What in the world is a FUGS?
I was at a pet store buying litter and overheard some young man talking about buying the "UGLY" looking rat that was on the counter top. He thought it would make a great PRANK if he took the rat and tossed it in the bed of his ex girlfriend
All I imagined was the poor rat being beaten to death or stomped to death. I bought him right away.
Turns out he was a special type of rat called a patchwork. He also had dumbo ears which made him even more unique. He used to change his looks, molting, or as we teased and called it, MORPHING, each 10 to 12 days he took on a new look. He was obnoxious in a fun loving sort of way. He used to spin in circles as I sang to him "I'm just wild about Hairy!" and he would come up to me and swat out the bars for MORE! Soon as he heard the clapping he would spin and dance.
He was also very high strung and hyper. No other males wanted to tolerate him. I purchased a younger rat for him, Peanut, who is very calm and laid back, but Hairy would jump him, urinate on him and just would not stop bothering him. Poor Peanut was scared of him too. I figured I would go ahead and neuter him which would possibly calm him down. Turns out the vet that did the surgery was very neglectful and did not suture him up internally the proper way. For nearly 3 days I begged her to open him up and look inside, I felt he was bleeding internally. He was cold to the touch, unresponsive and would not move from the corner of his cage. I kept bringing him in to the vet and she kept saying he is FINE he just is sore. He died in the vet techs arms two days after the neuter. I was beyond crushed. I was sick. There would never be another dancing rat again.
The song is retired just for Hairy, my FUGS, my funny looking little boy.
He was 5 months old. I will never forget him as I will always remember my other rats too. He was just robbed of his life so early. It was not fair.
If it was due to an illness or other ailment that could not be cured it would be a little different, but to know that your little funny rat lost his life due to a very critical error and worse yet, a vet that you trusted was so arrogant about the entire situation, even telling you that he died because he was a mutant and he couldnt handle the gases used for surgery (necropsy proved otherwise) it is totally HEARTBREAKING!
So what does FUGS mean?
It started out as a joke due to the strange yet unique way that Hairy looked. He was freaking ugly cute. You know, like a bulldog, or a pushed in faced peke-faced persian cat, as they say, a face only a mother can love! This of course was not true especially when it comes to rat lovers. We love them all, regardless of shape, size, fur texture etc...
So, now that we got that straight, what does a FUGS look like? Ready to fall in love?
Below are several shots of Hairy as he went through various phases of what I called "morphing" and I do believe the proper way to say it is "molting" but regardless, Hairy had many costumes he changed in every few weeks. He seemed happier when he was totally naked, having just peach fuzz on his body and a few tufts of hair here and there. The darker pigmented areas is where the darker fur would grow in but he never grew fur all over his entire body like furred fancy rats do.
He had a way of getting to people and tugging their heart string the moment they laid eyes on him. He had fans at the pet store and still if I ever run in to someone that worked there, they remember Hairy and ask about him. The look of devastation on their faces as I tell of his misfortune lets me know that Hairy made an impact on everyone that he every met. He really did break the mold, thats for sure. There will never be another Fugs in this lifetime, this I can guarantee. I did not love Hairy any more than my other rats. I love them all the same, never taking any favorites. Its the way his life was robbed from him and from me ! Robbed by someone that I trusted to take care of him, not to take his life away at such a young age.
I often wonder what he would have looked like once he reached adult maturity.
Would he be a squishy roly poly boy that ended up being more content in my lap than snooping around the room?
Would he be long and lean?
Would he still dance and spin even after he was neutered, or would he forever hold a grudge for having someone remove his err..."manhood"?!
I didnt want to take that part away from him (his outgoing personality that is) I wanted him to simply chill out so other rats would'nt resent him and try to hurt him like they did. I didnt want Hairy to live his life alone. He enjoyed people too much and he enjoyed annoying the heck out of other rats too! Sleep well sweet funny guy, now you can play with many more of my fur kids, for there are many of them there with you now.
Now, may I present to you, Hairy, my FUGS!
Take note that these photos were taken just about a week apart. Sometimes he would actually "morph" throughout the night. I would find alot of darker hair on the paper towels I lined the floor of his igloo with (doing this also allows rat owners to monitor for excessive porphryin since it shows up real good on a white background, but thats another story)
This hair loss would prove to me that he was shedding his "face mask" and now would have his "Elvis sideburns" and indeed he did! This would often happen during the night....over, say, a period of 9 hours. I would go to bed around midnight and get up around 7ish and check on the rats and sure enough....Hairy had morphed in that short period of time!! It would take a few days for his new look to fully grow in but believe me, he would take on an entire new look and you would swear someone switched rats on me
The Angel Said
I thought I would miss you so, And never find my way...And then I heard the Angels Say, She is with you every day.
by Victoria Leib
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
What would I do without you,
My precious Furry Friend?
Part mischief, but all blessing,
and faithful to the end!
You look at me with eyes of love,
You never hold a grudge,
You think I'm far too wonderful
To criticize or judge.
It seems your greatest joy in life
Is being close to me,
I think God knew how comforting
Your warm, soft fur would be.
I know you think you're human,
But I'm glad it isn't true,
The world would be a nicer place
If folks were more like you.
A few short years are all we have,
One day we'll have to part,
But you, my pet, will always have
A place within my heart.