Josh was an agouti dumbo and great grandson of Seven.
Josh was one of those special rats who come along now and then, and I was absolutely smitten with him. Perhaps it was simply because he had that very unique spark that Seven also had, and now Warlock is showing too. It isn't an over statement to say he was my best friend, and my reason for getting up in the morning. I would have died for that rat.
What is odd is that as a kitten, Josh had little interest in humans or affection. He was quite an independant little thing and didn't tend to even show a lot of personality as a youngster. But as he aged, he ended up having more personality than anyone else!
Josh was one of the rats who became very ill during the infection of July 2006. On at least one occasion he looked as if he should be euthanised, and had the vet been open, I most likely would have done. However, I kept him in my room for 3 days where he slept on my bed and I regularly syringe fed him fluids and liquid foods when he wouldn't eat, and he made a remarkable recovery. I would never have expected him to survive,since at one point he had blue feet and was running about gasping for air; exactly what his brother Juju did before he died from the infection. Im not a religious person at all, but I don't mind admitting that that was one of the times I prayed in desperation for him to be helped. And for whatever reason, he was.
Josh began to improve almost immediately, and within days he was fighting fit again. I've been told that rats who got so close to death with the infection rarely turned the corner again, so in that respect, Josh was truely special.
I used to spend hours with Josh, and he was a favourite of my mum's too. The day I found him dead in his cage was one of the most painful of my life. He seemed to have died in his sleep, but I was so upset that I couldn't be there for him. He was a complete mummy's boy toward the end of his life, and was never more relaxed than when he was with me, and I really wish I could have said goodbye to him. My one comfort is that he didn't appear to have suffered any, and just seemed to have died peacefully in his sleep. Even now I sometimes still cry over that rat. Run free, Joshy.
Why Josh? In contrast to JuJu, Josh had his name the day he arrived. I've always loved names beginning with the letter J, and Joshua is a nice old fashioned name, but mostly he is named after Josh Homme of QOTSA due to the fact that his fur is a lovely ginger/red colour in good light! Rats respond better to names with one or two syllables and they learn their names more easily. Josh knows his though whether he chooses to respond is another matter.