to get his body back to bury him. He is in my rose garden next to one of my statues (a self-portrait sculpture so that he can stay close to me). His grave is marked with a large granite rock.
My only fear is this: I think Shadow knew that this was his last trip. When I held Shadow he was very good about not going potty but as we drove in the car not only did he urinate all over me, but he did the same to the vet (which he has not done in previous trips). I felt so badly — I truly hope that he did not feel that I betrayed him. He came to me for help and I did what I could but I just could not bear to see him suffer.
Since then, I have thought I have seen Shadow running in his favorite spot (my closet and the kitchenette cabinets) 3 times since he died — fleeting glimpses out of the corner of my eye. The first time I “saw” him, he ran into my closet from about 2 feet away from the door. The next two times I saw movement at the top of my cabinets where he loved to climb. Each time when I looked directly, nothing was there, but I swear that I saw something. It’s hard to tell if these are just memories (though I’ve never had it happen with other rats and I’ve owned them for about 6 or so years) or if this *IS* Shadow.
I have several shots of him if you are interested in seeing him at his best. This is one of my favorites:
This is where he loved to play, and the approximate location (slightly more over to the cabinets) where I saw him 2 out of 3 times:
Synchronicity? (AKA “Trekkie Rats and Weird Coincidences”)
May 15, 2009
Tonight I was channel surfing and came across a shot of a big ole “Borg Cube” so I paused to have a look because, ironically, I put my “Borg Rat,” Locutus, to sleep today. 🙁 My fellow Trekkies know where this is going…OF COURSE it turned out to be the episode where we first meet “Locutus”!! I wasn’t sure whether to smile or cry. I did both. Hubby felt it was the universe giving a tip o’ the hat to the little guy.
It was all very wistful. My rat was named after that character. Back when I saw that face on the adoption site I just KNEW I had to have him because he HAD to be named Locutus!
So, I adopted him and his companion, who also got a Borg character name, “Hugh”. My first choice of name was Borg-esque “One of Two”, but hubby suggested Hugh, which really IS nicer than a numerical designation!
Happily I’m am Trekkie! 😉 — if I weren’t, I wouldn’t have been compelled to adopt those boys in particular and wouldn’t have had the joys of the lil darlins … little Hugh who started out so jumpy and scrappy, but who mellowed and turned out to be the apple of my eye, and big ole Locutus the Beautiful who preferred the company of his friend until his passing, and who became a squishy cuddle-muffin the last few months.
Farewell my Borg Collective. Resistance was futile.
I just started to check out your website and reading about the question of death. This isn’t paranormal, but you got me thinking about lessons pets teach up. You don’t have to use this since it’s not paranormal (but you’re welcome to) and although it’s the latter part of a post, I don’t think being out of context affects the meaning:
As for “worry” this has been a lesson for me, and I thank little Locutus for being the teacher (ok, where’s my kleenex?) It’s been a few weeks of great anxiety and worry for me. I think of myself as a fairly rational, realistic person, but when one’s pet is sick all you want is for them to be well. Even diagnosed with a terminal and inoperable disease, giving medications helps keeps them comfortable, but it won’t correct the situation…you can’t DO anything. I think part of me has been in a sort of denial (and probably has every time a pet is sick) hoping their lives can be stretched out…forever.
But this time, as he’s gotten gradually worse, I’ve had to really step back and try to accept it as “normal” – normal for the stages he’s experiencing right now. There IS nothing that can be done and fighting it internally isn’t doing me any favours. I’ve always known that, of course, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I think I’ve understood it, but it hasn’t really sunk in like this time.
HE seems to have understood it.
To ramble further…I work in a care home and get along amazingly well with the oldsters and the Alzheimer patients. People I speak to can about it get a bit weirded out and ask how I can handle being there. There is no “handling”, I just love it so there IS no negativity associated with it. However, we see people (loved ones, especially the adult children) who struggle (of course!) with the changes in their partner/sibling/parents and in the bad times can lose patience and try to keep mom or dad they way they use to be — and it can never be. In my case, both my parents died many years ago, so I never had to see THEM go through anything like that. Maybe that’s how I can be so accepting of the situation of others’ parents…I haven’t had to fight that so close to home.
