Making friends!

August 6, 2010

I had to take Tully to the vets today as she has a little lump in her armpit. We have been given antibiotics and instructions to return in a week.

On the way back home I went via a friend’s to pick up her gerbils who are having a holiday here. I stopped for a cuppa and took the ratties in with me. (I took Thyme along to keep Tully company). Both got taken out of their carrier and Tully was running about on my friend and Thyme on my friend’s sister. They both got sleepy eventually and settled down to enjoy scritches and stroking and Thyme curled up like a little cat and went to sleep. She was so chilled out it was lovely and totally convinced my friend’s sister that she wanted a rat!

Then Tully had a little cuddle with my friend’s mum who is a bit rat tail phobic but had agreed by the end of the visit that they were very cute and I might convince her one day!!

So, I am very proud of my lovely cuddly girls – I always love convincing people how great rats are as pets.

Goodbye Marlon

July 4, 2009

Marlon died on Friday night. I thought he was getting better from his respiratory infection, the snottiness was getting less, he was eating and seemed brighter and was even putting on weight slowly. He was ok Friday afternoon, snuggled under the shelf with Bob, then I checked on them in the evening and he was stretched out, passed away. He hadn’t been gone long bless him. I took him, gave him a last cuddle and then he got buried in the garden.

I will do him a proper obit when I’ve found some decent photos of him.

Now of course Bob is on his own. I have decided to get him castrated and move him in with the girls. Hopefully this will also make him a nicer rat and will stop him biting and getting territorial and grumpy. I did try Sugar in with him today (she’s been spayed) so he has a bit of company and so he knows someone when going in with the girls, but he was a bit rough with her, pinning her down and making her squeak so I felt sorry for her and took her out. She’s so good natured and such a sweetie, it seemed mean to put her through it! I’m sure he’ll be ok on his own for a few weeks. I’ll phone the vets on Monday and book him in as soon as possible for the op. Fingers crossed it goes ok this time.

Rupert’s in love.

May 23, 2009

New girl Jemima is very enthusiastic when she is in season and will talk to the boys through the bars of the cage, then jump down, spin round into position (!) and vibrate her ears madly. It’s just like Doughnut used to do, but Jemima will do it when she’s in the cage, which Doughnut never did. she just used to tease the boys through the bars of their own cage!

The other evening Rupert spent the whole time he was out sat on the desk the girls’ cage is on, gazing at Jemima while she pinged about like a little floozy! I couldn’t resist and took a couple of photographs:

Lovestruck Rupert gazing into the cage

And reaching up to Jemima, whose tail you can just see.

A registered Rattery

May 20, 2009

I got confirmation yesterday that my application to the NFRS to become a Novice breeder has been approved. This means that I can now earn points and compete for the Novice Award at NFRS shows and shows that award NFRS stars, though in practice, it’s unlikely I will be getting to any NFRS shows! It also means I can call myself an NFRS registered rattery, and I am on the NFRS breeders list. It all feels very real now and has motivated me to get on with the website, so expect some updates shortly.

I am also pleased to report that Jemima’s abcess has burst and is already healing very nicely, after only having to clean it up once. Fingers crossed for no more! I have noticed the poor girl has scabs on her back again, I’m assuming this is from being picked on my Nutmeg and Fogwatt. She still seems happy though and is certainly not scared of them – yesterday, she stole a chicken bone off of Fogwatt. I do think, though, that when I get my girls for my breeding I will put Jemima in with them. She is a lot younger than my current girls, and she won’t get picked on like she is at the moment.

Cage changes

May 15, 2009

You probably noticed my last post was another obituary 😦 . I have lost 4 rats within the last month. However, they are all currently looking healthy so hopefully it will be a loooong time before I lose any more.

I have had a cage shift around recently, to reduce the number of cages i’m using and so I could put the girls in a new cage when I re-introduced Jemima to the other girls now her abcess has cleared up. The girls have been moved into the Tommy, which now has all three tiers. There is only 6 of them now so they have plenty of room even though the cage is slightly smaller than the aviary. Jemima seems to be getting on fine with the other girls. Nutmeg is still being a pain in the bum and picking on her occassionally but Jemima is bigger now and very confident so seems to be able to look out for herself!

The aviary has been split into two and the two groups of boys have been put in either half, Charlie and co in the top, and Bob & Marlon in the bottom. I contemplated introducing them but thought it was probably safest not to and they are so settled and happy in their individual groups.

So, I now only have 2 cages to clean out and have a little bit more space in the rat room.

A I said earlier Jemima’s abcess has cleared up, however I think she has another one. She has a pea sized lump on one of her shoulders so I am keeping an eye on it. If it is an abcess I would rather it burst in its own time and it is nowhere near as big and fast growing as the other one. Hopefully it won’t be anywhere near as gross when it does burst!

Up until recently I had my ratty treats in a carrier bag under the table the boy’s cage is sat on. Then the rats found them and started to help themselves so they got moved! The yoghurt drops are now on my desk.

