A significant birthday

The WingDings turned two on Friday. They are the five sisters who came to us as fosters in October 2017 due to a parvo outbreak at the rattery; they stayed until May 2018 then went back to the breeder, then after a couple of months they came back to us permanently. We have always been aware that the parvo could have a long term effect on their health, and given that they had siblings who died at only a few weeks old, all the time we have had with them has been a bonus.

A couple of them are starting to look old and a little frail – Verdana has a mammary lump which came up very fast and is in a tricky location so I am not risking surgery (in my defence I have not been on the ball with everything over the last month as I had shingles, so may have missed some early signs). Helvetica seems a little vague and wobbly which could be early indications of a pituitary tumour, so we are keeping an close eye on her. Mistral, Bodoni and Leela are all in reasonable health – in fact Mistral, who gave us concerns early on when she developed an ear infection, is probably the sprightliest of the five.


Verdana and Mistral













They all still live with the Snork Maiden, Little My, Dolores, Penguin and Nygma. Snork Maiden is the oldest and still in fine fettle; Little My, a few days younger than her, has hind leg degeneration but is still getting around pretty well. The others are doing fine, and Penguin and Nygma will be two next month.

Realistically we can expect more losses this year but for now they are happy and active, which is as good as it gets.

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It’s been an awfully long time since I posted anything – I’m very sorry. We’ve been having one of those summers where all sorts of things happen and when I sit down at the computer the thought of writing blogs is the last thing on my mind. However, as I’ve got a spare few minutes I thought I’d just quickly say hello.

Since I last posted we have lost another girl – little Teacake had chronic respiratory problems and despite trying pretty much everything she left us at the beginning of July. The group as a whole seems to be slowing down, very little by way of specific ailments but a general air of “getting on a bit”.

On a happier note, the same breeder offered us two Siamese boys and I collected them on Sunday. We’ve called them Klunk and Zilly:

klunk being cute


zilly being cute


k and z in pouch

Both boys

Telling them apart is going to be a challenge.

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Burial and reburial

Today I have laid little Miss Snufkin to rest in a pretty silver pot, with a heuchera called Georgia Peach keeping her cosy. Her friends have settled back into normal behaviour again, there had been a bit of squabbling just after she passed as I think it upset the social order a little. The Snork Maiden has had a lump removed followed by some complications, but is now fully on the mend, thankfully, and apart from a few sneezes and wheezes everyone is doing well.

15 apr 2019 snufkin buried

I also had to rebury Cosmo as his second plant died over the winter – despite me doing my best to protect it from the cold. He also has a heuchera, Green Spice, which goes very well with his green glazed pot.

15 apr 2019 cosmo reburied

I hope you and yours are all well!


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Birthday photos

We’ve had a couple of birthdays in the last week – The Snork Maiden and Little My have both turned two. Sad that little Snufkin didn’t quite make it. Also The Snork Maiden has a lump (probably a mammary tumour) which is being removed on Tuesday before it gets too big.

Anyway, The Snork Maiden’s birthday was last Sunday so everyone got bacon flavoured treats, but I failed to get any photos. Little My’s birthday was just a couple of days ago, so I took a few pictures yesterday while they were out and hunting for prawn crackers in their dig boxes!

First, the most recent birthday girl:

rats 23rd mar 2019 (3)

She and Bodoni had been cracker hunting in the small box:

rats 23rd mar 2019 (1)

Bodoni emerged with a self-satisfied look and prawn cracker crumbs in her whiskers.

rats 23rd mar 2019 (2)

The bigger dig box was popular too:

rats 23rd mar 2019 (4)

L-R: Mistral, Helvetica, Nygma and The Snork Maiden

Helvetica agreed to pose nicely:

rats 23rd mar 2019 (5)

Then tried to get into the small box with Mistral and Nygma:

rats 23rd mar 2019 (6)

That was never going to work…

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We had to say goodbye to dear little Snufkin this week. She started to show signs of illness two weeks ago, becoming a little unsteady and wobbly and staring to have difficulty holding food. While I was fairly sure it was going to turn out to be a pituitary tumour, initially we tried treatment for an ear infection as the early symptoms are very similar. A steroid shot perked her up a little and she continued to eat fairly well for much of last week but antibiotics had no effect so that made it clear it was not an infection after all. By this Monday she was fading fast. While another steroid might have provided a few more days’ relief it would be unfair to keep that cycle going, and as the tumour grew the intervals where she could function would get shorter and shorter.

So on Tuesday I took her to the vets for the last time. I’d hoped she might go by herself on Monday night but as often seems to happen she had trouble letting go so we had to help her along. The others seem to have had a bit of a reshuffle and I think there may have been a fight or two but they’re settling back down again.

Night night, Snufkin. You were such a sweetie, with your wonky tail and the bit out of your ear. Going to miss you, baby.



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Christmas morning treats

The girls have had some tasty treats this morning, handmade banana and peanut butter treats from Saintly Pet Snax which I scrunched up in wrapping paper and scattered in the bottom half of the cage for them to investigate. Helvetica was first in there (a bit of a blurry photo!) but the others soon followed.

xmas day 2018 (1)xmas day 2018 (2)xmas day 2018 (3)xmas day 2018 (4)xmas day 2018 (5)

Hope you have lots of tasty treats today as well!

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Santa’s been already!

Well, he’s left some new bits and pieces for the girls, anyway. They’ve got new hammocks, ropes and other climbing things and have been having a good explore as the cage layout has been changed for the first time in a while. The photo isn’t great and most of the hammocks are behind other things but there’s a hammock hanger with pandas on it downstairs and a bright, flowery treble cuddle upstairs, both from Cosy Beds and Burrows, and downstairs there’s a rat-shaped bed from Furrykind Creations. Plus they have a sputnik for the first time in a while and the routes in and out have to be considered carefully, so it’s not too easy for them.

They’ll get tasty treats and some Christmas dinner tomorrow of course but this should keep them occupied till then.

xmas eve cage

I did add a few more things after taking the photo – egg boxes with some mixed seeds in, a few more cardboard tubes and a cereal box. Just to keep them busy!

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