I'm new to the forum, thanks to a suggestion by Karen over at deviantArt, where I post a variety of things.
My rat family are all rescues of one type or another:
Dax and Kira are sisters from the same parents, but different litters (Dax is older by 3 months). I adopted them from the local shelter early this year where they had been surrendered from an overrun home. The owners had a male and female and had not realized how many kits rats can have! Oops. All is well, I have two very lovely Pink Eyed Whites because of that! Kira is an adventurer and digger of couches, while Dax is a snoozer and hoarder of treats.
Nellie and Dumbledore are a pair that came to me as a re-home. The owner moved to Australia and couldn't take them with her! Bonus for me! Dumbles is the senior of the entire group at 27 months and is my pretty little Siamese point (POTD Dec 21, 2013). She loves to roam free without the pesky youngers to bother her and I frequently find her curled up on my foot or near by in the blankets. Nellie is a sweet and energetic little black hooded dumbo rat. She climbs the highest of everyone (right up to my picture rails) and if I'm standing around and she comes, it's up my pant leg she climbs! (Either in or out, she likes both.)
Icheb and Janeway are litter mates that were in the shelter for 6 months without a fur-ever home! Poor things! They are friendly and fairly well socialized so they came from a good place to start with, but they were found by a volunteer in a beat up box just outside the shelter. Who wouldn't want these two sweethearts I don't know, but I got them in the end. They are fawn and argente in colour, Icheb being the former and she has half of one ear entirely missing. (Perhaps a cat got them in the original ownership and they were "surrendered" in a not so pleasant manner?)
Tiberius, Guinan and T'Pol are my saddest little story.
Tiberius is my boy, and he's probably under-weight. I don't have a scale to weigh him, but he's far too thin! He's a handsome silverfawn in colour, and is a lazy boy - as they are wont to be! Guinan and T'Pol are a beautiful pair of rex girls. Guinan is a gorgeous blue hooded and T'Pol is a stunning little amber. (Did you know that Rex feet look like hobbit feet?) The two girls are both quite skittish and I am using much patience to bring them out of this. The owner had Tiberius, Guinan and T'Pol housed in very dirty tanks and threw empty food cans in at them. They were forced to go into the cans if they wanted to eat. They were getting nicks and cuts every time they went in, with Guinan being the worst off - both her shoulders are bare to the skin. I couldn't leave poor Tiberius by himself, so I have him in isolation until he gets snipped later this month. He does get out, just no co-play with the girls!
Awww, so glad you joined us over here! There are many rat folks here, and most humans here are ardent rescue people, too! So glad Dumbles is enjoying her big day!
Wow! I have never seen a Siamese rat before. She's beautiful! I rescued a one eyed-rat from Petco. My manager said a snake doesn't care if his dinner has one eye or two. That was it!! Winkie came home with me that night. He lived for three years.
Welcome to PT!!!!!!
Karen, glad to be here. It's great to have a place to share my stories! I am on Facebook a lot, but I'm sure my family gets tired of the rat talk sometimes!
Mom to Moo, I have a friend who did the same when she worked at Petco. I think she had about 8 cages at one point?! I'm glad Winkie got to enjoy three more years of scritches and snuffles with you. :D
Dumbledore is very sweet. Her head has been permanently tilted to one side since I got her in a re-home and it causes her to need/want to twist as she goes down surfaces. It's quite funny to watch and does appear to have any other ill effects. Head tilt is usually a rattie sign of ear infection, but she's active and playful so nothing! I like her tilt because it reminds me of... me! I have a similar head tilt due to cervical vertebral fusion, so I am assuming it's something similar for her, but based on age rather than genetics. ;)
My two little skittish rexes, Guinan and T'Pol are slowly becoming less and less skittish.
I can now pick them up and pet them with only very little chasing!
They also blessed me with little ratty kisses as a Christmas present. Granted, my lips tasted like Dr. Pepper, but I'll take it! It means they felt comfortable enough to taste something while outside the safety of their cage.
