With the holidays (Christmas & New Year's) in the midst of all of this, I was able to get Suki booked for January 4th, 2016 to be put to rest. At around 1:00 a.m. the night of December 30, all of the rats enjoyed their nightly playtime with me. Mortimer, Arrow, and Saoirse climbed onto my shoulders to lick my face and groom my hair, as they always do; London and Britain darted around the room with quick greetings for hand-wrestling; Cash plopped down on my lap for a snuggle; Famous lay curled up for a nap in another room; and Suki waddled over to me slowly and methodically, then pawed repeatedly at my leg. She could no longer climb onto my lap due to the severity of her HED, so she instead asked me to pick her up which I of course did for her. She was so content as I held her and she licked every part of my hands and fingers without pausing for a minute. Suki was clearly so happy and peaceful that night, despite everything that was going on with her, yet as I looked at her I knew that she had very little time left. I recall questioning in my head whether this might be my last night with her.... and unfortunately, it was.
Suki passed away in the early morning of December 31, 2015. When I opened the door to the rats' walk-in enclosure, everyone greeted me on the shelf next to the door. I immediately noticed Suki was missing, since she always waited for me on the floor by the door and would bolt out of the room to greet me before I even entered the room. As her HED progressed, these "door dashes" (as I called them) became slower and slower, but she never gave them up for a day in her life. When I opened the door that morning, there was no Suki instantly sitting on my feet. Alarmed, I ran into the enclosure and quickly found her curled comfortably in a sleeping position in one of the rats' huts. She had recently passed, and it appeared that she had passed very peacefully.
I am devastated at the loss of Suki, as she was so dear to me with her brassy personality and affectionate nature. She was Saoirse's role-model and Famous' best friend. She travelled on the road and participated in presentations educating the public on her species and reversed the negative opinions of so many people whom she met. And she has charmed millions of people across the globe with her YouTube videos and television appearances.
Farewell, Suki, my clever little show-off. You will live on in my heart until we meet again. And I'm certain you will have taught yourself all kinds of new tricks in the meantime that you'll want to show me when I see you again. You will make me proud, just as you had during your life here with me. You are perfect, and I love you. ♥
Suki was a champion trickster, and unfortunately I cannot take the credit for 95% of the tricks she learned. With the exception of "spin" and "shake hands", Suki taught herself all of the tricks she knew without any training done on my part. She would watch training sessions with the other rats and then try the tricks out herself. The weave poles and agility, tightrope, rolling a spool, retrieve, jump, etc. were all self-taught by Suki. She was an enthusiastic, brassy little show-off who was constantly intruding on training sessions with the other rats as if to say, "No, no, no. Watch me, I can do it better!"
Aged 2 years, 11 months
Cause of Death: Suspected pituitary adenoma