She didn’t do a lot of actual writing, obviously. Her tiny hands were too small to manage the keyboard. However, she kept me company through two years’ worth of story ideas, various plotting, my enthusiasm for one project, frustrations over another and a joyride of other writer-emotions. Through it all, she maintained a positive attitude of joy and curiosity. Therefore, she earned the title writing partner.
If you’ve never enjoy rat companionship, it’s akin to having an extremely small dog. Rats are inquisitives creatures that will explore every cluttered portion of your desk. They crave the attention of their humans and will gladly join you for a shoulder ride, play time or other adventure. Most of all, they enjoy treats. Shamu in particular enjoyed treats. So much so that her veterinarian once put her on a diet.
Of the three creatures we cared for from pup-hood through old age, Shamu had the biggest appetite. By that I mean she never lost her sense of adventure or joy for being alive. Even in her last hours, she insisted on climbing, playing and a final trip around the house. (We knew the end was near when she settled down on my lap to watch a horror movie. She’d never sat still for so long in her life.) Nor did she lose her appetite. In fact, she died in mid-chew, her mouth full of food.
Shamu is survived by her doting dads and preceded in death by two sisters, Gremlin and Grinder. Final arrangements were handled by Pikes Peak Pet Crematory. We will forever miss her and remain grateful for the brief time we shared together. RIP Shamu.