Bye Bye Tinkerbell & Sugar

January 13, 2010

Had to make a trip to the vets with Tinkerbell & Sugar today. They had both started to get very old and were struggling to get around and had both got very skinny. Tinks in particular was in a very bad way, with a nasty scab on her tummy so I thought it kindest to send them on their final journey together.

Tinkerbell 14/02/07 – 13/01/10

My longest lived rat (so far) came from down in Falkirk from a breeder who had taken on a rescue litter. Tinkerbell and Doughnut were the 3rd and 4th rats I ever had. Steve named Tinkerbell and it was always too dainty a name for the sort of rat she was! She got called Tinks or Tinky for short.

She was a little hooligan, always out to play for the longest when she was younger and she could be a little bit arguementative with the other girls. She was never a cuddly rat when she was younger but after she got spayed she would sit still for longer on me and at one time actually got quite clingy. As she got older she preffered to sleep and would give me a little nip if she didn’t want to come out of bed at cleaning out time. She loved the company of other rats and would always be found snuggled up with Sugar.

Baby Tinky soon after she arrived

Posing during a photoshoot

and again

On her first birthday eating malt loaf with Pepper

And again on her first birthday.

Bye Bye Tinks, we’ll miss you loads, go find Doughnut and the other girlies.

Sugar – ?/2007 – 13/01/10

Sugar was a very special rat. She was the first rat that had babies here and gave me the perfect introduction to raising baby ratties. She arrived late September 2007 and 4 days later gave birth to 11 little ones. She was fine with me handling them from day 1. Her favourite thing while I was handling and weighing her babies was to stash food under my pillow! I would go to bed and find a little pile of (thankfully) dry rat food. She outlived all of the six of her children that stayed here.

Sugar loved food. She was always too fat but it just added to her cuddly charm. She was the perfect rat to introduce to those that didn’t like rats. She would have cuddles with anyone, just sitting quietly on your shoulder or in your arms, just loving being loved.

She was also great with other rats. She never picked a fight and was always gentle and loving. If a rat was ill Sugar would be put with them to keep them company. She would lie across an ill companion, protecting and grooming them and even did this to Tinks today on their last trip to the vets.

I know we’re not allowed favourites but she was one of mine and I shall miss her so much.

Bye Bye special girly, go find your kids and the other girlies. They’ll be waiting for a cuddle.

Sugar with her pregnant tum

In Jan 2008

Doing her favourite thing – eating!

and again, this time stealing corn on the cob with Doughnut

And one of the last pics taken of her, in Oct/Nov 2009

Losing these two is the end of an era. Between Jan 2007 and Jan 2008 my numbers grew from my first two rats (Charlotte and Treacle) to 17 rats, and then in 2008 I only got 3 new ones. Tinks and Sugar are the last two from this first year of rat keeping, my two very special old ladies.

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Tinkerbell & Doughnut were two yesterday, so Happy Birthday girls. They’ve not had anything special to celebrate yet, but I will get them something soon for them to share with the other girls. I always remember their birthday as it’s Valentines Day. They are both fine and spent their birthday in the usual ratty way of sleeping most of the day! I am always pleased when my rats make it to two and Tinks especially is still going strong and is ever so healthy.

Here are a couple of photos of Doughnut & Sugar helping themselves to the dried corn on the corb in the treat bag!

female hooded fancy rats eating treats

female hooded fancy rats eating treats

They’d eaten about half of it with a bit of help from Pepper and Nutmeg, when they went back into their cage, so I put it in with them so they could finish it off!!

Rat Health updates

February 9, 2009

Just a little health update…

Luke’s eye seems to be changing. It’s still looking cloudy but is now looking stained round his eye. It hasn’t swollen up and he still isn’t bothering it at all, so he’s not going back to the vets just yet. I have also just found a lump on his side, in his armpit. It feels like a mammary lump and even though mammary lumps are rare in male rats, they do get them. It really does seem that if someone’s going to get something, it’s him! I will keep an eye on it, hopefully it will be an abcess that is easy to deal with.

Pepper is also not very well. I treated her for mites a little while back as her fur is getting thin on the back of her neck and she is generally a bit scabby and scraggy looking. I have also noticed since they’ve been out free-ranging again, she’s walking a bit stiff legged and slightly wobbly. She does have grip in her back feet and she sits up still to eat, she’s just a bit wobbly and has fallen off balance a couple of times. She’s also lost a bit of weight and is generally looking old. She’s not even two yet 😦

Doughnut’s lumps are growing, but she’s still getting about fine and being her useful lovely self. Still eating well!! And enjoying free-range. Her and Tinkerbell will be 2 on Saturday and Tinky is fine. It’s a shame spaying them is such an invasive operation, as judging from Tinks and Doughnut, spaying does seem to reduce the occurrence of mammary tumours.

To end on a happy note, Sugar has finally lost some weight and now weighs in at a healthier 440 ish grams. She is definitely looking more slimline and is full of mischief. Her and Doughnut have found the treat stash and are currently munching their way through a dried corn on the cob! Will put the photo up tomorrow.

About a week ago I first discovered how much my rats love corn on the cob. We gave them one and they demolished it in about two hours! So yesterday evening we gave them another two. They demolished these in the same amount of time and made a horrendous mess doing so. They left all the sweetcorn shells behind – covering the shelves. They didn’t do this last time, we think they did it this time because the cobs were slightly older, so probably a bit more tough on the outside! Here are a couple of photos:

Rats eating corn on the cob

And one of the mess this morning:

Sweetcorn shells. The mess the rats left behind.