So little Locutus has taught me a lesson in acceptance of the reality of life’s situations (which doesn’t make his loss any easier!) and also a lesson in humility, bless ‘im.
May 15, 2009
My husband and I have been working with squirrels for a decade now, orphaned newborns to injured adults – our website is sqwirlz.com
One of our unreleasables (cannot be rehabbed for release into the wild due to some form of disability from injuries) was named Squiggy. Squiggs, and his siblings, Hoover and Autumn, came to us from two ladies with Hillsborough Parks Department. When they ended up with a new human baby in their household they surrendered the squirrels to us. This sibling group had come into their care when their nest had fallen, a big jerk guy kicked the nest, breaking Squigg’s nose, injuring Autumn’s kidneys and breaking the leg of Hoover..
As is common with nose injuries, eventually Squiggs’ upper teeth had fallen out, but by the time the ladies realized it, the bottom teeth had punctured into his sinuses. So he had always battled terrible sinus issues since coming to us. It is with him I had to learn how to clip teeth.
The weather systems – one front after another – did us all in this past winter. It “snowed” under a canvas eave at my work one day in mid-January – it was in the 20s! It was too much for my little man…With the heating on, the air became drier and drier, and even with the addition of a humidifier, it was too much for him. Breathing became more and more obviously painful for him.
Squiggs definitely had the mucous going on – I spent his last week wiping it from his poor nose as it bubbled out – even aspirating it; he’d wake up with crusting on his tender nose. The blood was everywhere his last hours. But he is finally sleeping peacefully now…he left us, sleeping on my chest, Sunday January 25th about 7:55 p.m.
That night I was utterly spent and do not remember actually falling into bed. I rarely recall dreams, but when I do the details are clear and real…frequently including all my senses. I dreamt of Squiggs that night. He was breathing free and moving unhindered. He is fine. I just miss him. After daily treatments and cleaning, my routine is messed up and missing the huge part that was him.
Even now my husband and I can hear Squigg’s labored and wheezing breathing, but I truly believe that is how he is letting us know very clearly it is him because he knows we will know that sound, but that he is truly where he is breathing freely now and is in no more pain.
He comes back to visit, to let us know he has not altogether left us. He has also “been in touch” with a friend of ours… an artist.
Squigg’s guided her hands when we requested a memorial piece of him; the weight of the work is _exactly_ Squigg’s weight and the rump fits in my hand _just as Squigg’s did_ when I was grooming him. She had no way of knowing these details. To my knowledge she has never actually held a grey squirrel. I do believe there had to be an openness in both directions for this to have occurred. I cried when the piece was first placed in my hands. _How_ did it happen? He had to have been present somehow. Every time I pick up this piece I feel it “come alive.” I know he is closeby. And invariably I hear – or my husband hears – Squigg’s breathing.
Is he finished with us? Oh I hope not. We’ve had a couple of squirrels I worked with countless times daily exercising little limbs or cleaning and these special need little creatures became so much a part of me – – – I could hear a change in breathing in the night, a hiccup, a twitch.
We received two squirrels after Hurricane Frances. A partially paralyzed little boy, Bobo, and a little girl with a broken tail, Clover. Bo couldn’t move his upper arms. He and Clover, though, would play – as best they could with their not so agile bodies. Bobo did not stay with us long. By that December his body had decided he could no longer carry on. December 5th was the day… I knew when his muzzle began turning purple and the click came into his breathing it would not be long. I held him snuggled on my chest. Talked to him. Loved him. About 5 o’clock my head began to hurt terribly – I never ever get a headache. My husband convinced me to lay down for a few minutes. I was scared to as I knew it would not be long before Bo left us – I had to be there for him but I could scarcely lift my own head. I lay down for not more than 20 minutes; during that time Bo had slipped away from us.
