I’m so sorry. The last week has been fairly hectic. I kept intending to post an update on Pinch’s condition but time just got away from me.
On Monday morning I took her to our usual vet. They kept her in for the day to spay her, and it turned out that the part that prolapsed was oviduct and fallopian tube – how on earth it got all the way out is a mystery. Anyway, she was pronounced ready to come home and I picked her up at about three o’clock. Apparently she was a big hit with everyone – they all took turns cuddling her as she came round after the op.
This time she took a lot longer to recover from the anaesthetic. I transferred her into the Mary cage, single level but big enough for her to have company in the form of Bitesize. Pinch wasn’t much interested, though, and nor would she eat or drink. She staggered around the cage, through the bowl of porridge I put for her (so then we had to try and give her a bath, which was fun), fell over, and generally seemed to have no idea where she was or which way was up. Her nose and eyes were running with stress, always alarming when the mucus and tears are dark red. All we could do was hope that she would wear herself out and go to sleep, and I think eventually she did. Both girls seemed to sleep for a lot of Tuesday, while Hawkeye sat by himself looking lonely and disconsolate.
By Tuesday evening Pinch was much better so I put both girls back with Hawkeye and all three spent the next 24 hours snuggled up together. She is back to her old self, a bit thinner and with a big scar on her tummy, but otherwise fine. She’s on Baytril and guzzles the baby food I hide it in quite happily. Let’s hope she soon forgets the whole ordeal.
In the emergency vets, that is. Far too much of this weekend has been spent there. It all started last night when the oldies were out for their exercise. Something was amiss with Pinch, as in a bit that should be inside was outside. We took her to the emergency vet and they confirmed it was a prolapse.
The vet assumed initially that it was rectal, and we had a long talk about the risks of anaesthetic for such a small animal, as well as the expense of the procedure to put it back. We decided the risks were worth it as she is otherwise pretty healthy and not visibly at Death’s door, and left her (as we thought) overnight.
The vet rang us once the procedure was finished to say it was vaginal, much easier to deal with and we could pick her up in about an hour. (It was already 10.45pm by this point.) So off we went, and she seemed fine. We made an appointment for a follow up check this morning.
But this morning it had happened again. So she is back there having the same procedure, only this time they are going to try to put in a “purse string” suture to stop it recurring, at least temporarily, until we can get her to our regular vet tomorrow – and we hope, get her spayed. I did suggest to the vet this morning that they should just spay her and have done but he was reluctant to do something so invasive just yet.
Poor little Pinch – she is such a sweet, good-natured little girl. Hawkeye and Bitesize are missing her, and so are we. Let’s hope she is home safe and sound very soon, and all this is sorted out. In the meantime, J is having some house painting therapy, and I have gone for writing therapy – a new post will also be going up at The Random Gardener fairly soon.
Last night we celebrated Hawkeye’s second birthday – a few days late, but he didn’t seem to mind. I bought some little iced cupcakes and we persuaded him to share one with his girlfriends, and leave a little for the young girls too.
But it’s my birthday – why should I share the cake?
This is so unfair!
Ha – got it back!
After which, I took it away so he didn’t just scoff the lot, so then this happened:
If you’re going to be like that, I’ll eat the bits off the paper case instead.
So then I broke the cake into pieces and they all had some:
And of course Samhain and Saturnalia had some too:
I find it hard to believe he’s two. He doesn’t really look or act his age, and long may that continue.
Finally, today, we were able to give Radar his burial. We have started to work on the new garden this weekend and decided that many of the plants in pots needed to go in the ground, including those with rats in the pots. Radar has been in the spare freezer awaiting his turn.
The details of what we’re doing in the garden are in my other blog, here. We decided to put Radar in the ground with a very old and venerable hosta – it looks like nothing just now, but the new shoots are just starting to grow and it will be lovely soon. Others who got planted out were D.R. (also with a hosta), Quinch (photinia), Tau (ceanothus), Roxie (pieris), Clarice (coprosma) and the ever-awkward Zelda with her pernyetta – the third plant she’s had planted over her. The first one died after the pot broke in a house move, and the second just… died. I think Zel didn’t like it. She seems to like this one, though – after all, it’s quite spiky!
Quinch’s photinia, on the left, and an unoccupied azalea
Azalea, Clarice’s coprosma, Zelda’s pernyetta, and the hostas (though you have to take my word for them)
Tau’s ceanothus – the only one so far to go in the front garden
Luther and his grasses, still waiting to be put in the ground
Thursday was World Rat Day. Ours had some extra treats during playtime and with their dinners, and I took a few photos (but only a few; the kids were not co-operative).
The three oldies eating their chocolate
Pinch managing to photobomb Hawkeye
Samhain tucking into her chocolate
Saturnalia having a good old sniff at something
The chocolate was part of their little Easter Egg – a small, hollow chocolate egg from our Easter Egg Hunt at work. There’s still some left – they only get a little at a time – and they had some last night too, when they came out for a run.
Yes, the clocks have gone forwards – much to the surprise of the rats, who tried to convince us we were an hour early coming to clean the cages yesterday. They were very firmly asleep, and quite put out by our insistence that it was 2pm, not 1pm, and definitely cage cleaning time.
I took some pictures once everything was clean and tidy – the Explorer:
Baby girls upstairs, old grumpies downstairs
The youngsters went back first, and had a good look round to make sure it was up to scratch:
I added an extra rope bridge last week as the hammock they had was a little awkward to get in and out of. The main benefit it seems to have had is to make it easier for them to play their favourite in-cage game, The Floor Is Lava (at least, I assume that’s what they’re playing, judging by the crashing noises. I can never catch them at it – as soon as I walk in the room, all I see is a pair of girls sitting quietly in the corner if the cage, the picture of wide-eyed innocence).
The oldies went back once the little ones were settled. Bitesize refused to be photographed, but Hawkeye is a complete poser even while checking out the food bowl:
And then I got this photo of Pinch, which I think is one of my best.
So on that note, I hope you and yours all had an enjoyable Easter weekend.
Last Wednesday one of my colleagues came round to help me clear out my wardrobe – she was very organised, we got everything out by category starting with trousers and working through tops, jumpers, shirts, skirts and dresses, and she told me in no uncertain terms that a lot of it had to go. Some things that were unusable in any way went straight in the bin, and some will go to a charity shop.
Why am I telling you this? because of the third option – turn it into rat hammocks. A few pairs of canvas trousers and a couple of shirts have joined the pile of fabric scraps and old clothes suitable for reuse, as hammocks, shelf coverings or just chopped up as bedding. So yesterday I made a start on some new hammock-type things and have almost completed one. The problem I have is that without a sewing machine (nowhere to put one, and couldn’t really justify the expense) everything has to be sewn by hand which is time-consuming. It’s also painful, as I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. If I could just sit and sew for a couple of days it wouldn’t take long to get a bunch of hammocks finished, but I have to stop regularly to keep my hands from seizing up or going numb.
Nevertheless, I’ll get there. Today I’ve almost finished a large flat hammock with a sort of part cover on top, made out of an old pair of canvas jeans and the back of a red velvet shirt. Next I have cut out a double decker – short tube hammock below, with an open level on top. That’s made of denim, the tube will be lined with velvet and the open level with fleece. Soon we’ll have more hammocks than the rats can actually use!