When I left school, I was terribly depressed, and all my life I'd wanted a pet rat but never been allowed one. I moved out from my parent's house, and immediately got my first rat, Carl Sagan. That was 2 1/2 years ago, and this week he died. He helped me through so much - the feeling of having a loving, curious, intelligent creature's well-being in my hands gave me the drive to get up every day and do what I had to. I'm doing much better now, and have a much larger rat community now! Carl is terribly missed, but I'll always remember how much support his presence offered.