Moloch the Mystic
Moloch was a black hoodie dumbo.
I got Moloch from the Pets At Home adoption centre when he was about 12 weeks. He was, as is often the case, being kept alone. His write up stated that he had suffered an abscess on his jaw, and the vet had claimed he had problems with his teeth, and clipped them back. The write up stated that this would probably need to be an on-going thing, and that he would need an owner prepared to deal with any issues with his teeth.
As I had already owned a rat that required regular teeth clipping (Spectre), I knew I would be the ideal home for him. Few people are prepared to take on a rat with tooth problems as it means either learning to clip the teeth yourself, something your casual pet owner finds daunting, or it means a lot of money in regular vet visits to get them clipped. I figured this boy didn't stand much chance of an experienced home, so I took him on.
On getting him home, and actually being able to give him a once over, I found that this teeth were actually perfect. There was nothing at all wrong with them; they met nicely in the middle and showed no signs of being over-grown or abnormal.
This was a good thing, but confusing as to how the vet he supposedly saw would claim he had something wrong with his teeth when he clearly didn't.
Moloch was popped into The Comedian's group, as he was exactly the right age, and would have loads of friends to play with. Seeing him begin to leap about in excitement once he realised he had so many play mates, after weeks of being alone, was wonderful. He was so happy to have companions.
After a few weeks, Moloch developed an abscess on his jaw, just as Pets At Home claimed he'd had while in their care. It was small, superficial, and was lanced and flushed out without issue. But it does make me wonder if there is something a little amiss with him. Rats this young don't tend to get jaw abcesses twice in such a short space of time. Presumably, Pets At Home saw his original abscess, and assumed it had to be related to teeth due to its location. Throw in a vet with little knowledge on rats and how 'normal' rat teeth are meant to look, and it explains why his teeth were clipped: the vet probably didn't know what he was doing and thought clipping the teeth would sort it.
I kept a close eye on Moloch, as it turned out he was prone to these abscesses. For a while, they stopped completely, but returned again when he was elderly. He also suffered a serious bout of respiratory distress at about a year old, and I was sure I'd lose him. But amazingly, he pulled through and went on to live around another year.
In the end, he simply grew old and frail, and not long after Pagliacci was put to sleep, I found a hard mass in Moloch's belly. I arranged to have him put to sleep the second it started to affect him, but he took the decision out of my hands and passed away overnight.
He was always a happy, bubbly, playful little rat with a great lust for life.
Why Moloch? Another Watchmen reference.