My mentor in Houston believes Bo waited to leave until I had left him alone because I was “holding” him here…tying his spirit to me. She went so far as to suspect he had somehow sent my head pain forcing me to lie down. Never before or since having a headache like that; thus, I am inclined to believe.
The issue is made clearer as when Squiggs left us, I saw, felt, and heard his last breath. The grief welled up inside of me and came out as a silent but mammoth wave of agony as I lifted my face and up and clearly but silently hurled a “no” at the universe. A second later he sniffled and went limp…again. Why he took another breath, when I knew he had taken his last, is a mystery to me.
I do believe our spirits are tied somehow. I do not profess to understand the power, but I dare not underestimate it.
I understand the next time it is time to “let” a fragile soul pass, to be kind and allow it to do so in peace, regardless my own selfish feelings. After all, they do come back….then, they never really left, did they?
May 31, 2009:
Hello! I just enjoyed reading your post on paranormal pets. I know I have had 2 pets who didn’t want to leave me! I raised a baby deer mouse. She was a love of my life. She would lie in bed with me at night while I read, or she’d sleep on me. I took her everywhere in a big baggy sweater, where she rode in the sleeve. No one ever know — from the dentist to any of the restaurants (even though I slipped her tidbits in my sleeve).
When she left me, II cried until my face was sore. I put her in a glass heart box with some of her blankie & buried her by my window under my lilac bush. However, when I came back in my house and walked through my dining room, a large picture in a heavy frame fell to the floor before me. I knew it was Mimmie, and that she wanted to be closer to me than the place where I had buried her. I went out and retrieved her in the heart shaped box. I placed it in the book case in my bedroom where we had spent so many hours. She is still there, and when I am buried I have instructed them to put the box in with me. She was the most amazing little friend I ever had!
The second was a darling beige dumbo girl I saved from a feeder’s tank. I could tell she was old but for saving her and giving her attention, she worshipped me. She would lie on my body or next to me to sleep or just relax. She loved to sit on my shouldr or lie on my lap. When she would free range wander in my computer room. Here she would always come up to me, stand up on her back legs with her little hands on my leg and look up at me with that precious face. She always went in the camper with us to Colorado. To this day, though she has been gone for 7 years, I still feel her standing up leaning on my leg.
I have to stop now. I can’t type for the tears. Thank you for sharing your feelings about the tiny ones.
The Rat as Totem
Sent by email to the PRS group
March 24, 2010
Rats would probably not be so successful if it weren’t for humans. Our living habits have provided them with homes and food and we have eliminated many of their predators. Because of this rats hold important teachings about waste, over consumption and survival for those who have this totem.
Rats can eat a quarter to a third of their body weight a day. They gnaw on things to keep their teeth, which are always growing, short and sharp. Pack Rats are famous for collecting things. They have been known to strip a sealed cabin in the woods of everything that they could carry. One species is called the Trade Rat because it leaves a stone in the place of what it takes.
Black Rats carried the fleas that led to the Black Plague. In Norway some years ago, hungry Rats infested a bird sanctuary and ate, among other things the birds. They even managed to grab seagulls and hold them down while killing them.
Those with this totem are survivors. Their tendency is to hoard what they have because they fear that they don’t have enough. This fear prompts them to acquire large quantities of things and fight aggressively to maintain what they have acquired. Rat medicine people are not selfish but they can appear that way to those who do not know them well. Holding onto everything and being the pack rat is their way of feeling secure in an insecure world.
Fortunately rats adapt well to environmental changes and can survive on just about anything. They hold the teachings of resourcefulness. Their fear of not being provided for can be healed by participating in supportive group activities, meditation and prayer.
The other side of Rat is that it reflects back to us our own human capacity for greed, taking so much that others needs are denied. They will sometimes overeat and throw up rather than let food go by. They will dispossess other small animals of their homes if they can, wanting no competition for food. They truly personify humankind’s imperialistic drives, which are making life on the planet more and more tenuous. If Rat has come to you, look at ways you may be participating in wasteful consumption or fear based emotions and begin to change your habits appropriately. **unknown source**
Stories of Rat Demons (China)
From: Supernatural Tales from Around the World.
