November 8, 2006 was such an interesting day! I had gotten up early knowing I had to get the kids out of the house by 8 am in order to get our youngest son’s rat, Buster, to the vet. Poor Buster has been scratching himself raw.I guess in order to appreciate Buster; I’d have to share his story.
Our son had been having a bit of a hard time this past summer. He was lonely and just not making friends easily. So, we made a deal and decided to start praying for God to bring him a special friend. We prayed and prayed. One day, he and I ended up just the two of us going into the pet store. While we were there, he started asking for a pet mouse. I figured, what harm could a little $3 mouse be? At any rate, when we went to look at the fancy mice, mom (that’d be me) realized that the mice were very fast and if one were to get loose, we’d never find it. Plus, it just didn’t seem to be a good choice for a pet. So, I wisely suggested that we look at all of our options. From there we went to the Teddy Bear hamsters, but they were biting that day. We then moved on to the Dwarf hamster. They were better and we were definitely considering one of them! Now, I’d heard long ago that Blue rats make good pets, so when he wanted to go look at the fancy mice again, I suggested that he try taking a look at the blue rat in the cage next to the mice. He decided to at least try one out, so the salesman went back and pulled out the blue rat that he had picked and brought it out for him to have a look at. Well, that little blue rat seemed to take an instant liking to my boy. He immediately climbed up onto his shoulder and started sniffing him out as if to say, “It’s about time you showed up to get me!”
I need to get a few items, so the salesman told the boy that he could hold the rat while I grabbed my items. As I was
coming back with them, he earnestly says to me, “Mom, maybe this is the special friend that God has picked out for me!” I knew in that instant that there was no way I was walking out of that store without that rat! And that, is the story of how Buster came to
be a part of our family!
Anyway, back up to Tuesday, it’s early and we’re getting ready to go take poor Buster
to the vet. Now, most people probably wouldn’t take a rat to the vet, but the boy is so attached to him and I couldn’t bear the thought of something awful happening to Buster without my doing anything about it. So, we put Buster in the little critter cage and head out the door! He wasn’t happy about being in that little cage as he’s no longer a little baby rat, but a larger, fatter, rat. My son talked soothingly to Buster all the way to the vet. It worked, because pretty soon, Buster calmed down and actually seemed to enjoy the last five minutes of the ride!
I have to say, the veterinarian’s office was quite comical. You would have laughed at the “Oh, poor Buster” comments that were going on in that office! It was quite comical, but oh how he appreciated the concern shown for his beloved pet. Once we were taken back, the vet came in. Now, she is so young, she looks like a teenager, but we’d taken our bird to her once before and just loved her personality. She came in and started asking him questions about his pet; all the while trying to soothe poor Buster who only
wanted the boy and was not about to let her hold him! She explained the possible causes of Busters rash to us and that she was going to take him back and test him for mites. She said she didn’t think it was mites, but instead a viral infection that rats sometimes get which makes them itch like crazy. She told us she would clip Buster’s toenails and probably shave the area where the rash was at its worst so that we could put some medicine on it. Then she left the room with Buster.
At this point, the boy broke down into tears. He was so concerned that the shaving would hurt his dear pet. What type of clippers would they use? What if it cut him? What if it made him bleed? And….what if they shaved all of his hair off and Nathan started laughing at him? Ok, now being the wonderful mom that I am, I promptly stifled my laughter and calmed my poor son down Moments later, the vet returned with a squealing Buster. That rat sure was happy to see his boy! The good news was that the rat didn’t have mites, but the bad news was he did have the viral infection that makes him itch like crazy. The even better news was that he was not shaved completely bald as the boy had imagined, but instead just shaved around his stomach, neck and shoulders. The vet gave us the cream for the rash and told us that we were to rub it on the rash twice per day until the rash was gone and if it was still there in three weeks then to come back, but that it should work itself out within a few weeks.
Once we were home, we had the task of spreading the sticky goo onto the rash. The boy tried hard to hold his furry friend while I had the job of rubbing the ointment in. The first time Buster wasn’t going for it, but by the evening dose he’d apparently given in and decided he’d just hold still for the ordeal!
You’d think the above story was enough for one day, but no, life was not about to calm down for me yet! As it turned out, I’d
spend the next couple of hours trying to help my mother-in-law get my sick nephew who is visiting her from New Zealand, into a doctor. Shouldn’t seem so hard, but when the mom is in another country and can’t just hand over a notarized letter of permission to
treat, things get a little complicated! In the end, he finally did get to be seen by our family doctor and turns out he not only had a double ear infection, but bronchitis to go with it!
Ah, but still, the day wore on! I finally had a moment to settle down with a cup of hot tea and the computer. My youngest daughter came over and dramatically informed me that she needed a shower as she was hot. She made sure to keep her hand over her forehead for dramatic affect…she does tend to be a bit dramatic. I told her that was fine, she could take a shower if she needed to and proceeded to open up my email. Moments later, our oldest daughter came downstairs to inform me that drama queen was crying in the shower. Apparently she’d somehow managed to get a head full of silly putty and washing her hair wasn’t taking it out. Hmmmm….now I knew why she was covering her head so dramatically!
I headed upstairs to see what kind of damage she’d done to herself this time. I found her dripping wet in the shower with beige silly putty smeared into her hair at the front and forehead. Apparently she’d fallen asleep with silly putty in her hands and when she woke up she went to rub her face and promptly smeared the silly putty straight up her forehead and into her hair! What a sight! Of course, being the drama queen that she is, the world as she knew it was coming to an end! What would Daddy say when he came home and found out that mommy had to cut off all of her hair? Aunt Tracie would be so mad at her when she saw her at Thanksgiving with her hair all gone! On and on it went…oh the terrible things that would happen to my poor hairless child!
So, again…what’s a mom to do? I patiently pulled strand after strand as gently as I could with my fingernails, pulling the silly putty out piece by piece. Once I’d gotten out as much as I could, I called in her sissy to hold the shower hose while I washed the rest of it out. The shampoo didn’t do much good, so I got the bright idea to use conditioner instead. That seemed to loosen it up enough that I could pull the rest out and eventually get a comb through it. We were finally able to get it all out without cutting a single strand, although her head was quite red from the pulling. I will say that she didn’t cry one bit as I was pulling out the silly putty. As far as she knows, Daddy has no idea what happened (although he did get quite a laugh out of it!).
And so, by the time I was done with the silly putty, it was time to get dinner, take our middle son to his youth group and then get ourselves over to our small group. After small group was over, the hosts decided to give us a tour of their home. What a beautiful, yet very different home. It’s a 4000 sq. ft. house that sits on 1.5 acres of land, with twists and turns about it. We ended up staying a little longer because one of their Pomeranians got lost in the house somewhere and we had to spend some time searching for it! (Hey…if I can take a rat to the vet, I guess I can search for a missing dog, too!) We finally found the little fellow who’d gotten himself
locked into one of the rooms that we were in earlier and then we finished our tour. By the time we got home it was 9:30 pm.
Alas, but it still wasn’t over….middle son had apparently gotten home later than usual and so was still up doing homework and since mom was home she was now expected to help him through the rest of it…which she did, once again, as patiently as
And finally, at 10:30 pm, I was able to work my way upstairs to my bed to find not only the drama queen, but rat boy and dear hubs sound asleep, with no room for me to lie. At that point, I just gave up, pushed them all over as far as I could, crawled
into bed and fell promptly asleep. I guess it was a good thing I’d had several lessons of patience today!