Karni was a black hooded.
Karni and her sister Queenie came to me via the social worker to a member of the public who could no longer cope with the rats. She had young children, and seemingly a lot of problems of her own so I agreed to take them both on. Little did I know at the time that both rats had tumours. Although this likely wouldn't have affected my decision to take them on (after all, rats like that are the ones who need the most help as few other people want to take on rats with costly medical problems), it was a bit of a shock when I discovered it. Their previous owner likely didn't notice the lumps, but as both girls were only a year old and otherwise fit, I decided to go ahead and get them operated on.
This is a photo of Karni a few hours after I picked her up, showing her lump. It is on her lower belly, the left hand side of your screen:
This was the largest amount of money I have paid for rescue rats in such a short amount of time. I booked both girls in to see my vet while I was waiting for my train after picking them up! Queenie was booked in for her op a couple of weeks later, and Karni another 2 weeks after that. The RSPCA offered me £20 per rat, which was a help but the ops came to £90 each, and I worked part time! However, no rat of mine has ever gone without vet care, and despite people telling me it wasn't my responsibility to pay out for them, I feel it is. As soon as a rescue rat comes to me and becomes my rat, its my responsibility. Of course its nice if previous owners or the charities who refer these rats to me offer me some money, but ultimately I do not ever expect it.
Karni was a lovely girl, one of the lickiest does I've ever had. She was always overweight, and was one of those rats who just lived for food. She was a real character, and so gentle and amenable. Unfortunately, she had another lump appear on her belly not long after her first op, and was euthanised when it began to impact on her quality of life. Unfortunately, she and her sister were examples of the kind of bad breeding perpetuated by pet shops and BYBs.
Why Karni? Karni was named after the goddess Karni Mata, the followers of whom were supposedly all reincarnated as rats. She has a temple devoted to her in India which is home to many wild rats that are worshipped and cared for by her followers. I adore this whole idea, and the idea of rats being worshipped in general, so what better name for a gorgeous female rat?