A friend is, as it were, a second self.- Marcus Cicero
I would just like to take a moment to pay my respects to the late Cicero (fittingly named after the philosopher), my pet rat. Fondly known as Cissy, she was one of the most mischievous and playful souls I have ever had the pleasure of coming in contact with mine. Now, many people say, "that's just how rats are" well, true they are known for such behaviors but she was so much more than that. Cissy came into my life not so long ago when my good friend asked me to look after her for the summer. I quickly fell in love with the little sweetheart, and pretty much adopted her immediately. Taking her on as my own she became my closest friend, the one consistent soul among my own that I could turn to with all the rapid and not so rapid changes happening in my life. Normally I don't like to share my personal life on my blog with much else but my artwork, however she taught me some valuable things I would like to share with you all.
Anyone that got to spend time with Cissy understood her gentle nature and larger than life personality, she bonded with everyone, rats are social, but she knew how to play with you, how to get you going, and how to love you. I am really honored to have had special moments with her that no one got to experience but myself. Like, when she would take the bits of paper I use for collage and then run SO FAST cause she knew she wasn't supposed to take them. Few things have been funnier than see that sweet little thing running away with an eye, ear or nose. On odd occasions I would let her keep her trophies, and these nests she made would look like some horribly disfigured person! Definitely the root of some inspiration that is for sure. Always so fascinated with what I was doing she would literally run over my drawings as I was drawing them, and steal papers, pencils, what have you, out of my hand when I needed them most. Cissy loved to run around my desk, she would re-organize and steal objects lying around, such as a stuffed animal that was her size, which she took on as a friend. Even in her cage she was NEVER satisfied with where I had placed her toys so she would destroy everything until it was the way she liked it. (Who knew a rat could be such a picky interior decorator?) She loved to get on my window sill (even tho she knew she wasn't supposed to go up there) and knock everything off, even tho she would attempt to skillfully step over my rocks and shells. But one of my favourite things she did was when she would lick my hand clean! As if she were some sort of pup! I would make kissy noises at her and she would lick my lips, I'd open my mouth and being the daredevil she was she would stick her whole head in there! Now, this may not sound like the most sane or even sanitary thing to do with your pet rat, but she was hilarious! Curious, mischievous, really full of life!
It's hard to sum up any living creature in a few sentences, even in a few memories it almost seems to make it feel like less than more, but Cissy really taught me a few things. Even up to an hour or so before her passing, Cissy did not want to be in her cage, she wanted to be out on my desk, and running around in her favourite places. That girl would not stand still, she refused to give up. I always called Cissy my little psycho, and my god I will be lucky if i get to be that psycho in my life. I say psycho in the sense of will power and determination beyond any source of reason. I hope that I can manage to live my life the way she did which is to relentlessly play, never stop trying, live until your last moment, and love without question. You will know you have achieved these things once it defies all reason, logic, or even proper manners.
So here's to you Cicero, I loved you more than most, and God knows I liked you more than the general populace. You were a great friend to me, and it was my pleasure to have your company for the time I did. I will remember you fondly, and miss you sorely. Rest in peace sweetheart.