Goodbye 2007!

January 3, 2008

A year ago yesterday I bought my first two girly rats – Treacle and Charlotte. A year on and I own 15 of them, have my own rat room, have been to a rat show, raised a litter and am planning on getting two more hooligans.

There is a thread on the NFRS forum about ratty wishes and dreams for 2008, so thought i’d put mine here as well.

But first to finish off 2007!

Those of you that can keep track may be wondering why I said I have 15 rats and not 12. The reason is the guy who was going to have the last of Sugar’s litter change his mind and decided to get some closer to him, so the 3 girls are still here. I have got really attached to them and they are so lovely, I just don’t want to part with them. I have changed Marzipan’s name to Fudge in honour of Charlotte who she is the spitting image of! I named Charlotte Fudge when I got her, but Steve decided she would be ‘his’ rat and changed her name. So, Fudge, Saffron and Nutmeg are now permanent residents. They are living in the Jenny with Burmickity, Sugar and Fogwatt and seem to be getting on fine with only a few minor scuffles every so often.

I am free-ranging all 12 girls together, so they get more time out now I only have two groups to free-range separately. They’re all getting on fine – just Pepper and Fogwatt still squabbling and an occasional little scuffle if someone gets over-enthusiastic about the humping and/or grooming!! Sugar’s babies have really grown in confidence since being out in the big group. They would run and hide before creeping back out slowly when I got into the play pen with them when it was just the three of them, but now they don’t worry at all, just come straight over. I guess they feel safer in a big group as well as following the big girl’s example.

I extended the boy’s cage slightly by putting one cage top on top of another (oh, the miracle that is cable ties!) so it’s slightly taller and they are still soft and soppy. Charlie is the smallest at 430g with Jools and Rupert weighing in at 460g ish. They spend most of their time when out free-ranging beating each other up.

I am adding two more boys to the numbers soon. They’re coming from work. They’ve been there several months and have recently been taken off sale and put in the isolation room (sick bay) due to one having chewed his fur off his front legs and the other has a bald spot on top of his head at the base of his ear. They’ve been treated for mites and the fur has started growing back on the one’s front legs but the other still has his bald spot. I wonder if it’s simply barbering through boredom. I can’t bring them home yet as we have to sort out adoption paperwork with the Inverness branch. I wouldn’t have taken them if i’d had to pay the store for them, but the money will go to the charitable foundation which is slightly better – though I still feel i’m letting down my ethics slightly! They are lovely boys – one is an agouti hoody and an adventurous hooligan, the other a champagne berkshire and he is softer and cuddlier. In the past i’ve been able to resist boys due to only having girls but now I have boys too it’s harder. Steve didn’t help by declaring that they had to come home with us the minute he laid eyes on them! The bloke I had to bribe into getting the first two this time last year!!

So there you have it – the end of my first ratty year – and here’s to another one! Cheers!!

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