||Nine months old|
My rats are called Hector (he's the pink-eyed one) and Firi. They were born on March 18, 2018, so they are a week over 9 months old right now. Hector is a pink-eyed dilute variegated husky dumbo rat, and Firi is a black-eyed variegated husky dumbo rat. They are both male, and brothers. I got Hector and Firi when they were not even five weeks old, on April the 19th. I have had over 20 rats before them since 2002. Hector is named after the first (French) rat in space (that safely returned). Firi is named after Porfirio, the first rat uploaded into cyberspace in a science fiction book that I've read.
Both rats were sadly born with some genetic defects, some of which more problematic than others. Hector is blind in one eye. Firi has corneal dystrophy in both eyes, causing a white spot on both cornea, which is making his vision worse. Firi also had to have three surgeries for a recurring tumor, but he seems to be tumor free now, luckily. But it has cost me over $700 in all. And it was pretty stressful for all three of us. He got his first tumor when he was only 4 months old. And he had to be separated for two to three weeks after each surgery. He could get regular supervised daily visits by his brother in the recovery cage after a week to ten days. Anyway, enough about the sadness.
They are both lovely boys and are both very gentle and cuddly. Firi is a bit more cuddly than Hector. They will never bite you.
I am training them to do tricks with clicker-training and positive reinforcement. I have to use more tactile and busier visual cues when I train them compared to when I was training Snoopy, my rat that I had before them, because of their vision problems. Some tricks they pick up pretty quickly, say in three ten-minute sessions, other tricks they learn a lot slower or they don't understand what I want them to do. And sometimes one tries to steal food from the other when one is performing a trick and the other is waiting in line. So far they can do agility, come when called (when they aren't too sleepy), position on places that I tap on, do left and right spins, go through a hoop, and give paw, and they can lick drops of drinks from my lips or pick food from my mouth. As you can see in some of the pictures, they love banana!
The rats have their own YouTube channel where you can watch them (and some of my previous rats) perform tricks, be cute, and do ratty things here. And I share photos of them and my other rats that I had since my first pair of rats that I got in 2002 here.
Talk about Hector and Firi in Pet Talk!