Anansi, one of the African rats, is very ill. Last night I fed them before bed, and took the sleeping box out to check on them as usual, and I thought that Anansi was dead. He was very still and totally cold. I called Phil to come downstairs, and he noticed a very slight heartbeat and slow, shallow breathing, so we wrapped him in towels and took him upstairs to try to revive him.
It’s been incredibly cold here – Phil was stranded for a bit on his way home due to heavy snow and just barely made it home. The combi-boiler doesn’t come on all the time as it should, and we think that it got too cold in the house and Anansi slipped into coma due to hypothermia. After trying to get his circulation up, we filled the sink with warm water and held him in there; I have never felt a living creature as cold as that. In the warm water, you could feel an envelope of cold around him coming from his body. We called the emergency vet, and they said to continue what we were doing and bring him in in the morning if he made it that far. So, he was bedded down with two hot water bottles and wrapped in towels in a cat carrier next to the radiator by the bed.
This morning he was still cold and unresponsive, so the vet gave him an anti-shock injection (probably a mild stimulant), ran fluids under the skin to hydrate him, and started him on antibiotics.
There’s a bit more movement now, although he’s still in a very deep sleep. Poor Aja is upset; when I went to check on her she bit me, probably feeling very vulnerable because she’s never been without him. Tonight when she wakes up, we’ll put his cage by her for a bit so that she can see that he’s still alive.
I think the vet was quite interested in having the chance to examine an animal that he’d never heard of before – he turned him over to look at him, looked in his mouth, etc. :)
Fingers crossed…I just wish he’d wake up.
Other than that all-night drama, everything is fine except for the miserable weather. On Friday everyone was so burned out that the owner of the business went out and came back with a shopping bag full of beer, then sat on the floor and played guitar while everyone drank beer and just bullshitted. It was good…I was very much looking forward to this weekend.