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Goodbye Templeton

March 19, 2009


Templeton is the agency mascot. It all started back at the old building on Papin Street on the 5th floor about four years ago. One fine day, a fat fancy rat in a cage showed up on Bonnie’s desk with a bag of food and some sad sob story about needing a place to crash. The creatives embraced the rat. (Most of the planners just tolerated him.) He was dubbed Templeton. His cage was placed on a large table in the center of the floor. Cage extensions and rat toyz were procured. People took him home for visits. It was, frankly, out of control.

So anyway, we moved over a year ago to a big time new building on Clark Avenue with lots of green cred and a great view. We used the move to recycle unwanted stuff that just sort of showed up. You know, like Templeton. But people loved him, so he was bundled up and given a new table in the new building.

Soon after the move, someone noticed that Templeton’s a woman. Yeah. Rat anatomy isn’t obvious I guess.

Someone else thought she might be lonely. (We value collaboration at RT and the care of the rat is a case study.  Mmm-hmm.)  So anyway a friend was found for Templeton. That rat was ornery and bit people. It was returned to the breeder. After the biting rat, Templeton’s stock as an Awesome Rat Above All Rats rose exponentially. She was featured on posters for our agency band. Somehow she became our unofficial mascot and then our official “unofficial” mascot. I know. It’s very strange. Very bizarre. And very RT. Like the freak show wall hangings.

So now we’ve come to the end of the road. Templeton’s got a big tumor on her head and the vet said “it’s time to say goodbye.” Or at least that’s what Jayne and Bonnie say the vet said. People are saying goodbye. Some will miss her terribly. Others won’t. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of rats. But I do have pets that I love and I know some folks are really torn up about this.  You don’t throw birthday parties for a rat — with mimosa no less — if you don’t care deeply. Condolences to you all.

I selected a poem to give comfort the grieving as they say goodbye to Templeton, our agency’s fancy rat.

Funeral Blues
by WH Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut of the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My moon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one:
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods:
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

One Comment leave one →
  1. katie permalink
    March 20, 2009 10:45 am

    This is so sad – I didn’t even know Templeton was sick 😦 I just thought the bucket list was for fun. I’m not a fan of rats either but I always thought she was cute, if I could just get past the tail.

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