Well, Pita is gone.
She came into my life one day as I was putting milk away in the refrigerator. I noticed that one of my bottles of tea that I had made had fallen over and some of the contents had drained out of the container. So while I was on my hands and knees cleaning out the bottom of the refrigerator, I felt something crawl across my foot.
Not being the jumpy sort, I looked down and saw a brownish-grey rat staring back at me. She skittered off to around the back of the sofa, but was easily coaxed out.
She was well fed, ignoring the food and water I offered her. She must have belonged to somebody, but nobody fessed up. What was I to do? Flush her down the toilet? Gracious, NO! So being the good steward, I went and got a cage, bottle, bedding, a ball, food, and who knows what else. I figured I'd take care of her until somebody came and got her.
The circumstances by which she entered into my life prompted me to name her "Pita", short for Pain In The Arse! It was a very appropriate name.
Being a rat, I couldn't just let her run freely around the apartment, since rats have an inclination to gnaw, chew, chomp, and raise hate-and-discontent with printer wiring. I found this out the hard way. Fortunately, I am adept at repairs...
Pita would sit on my lap while I was eating dinner and eat with me. I could always tell when she was full, because she would stop eating (unlike me!), snuggle down, and go to sleep. Like children, cats and puppies, she was cute when she was asleep!
As time progressed she slowed down, just sitting in her ball when I put her in there. More apt to sleep than to come out to play. Finally, age and rat maladies took their toll.
I keep trying to tell myself that it was only a rat. But she was a very cute rat. I am going to miss her.