You may have seen the piece I wrote a month ago Called The Death Of A loved One, talking about the death of Milkyway our pet rat. (It’s in the section “Awakening.” Well there were actually two rats.
Just a few days after his companion died, the second one, Home Boy, previously extraordinarily healthy, became terribly ill. He developed an equlibrium disturbabce, that made it impossible for him to walk. I suspected a brain tumor or stroke. I didn’t think it was a mere inner ear problem because not only couldn’t the poor guy walk or climb, but he spun head over heels every time he took a step. His left back leg was also paralyzed.
Just like people, it’s not uncommon that when one’s lifelong companion dies, the other soon follows and I was sure this was going to happen, especially because Home boy stopped eating and drinking. (completely out of character. Eating was his greatest joy, in fact he was rather fat.) Much like Milkyway, he lay in his cage without moving, hardly breathing at all. He had a terrible look of pain on his face.
There wasn’t much I could do, but I began giving Home Boy Qigong. I’d send Qi into his head and spine. It seemed to help. His eyes and facial expression showed less pain. I also held him in my hands and let the love flow through the Lao gong point to bathe his entire body with Qi. I performed Qigong about a half dozen times a day. Homeboy still refused drink, but he accepted tiny pieces of avocado, and juicy fruit like peaches and cherries from my hands. It was extremely difficult for him to eat as he couldn’t seem to find the food with his face. I held the food securely in front of him and he took a few bites. It sometimes took 5 minutes for him to get a bite of food in his mouth.
Homeboy used to like to climb and sleep on the loft, but he was now confined to the bottom level of the cage. With his condition he was soiling his body with his own excrement, and the paper litter stuck to body and face. I took him outside to clean him. It seemed fitting that he should die clean and fresh. The bath, his first ever, seemed to surprise him. It also gave him a bit of energy. While I was cleaning out his cage, I let him sit on the grass. He tried to burrow under the tall weeds. This was the answer I was looking for. Instead of the paper litter, I lined his cage with sweet smelling fresh grass. He burrowed under it and slept.
This routine went on for about two and a half weeks:
Clean his cage putting in fresh grass, a bath, letting Homeboy stay on the earth for 30-45 minutes, feeding by hand, and a lot of Qigong. His expression of pain vanished, and he seemed to be enjoying life again.
One day last week, I left a little dish of fruit, cheese, and avocado in his cage. The next morning it was gone.
Homeboy still doesn’t drink anything, but he eats by himself. He is extremely loving, and really enjoys the mornings outside. He’s found a place where the lawn is bordered by bricks–– a safe place to hang out while I do my Tai Qi, Yoga, and Qigong. All the while he makes happy noises. when I’m finished he gets to soak up some of the Qi I’ve generated.
Of course I have no delusions that Homeboy will completley recover. Nor do I think he will live much longer. He’s already quite old. A rat lives only a few short years. But it’s now been a month since the incident. That would be the equlivant of 3-4 years of human life. I’ll keep you posted.
After more than 20 years as a healer I can say only one thing for sure: love heals.