Author: Terri Hardin
ISBN: 1 – 56619-643-4
The position of the rat in Chinese demon-lore is rather significant. Like the fox and the monkey, it is notorious for assuming the human shape to commit adultery with men and for embracing Buddhist religious life with purposes not always deceitful. Should it wish to bewitch women for immoral purposes, it may do so without assuming human shape, as the following legend shows.
In recent times there lived a man, who had a 10 year old daughter. One morning she went missing. A year elapsed without any trace of her, though the family heard from time to time the wailing of a baby that seemed to come from under the house. They turned up the ground and discovered a hole, gradually increasing in depth and width, and more than a chang in length and breadth. Here they found the girl sitting with a baby in her arms and a bald rat as large as a bushel beside her. She saw them enter without recognizing her superiors, from which the parents concluded that she was under the demonish influence of that rat. They slew the beast, whereupon the girl burst into bitter weeping. “He is my husband!” she cried. “Why do they murder him!” As they killed the child also, her lamentations were unceasing, and ere they could cure her, she died.
Folklore also allows whole packs of rats, either in other animal forms or as men, to haunt human dwellings and settlements, or swarm out of, or dive into, cracks and apertures; and it represents such apparitions as omens of evil. Tales on this topic are numerous, likely due to the frequent occurrence of rats in human dwellings, where daily they disturb the sleep and dreams of man. The following tale may characterize their position as harbingers or causes of evil.
In the last year of the T’ien Pao period (AD 755) the Censor Pih Hang was govenor of Wei-cheu, when this region fell into the power of the insurgent Ngan Luh-shan. He was just contriving the necessary strategems to reduce his enemy to submission and had not yet marched out, when he saw to his surprise, several hundred pygmies, five to six inches in size, standing about and gambling in his courtyard. He and his family beat them to death. Next morning, quite a troop of such dwarfs, all lamenting and dressed in white mourning outfits, took away the corpses in funeral cars and coffins with quite as much care as it is observed at the funerals of the gentry. They then made a grave in the courtyard, and after the burial, disappeared into a hole in the southern wall. In great fear and wonder, Pih Hang opened the grave and found an old rat in it. He boiled water and poured it into the hole, and kept on digging it up. After a while, he found several hundred dead rats. Some ten days afterward his whole family was killed because he had not been victorious in the defeat of his enemies.
Of rats infesting the public roads as well-armed highwaymen, we hear the following legend. In the first year of the Wan-sui period (A.D. 695) the roads to Ch’ang-ngan were infested by a gang of robbers, who concealed themselves in the daytime and operated during the night. Every now and again, itinerant strangers were murdered without a trace of the perpetuators being discovered the next day, which disheartened the people so much that they darned not set out in the morning, even though inns might be reached in the evening.
When the matter reached the ears of a certain Taoist doctor who lodged at an inn, he said to the crowd, “To be sure, these are no men. They must be specters.” In the dead of night, he proved himself with an antique looking glass, and took his post by the roadside to look out for them.
All of a sudden, a troop of young men appeared, fully armed. “Who stands there by the road?” they shouted with one voice at the Taoist. “Do not you care for your life?”
But the doctor let his mirror shine upon them, with the result that they flung down weapons and shields, and ran off. For some five or seven miles, the doctor pursued them with spells and formulas, until they all ran into a big hole. He kept watch over it until morning came and then, returning to the inn, summoned the people to dig up the hole. It was found to contain over a hundred big rats, which as they swarmed out were slain to the last. The evil was thereby ended.
Rats may also haunt human dwellings in the shape of other animals. Li Lin-fu, a high magnate of the 8th century, was unwell. In the morning he rose, washed, dressed, and intending to repair to the court, ordered his men to bring the letter bag he was wont to use. Feeling it was heavier than usual, he opened it and out sprang two rats, which on reaching the floor, changed immediately into gray dogs. WIth ferocious eyes and showing their teeth, these beasts regarded him. He seized his bow and shot at them, at which point they vanished. Lin-fu was so deeply impressed with this incident that he died ere a month had passed.
