Rotting Green Rats

sage, poetry, prose, poems, steven humphreys

No one I know of loves Rotting Green Rats

But, that’s not the point of it

At least, not now

I love my little Tammy still

And, I miss her so

It’s been over fifteen years

This is for her, I do

Such a wonderful friend who accompanied me on my quest for work in Arizona in the early nineteen nineties

She was so happy in her cage when I came back to the Motel

It jumped up and down on the cage ready to greet me

She smiled as she licked my face

She crawled under my shirt

I felt her claws gaining traction on my chest

Until, she popped her cute little head out and licked my face

She was getting old and couldn’t see well

One day she fell off the couch and onto the hardwood floor

It was my fault, as I should have been watching her better

I wish I would’ve caught her

But, didn’t get there in time

That, I believe, shortened her life

The poor thing was never the same after that

But, I also spoiled her and fed her too much, making her fat

This isn’t what makes a pet healthiest

Furthermore, She was even my drinking buddy

Licking up Jack and Coke

And, eating buttered salted popcorn

Such a good loyal friend

I even kissed her on her fat little belly making farting sounds

She squirmed and from what I could tell, laughed

But, for me, The guilt still remains…

And, I’m miserably sorry

I don’t think I will ever forgive myself for leaving her alone on that couch that day she fell and hurt herself

I still love her so

God, it hurts so, still…

There’s an emptiness and pain in my heart

You’d think I was talking about an old flame

But, old flames don’t measure up

I remember so clearly the day she died

It was a terrible day for me

Everything happened bad that day

I got laid off from my job

It was Christmas eve

I was alone living by myself on a holiday drunk drinking drink after drink and smoking cigarette after cigarette

What else could go wrong?

And, something topped it all

Making the saddest day in my life come true

And, she was dying right in front of me resting at the bottom of her cage in the wood shredding struggling to breathe

I was very distraught

I felt so lost and helpless

It was terribly hard to bear

I wasn’t able to handle it

There was nothing I could do

This dying stuff happens every day in every way

Dying is so common…

And then she died taking my heart and soul with her to wherever she went

I buried her in a purple scarf next to the fence and marked the spot

I eventually moved

But, I couldn’t take her with me

If I were God, I would cherish her and appoint her the angel of angels

That’s my prayer

That’s my plea

But, I would rather have her back crawling on top my head and shoulders even though she made a few occasional mistakes from a number one and two

You know what I mean

What can you expect from a pet rat, anyway?

Of course, I forgave her

She couldn’t be trained not to

Everywhere was her toilet bowl

The next day, and this is no lie

I saw a cloud formation with her face

It was a smiling face  way up in the air

A happy face

It was the only face left in life for me to love at the time

And, I had it taken from me

I was so alone and miserable

Drinking didn’t help

Smoking didn’t help either

But, her face in the cloud didn’t stay that way long

The cloud soon broke apart in pieces fading away into the blue

And, that face of my sweet little furry girl sadly disappeared forever

But, my love for her is still as pure as it was then

Thankyou Tammy for being my girl

I will always love you

As corny as this may sound…

Over a mere pet rat

But, it was my girl who I loved and still do

Believe it or not, my eyes are full of tears right now

This I am allowed, because I am an old, sometimes foolish man

My love for her just won’t leave me

It never will

That’s OK with me

My memory has faded somewhat

But, I pray the first one I see when I go to heaven, if there is such a place like that, is Tammy crawling up my pant leg to rejoin me and kiss me on my face to greet me

I want to drink together, eat popcorn, and for her to snuggle close on my neck

I can say now without a doubt that I learned something about myself that I did not know before

That I have the capacity to love selflessly

And, that this love never leaves me

It’s always there Inside this human shell

I call, me…

rotting green rats, poems, poetry, prose, steven humphreys
“Rotting Green Rats.” Tammy I will always love you…

Story behind Rotting Green Rats (My tribute to Tammy)

Thanks for visiting PoetryMadness.Com. I got really inspired and wrote poetry all night long one night when I was fifteen. One of my first fifty something poems was the one above titled ‘Rotting Green Rats.

The scene took place in a storm drain pipe down the hill by the street in front of my house…

steven humphreys writer, poetry, poems, prose, poet
I will always love my little pet rat ‘Tammy’

I have since rewritten it because of a pet rat I bought thirty some years later to keep me company traveling around to Arizona in construction. Unlike their reputation in the movies; if you have ever owned one, you know how sweet and affectionate they actually are.

She was always so happy to greet me when I came home after work. It jumped up and down in the cage anxious for me to take it out. It licked my face kissing me, even nibbling on my fingers

She was such a great companion crawling under my shirt, popping her head out then continuing on my shoulder and top of my head. I can still feel those beautiful little claws scratching on me. She joined me eating buttered popcorn, even sharing a little jack and coke as I watched some corny ‘B’ horror movie in a lonely old motel.

I named my precious adopted girl ‘Tammy.’ I was totally devastated when she died. Everything went wrong that dreadful day. It was Christmas Eve, I got laid off from my job, I had no family, and my pet was virtually my only friend left in the world. It was terrible. Sadly, they only live about four years at the longest. I miss her to this very day. The poem I wrote, is a tribute to her. I will always love my daughter rat, ‘Tammy.’

You never know which one of nature’s creatures you will love and cherish until you actually have the experience of owning one…


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