Saffron seems to have taken on the trouble-maker role after the loss of Pepper, Treacle & Mustard and has discovered they are on the desk. So her favourite thing is to climb up my legs, up onto the desk and help herself to the yoghurt drops. After she’s had a couple I put her back down, but because rats are so persistant she keeps returning. Again and again, she runs up, I put her down, she runs back and climbs up, the whole time the girls are out.

The other day I decided to thwart her and put my feet under my stool so she couldn’t climb up, but she jumped onto the bar along the bottom of the stool instead and climbed up between my legs. So I closed my legs…. and she chewed a hole in my jeans!! I have decided she is unstoppable and she’s so cute. Mischief rats are my favourite 😀

Rat photographs

March 28, 2009

I have finally taken some photographs of Jemima. They aren’t very good as taking good photographs of pink eyed, pale rats is pretty impossible with a flash and it just bleaches them out completely. She is enjoying her free range time, she hurtles round at about 100 mph and is a nightmare to get hold of. She’s very busy and reminds a little bit of  Mustard. Today she thought she might get in the Guinea Pig cage! So it was pushed back against the wall and she didn’t try again after that. I don’t think they would have hurt her, but it was too big a risk. Anyway, here are a couple of dodgy photos:

PEW female fancy rat

PEW female fancy rat

And one of Doughnut just because it’s a cute photograph.

PEW female fancy rat 

Doughnut and Luke are both off to the vet’s next week to have their lumps looked at. Doughnut’s two are getting pretty big and the one in her groin is beginning to affect her walking. We were going to wait until they started to affect her quality of life, fully expecting her to start ‘getting old’  but she is still happy, still eating, maintaining weight and coming out to play. It seems awful to simply put her down because her lumps are getting too big. I hate the thought of putting her through an operation, but it seems mean not to.

Luke’s lump is also getting big and is growing quite fast. I am quite worried about putting him through an op as he is such a sickly thing, but he’s only about 18 months old and again I hate the thought of him being PTS just because his lump got too big. I shall have to speak to the vet and see what they think. I am also wondering if he does have the op about having him castrated at the same time as I wonder if he’ll be happier with the girls as he is most definitely an underdog in his current cage. Obviously though, I am really terrified of getting him castrated after what happened to Beau, so again, I shall need to really talk it through with the vet and have a really long think.

Jemima update

March 24, 2009

New girl Jemima is being picked on and has a lot of scabs across her back, so I have been watching them all carefully and Fogwatt (as usual) and Nutmeg appeared to be the main culprits. They would both chase after her and I caught Nutmeg holding on to her back with her teeth and not letting go! So Nutmeg and Fogwatt have been taken out of the aviary and have been moved into the spare Jenny cage. Hopefully, this will give Jemima a chance to build up some confidence and settle in better. I will still let them out to play together and hopefully, eventually they will all go back into the aviary together.

Jemima does seem happier already. At food time she is now sitting with the other girls round the bowl, not just sneaking down for a bit of food when no-one’s watching and rushing up to eat it in ‘her’ tube. Doughnut is being a bit grumpy with her and Sugar has grumped a couple of times, but they don’t keep on at her like the other two did, so hopefully she’ll be fine. If needs be, I can move Doughnut to the naughty cage too!

Visit to the vet

December 10, 2008

I was at the vets again yesterday with Treacle & Doughnut. Poor Treacle has an upper respiratory thing, and has had a couple of courses of Baytril, which seem to clear it up, then it comes back, so she has now got some Baytril & some Synulox to take for a fortnight. She is having her Baytril in biscuit balls as usual and I gave her dose this morning when she was in her hammock. I held the other hooligans out the way, while she ate it then when she’d done I let the others go. Sugar went straight up to her, put a paw either side of Treacle’s face and licked her mouth, ‘sharing’ her biscuit crumbs! They do make me laugh. Hopefully the antibiotics will help because the poor girl is really looking quite ill, she has lost a lot of weight and is very snotty. I keep wondering whether to move her to a hospital cage but she’s still getting about so well and she’s always snuggled up in a big pile of ratties, so it seems nicer for her to leave her with her friends.

Doughnut has a lump under her armpit. I’m assuming it’s a mammary lump. It’s grown over the last 6 – 8 weeks from smaller than a pea to grape sized, so I decided it was time to get it removed. She’s booked in for 23rd December, so fingers are firmly crossed that she pulls through it ok.


December 2, 2008

Well I have made a decision about what to try with Luke. He is definitely not happy at the moment and is particularly nervous of Rupert & Charlie. I have decided as the first course of action to attempt to intro him to Bob, Monty & Marlon. If that doesn’t work I will re-think my options.

Yesterday Luke met Marlon for about 10 minutes out on the desk in the rat room. They sniffed each other and that was it. Marlon was too busy wanting to get off the desk to explore but they sat on my lap together, taking very little notice of each other, so I was pleased about that. I then put Marlon away and Monty met Luke. He was slightly more boisterous with his sniffing but it was only sniffing, nothing more. He was more interested in the smells on the desk as well as was slowly getting a bit puffed up, so I put him away. I think Bob is going to be the hard one and it was only 10 minutes with the other two, but it was a promising 10 minutes. I am planning on doing intro’s very slowly in the bath, which is total neutral territory, introducing the 3 boys to Luke one at a time and going from there. So, fingers crossed.