The King of the Rats (China)
From: Supernatural Tales from Around the World.
Author: Terri Hardin
ISBN: 1 – 56619-643-4
The family of one Chu Jen has lived as farmers at the foot of Mount Sung. Suddenly, the family’s eldest son, who was five, disappeared. The family patriarch sought him for more than ten years but could not find out whether he was alive or dead. One day, a Buddhist monk wandered past and stopped at his door. He was accomnpanied by a disciple whose appearance and features were strikingly like those of the lost child. Jen asked the monk to walk in. He fed the monk and after a while said, “Teacher, both in manners and features your disciple is like my first born son whom I lost ten years ago.”
The monk was amazed and, rising to his feet, said, “Thirty years long I have lived in the wild jungle of Mount Sung. Ten years have gone by since this disciple came to me, weeping and crying. I asked him what was the matter but he showed all the bewilderment of a tender youth and could not well explain from whence he came. I brought him up, I gave him the tonsure, and he is now so clever and bright that no one equals him. I have always deemed him to be a sage. If he is your son, then try to find it out by thoroughly examining him yourself.
Jen and his family checked the boy over. The mother remembered a black birthmark on the boy’s back, which they found on this monk-in-training. Overjoyed, they brought him back into the family, and the old monk departed.
A short later, a rash of thefts occurred. Suspecting the boy, the family waited up late into the night. They saw him transform into a rat and leave; he returned the next morning and turned back into the boy. Their interrogations do not lead to any confessions, but after a long lapse of time, the boy finally said: “I am no son of yours. I am a king of the rats under Mount Sung. The rats there, my subjects, have seen me and so I can come back here no more.” His parents thought he was insane, but he transformed into a rat and ran away, never to be seen again.
Orb Images and Deceased Ratties
We haven’t had too many responses to this call for paranormal tales, but I do have something pretty recent to relate.
My boy Quinn was put to sleep in June. A few weeks after that I started having trouble sleeping, waking up around 3 0r 4 every morning. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but joked that maybe it was Q’s spirit trying to wake me up as he often did when still with me (to be fed of course). I decided to keep my camera close to my bed. Figured it might be cool if I could actually capture a little rattie ghost 🙂
Anyway, for three nights in a row, 19th, 20th and 21st of this month, when I woke I grabbed the camera and snapped a few pics. Didn’t turn on the light, just used the flash and went back to sleep. I looked through the pics on the camera last week but didn’t see anything unusual. Today I figured I would upload them to have a look and be sure nothing was there before deleting them.
Well, I had a total of 15 shots. I saw nothing in 14. However, in the first pic taken on the 19th there’s a definite orb over Quinn’s cage. I know orbs are questionable, often explained away as bugs or dust. But I took three quick shots of the same area that night, and it’s only in the one pic. Above Q’s cage. After I was awakened in the middle of the night. Considering the circumstances I think it’s pretty cool. It may not be Q’s spirit. I honestly haven’t felt him around. But it’s certainly interesting……
An odd mention of a mouse ghost….
August 8, 2010
I was reading “Ghost Cats: Human Encounters WIth Feline Spirits” (Dusty Rainbolt) and found a short blip about a mouse ghost that manifests. There is a place called Thayer’s Historic Bed ‘n Breakfast, that not only has ghost cat spirits, but which also has a ghost mouse. The book attributes one line to the ghost mouse, whose main function is to “run around and drive Tennessee [the cat] crazy” (160).
Thayer’s is located at: 60 West Elm Street, Annandale, MN, 55302 (800-944-6595); www.thayers.net, email@example.com) — [Note: information provided by the book]
I’m curious enough to follow up and see about maybe arraigning a visit there next summer! Unlike those looking for the cat, I’m looking for the mouse instead!
