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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Season’s Greetings

Yet again this year I haven’t managed to take any new Christmas photos of the rats, so by way of consolation here is the much-missed Drumknott, from two years ago. Oh, how he hated having his photo taken.



Tomorrow we’ll clean the cage out and the girls will get some new hammocks, ladders, ropes and toys, ready for Christmas. I hope you and yours have an enjoyable festive season, however you celebrate.

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Hello again

There hasn’t been much to post about recently – though I should really pick up the Past Rats series again. We were getting to the point when I started the blog so there would start to be some repetition, though.

The girls are all happy in their big group, and I’m so glad that they have settled well. I had been thinking that we were in a phase of being lucky with their health, as everyone is fine though I’m at the stage with the three oldest of checking regularly for lumps. And just thinking that we were doing well was enough to ensure a trip to the vet of course.

Tuesday evening Helvetica was clearly struggling – laboured breathing, eyes half-closed, lethargic, weak and cold. She’s only 15 months old which would be very young to develop heart problems. I discussed it with the breeder and we agreed it seemed like pneumonia; in the meantime I had looked out our leftover meds from earlier in the year and we had some ronaxan (antibiotic), furosemide (diuretic) and fortekor (heart support) but on Tuesday night I couldn’t get her to take anything.

Wednesday morning I managed to get a dose each of all the meds down her and as soon as the vets opened I rang to book her in. When I got home from work she was more alert, and the vet agreed when we saw him that pneumonia was the most likely explanation. So I came home with a comfortingly large quantity of baytril (the most commonly used antibiotic for small furries) and that in combination with the ronaxan should sort everything out.

On Tuesday I had removed her from the main cage and set her up in a hospital cage by herself. By yesterday morning she was already so much better that she was obviously starting to get frustrated with being in a smaller cage alone, so yesterday evening she went back with the others and is much happier.

All in all I could have done without the worry! On Tuesday I really thought we were going to lose her, and the improvement since then has been astounding. What a relief – now we just need to manage to keep her on the antibiotics for a couple of weeks, which is going to be the hard part. She’s already being difficult!

Helvetica 28 nov 2018

Wednesday evening – starting to improve (she’d already had a good wander round the sofa when this was taken, and that was more than she could have done on Tuesday).

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