Today is also Tiberius' day at the vet. He is getting fixed so we don't end up with even MORE little creatures running about. I had to take Kira in with him, because she has a very swollen front paw and refused to weight bear last night. The vet is going to send her home with antibiotics and such and we shall see what happens.
So, time for an update.
A very brief one on me. I have taken a hard fall and was in the emergency room the day Tiberius and Kira went to the vet. Thankfully I had already made arrangements for them to stay with a friend as I was going home to family for the "Big Christmas Chaos" and didn't want to subject sick ratties to overly curious little cousins. They are fine and so am I!
Tiberius was fixed, so now he can have co-play with the girls, though I haven't done much yet as I don't want him to strain his stitches. He enjoys sleeping down by my feet under the covers while I nap in the day time (I have a bulged disk in my neck, adding to the severe pain issues I am dealing with, so sleep is a good escape).
Kira's arm BLEW UP the night before I was to take Tiberius to the vet, so she came along. It was VERY big and she wouldn't weight bear or let me touch it or hold her on that side. The vet did some testing and found that it was an infection so she got sent home with antibiotics. She's doing much better and is as energetic as always. She is one of my three dominants, along with Nellie and Icheb, and is holding her own, so no worries!
Finally, I have combined two groups together. Kira, Dax, Dumbledore, Nellie, Icheb and Janeway are ALL in the Cabinet and getting along rather well I'd say. Yes, there were scuffles and scrabbles, but they are settling well.
The Cabinet is large enough to fit 9 rats, so eventually all the crew will be housed together. (Tibs will go in sometime in the next couple of weeks.) There is a long section across the top and the remainder of Rat space is divided down the center. At the bottom are two drawers for storage, but it's almost entirely Rat Housing. Each half of the main section is different in layout, with the bottom section being a mirror to the top except that the bottom is divided in half. The left main section has two shelves in it. The two shelves are staggered so that one is forward and one is back, neither one taking the full depth of the Cabinet. The right side is divided by a single shelf that takes the depth of the cabinet. There are multiple rat-sized holes cut in the wooden walls and shelves, so the crew has many ways to egress from top to bottom and back again. There are ramps and ladders and boxes and rocks to climb on and over, as well as hammocks to snuggle and sleep in. The "floors" are covered in fleece that is held in place by velcro, under this is an absorbent layer in case of water spillage (the stuff people use for puppy house training), and extra fleece bits for dragging and nest making!
Whew! That's a mouthful! I need a drink. Bye all!
Yikes! Hope you are feeling better, not the way one wants to spend Christmas! Glad everything is going well for the ratites, and soon Tiberius will be able to play with the girls, too!
Indeed, not the most pleasant of Christmas gatherings for me, but I managed through. I did do some retreat and hide tactics a few times, but no one bothered me as they had all heard about the wham bam thump event I had. I am still in recovery from that, but slowly getting better and chasing the rats around makes me get up and down fairly regularly.
About them. I have 7 of the crew housed together now; all but Guinan and T'Pol. It went relatively smoothly and everyone is settling down. Of course there is the occasional squabble, but hey, they are a rather big mischief! (Yes, 'mischief' is the correct term for a group of rats.) Tiberius is doing really well after his surgery and I've witnessed a few dropkicks from him when overly annoyed by some of the girls. Kira has a lump on her elbow that blew up, hopefully it will go away, but I will call the vet next week if it's not gone by then as the medicine is a 2 week course.
The two rexes are doing really well. They actually come to me when I let them run about in my room, though picking them up is a challenge! They are small, slippery and quick, while I am a bit lumbering and slow with my aches and pains. Once they are caught, however, they are much calmer and amenable to my petting and holding them. They love my sleeves and long for some free time in the main room, which will come in time, but not quite yet!
I've taken to letting Dumbledore sleep out much of the time, as she is picked on by the other rats in the cabinet. She is much happier this way and there's always food and water available to her, so the worst I expect out of her is a chewed box or blanket (left out for her anyhow).
More later :)