Submitted Oct 30, 2011
I myself am a shaman and deal frequently with spirits that are around me. Some of them live with me, but most pass by just like a human stranger. A few months ago I had purchased a dumbo rat from a pet store, when come to find out he had bad upper respiratory infection. He did not respond to treatment, and on his last day I took him with me to a group meeting where I knew a couple of my friends were who are both reiki masters. Together they helped him pass on more easily, and while working one of my friends whispered to me, “He is tired, but he wants to be with you for a little while longer.” I did not know why he would choose to do that, but things became more clear as time passed…
Aqi did hang around, often exploring but making sure I was ok. At the time I was in the pit of the worst bout of depression I have ever felt, and I thought he was there to guide me through it- but it was much more than that. A little while later, my very dear and precious rat, Donut, ended up passing away. This rat was everything to me. He was scruffy and only had one eye because of an infection he had as a baby. I had saved him from being killed at the pet store I worked at, and many times he was just about the only thing who could pull me out of a panic attack. Donut never came to the cage to tell me he was passing. I think he knew how much it would have hurt. I ended up having his body cremated after saving up a whole lot of money (much to the discretion of everyone else who did not understand how much I loved him) and I put part of his ashes inside of a chamber pendulum. Not long after, I began seeing very clear images of him nearby, but Aqi began to be farther and farther away- my assumption is is he hung around until he made sure I was alright with this transition, then moved on to his next life. Donut has become something of a spirit guide for me, and helps me connect to the higher power. I am very glad he decided to stay, if only for a little while. (in times where I was having an attack and would shout “don’t leave me!” each rat would respond “I’m not leaving until you don’t need me anymore.”) Today I am doing a lot better with my depression, but Donut has helped me a long way.
May sound crazy to someone who does not hold the same beliefs about spirits but I thought you would enjoy it anyway 🙂
Dooks From Beyond
I got interested in ferrets around the year 2000. From that time on I had ferrets. I went through seven of them all told. It was both a great joy and a great sorrow. They are bright, vibrant, lively little creatures which will make you laugh to the point you almost pee your pants. However, they’re also frail and poor breeding in the pet trade has made them extremely susceptible to pancreatic and kidney cancers, adrenal diseases and immuno-deficiency issues. They can also tend to be rather short-lived. So, I went through pairs and singles as one or another would get sick and die or just pass from age. After all of that, I decided having to provide their hospice care was taking too great a toll on me and that I just couldn’t do it anymore no matter how much I enjoyed the dear little things.
My third pair, Lilo and Nani, had been adopted to keep elder Freya company after we lost my first ferret, Loki, and rescues Ramen and Noodles to adrenal disease and pancreatic cancer. Ferrets are very social creatures and they do better when they are part of a group, called a business. It’s an amusing term considering the only business a ferret ever gets up to is monkey business. It wasn’t until that third pair that I realized the previous ferrets were still with us. After Freya passed due to a combination of age and adrenal disease, we had been forced to get a new cage for the girls because Nani, ever the terror of the house, had figured out that she could pry open the door of the old cage. No matter what I did to secure it, she figured out how to squeeze her way out. We moved to a new apartment not long after. We’d just gotten settled into our slightly bigger place and were flopped on the sofa watching TV as the girls dozed on one of the lower levels of their deluxe condo cage. I felt and heard a faint rustle behind my head. Apparently, my boyfriend felt it, too. We both followed the sound as it moved from the back of the sofa toward the new ferret cage. Then, with a jangle of the metal clips it hung from, the hammock in the top level of the cage moved as if a ferret had run across it. I caught a glimpse of a whitish streak zooming through the cage and we both heard the distinct dook-dook-dook sound of a ferret doing the “weasel war dance”. We just kind of blinked, look at each other and started laughing.
I said, “Hmmm. Apparently we have ghost ferrets.”
He said, “Well, that explains some of the stuff I’ve been seeing and hearing.”
And we went on about our relaxation time. It’s funny how you get used to the weirdness that can creep into your life.
Stories from Jolie E. Bonnette
The Art of Jolie E. Bonnette