Herbie was a black variegated.
Herbie and his friend Kitt both came to me from someone who had gotten them for their daughter, but the daughter had lost interest, and it was felt the rats didn't get the time they needed.
Both were almost 2 when I took them on, and unfortunately I didn't have them as long as I'd have liked.
Herbie, like Kitt, was simply a nice, mellow, relaxed old boy who was happy with the simple things in life. Although he lived a little longer than Kitt, his death was a little out of the blue.
Following Kitt's death, Herbie began to lose condition. He didn't appear to be ill in any obvious way, he just became less active, less perky, and spent more time sleeping. As there didn't seem to be anything actually wrong with him, I put it down to old age. However, almost 2 weeks after Kitt's death, I found Herbie dead in his cage. He seemed to have died in his sleep.
While this isn't unusual for an elderly rat, I can't help but wonder if his death was triggered by missing Kitt. The two had been one another's sole ratty companions for life, and were clearly bonded. Even though Herbie was now housed with many other boys to keep him company, I do suspect that he may have pined for Kitt. I've seen evidence of it in old bucks before who suddenly lose a life long friend.
If that is the case, there is nothing I could have done to help him, its just one of those sad situations :(
Why Herbie? Both Herbie and Kitt retained the names they had when I took them on. They were both named after famous cars.