Freshers’ Week

Ah, the excitement – new surroundings, people to meet, societies to join, finding out who your new roommate is then wondering how long into term you’ll survive without strangling them. Do you think rats feel the same way about going to a new home?

Probably not. Especially the roomie thing, when they arrive in pairs or larger groups anyway. Our two new boys moved in on Tuesday, courtesy of Rackie at Symphony Rats – one black, and one black-eyed Himalayan. A handover in the rain at Northampton motorway services went well and the little ‘uns are settling in nicely, eating us out of house and home, and weeing everywhere. Actually, that does sound a lot like college students.

There was some debate about names but I won, mainly because I had them to myself for a couple of days till J came back from working away, so I had already started thinking of them by my chosen names. So J had to go along with it. The black one is Hawkeye and the BEH is Radar, though how far we pursue the M*A*S*H theme remains to be seen. So far they live up to their names – Hawkeye is smart, inquisitive, handsome and doesn’t like to be tied down, while Radar is cute, shy and a little unsure of himself.

This morning we cleaned the cages then swapped the girls over with the little boys. The little boys had been in our ‘3rd wave’ cage since Tuesday, and we made the swap firstly because it’s not an easy cage to get reluctant rats out of – small, slightly awkward doors, and too much scope for rats to get somewhere you can’t reach them. The girls have no problems with being picked up out of cages and in fact we have more trouble getting them to go back in, so it’s less of an issue with them. The boys are now in a slightly bigger cage which has a huge door on the front, and also a hinged top so we can get them in and out much more easily. The second reason for the swap is that the boys would outgrow the smaller cage very fast – it’s a good size for 2 adult girls but too small for fully-grown boys. So we felt that as the girls have done their growing, the smaller cage would be a better fit for them.

The reactions at first were as expected. The little boys did a lot of racing around, exploring their new ‘dorm’. The girls had a good look round their new quarters, and have since taken every opportunity to glare at me accusingly. But right now everyone seems to be sleeping, so I guess they’ll get used to it eventually.

No photos of the new boys, just yet, for a couple of reasons – they’re a bit nervous still, and my camera battery needs charging. I know, rubbish excuse. I hope to have some playtime pics soon – maybe even this evening.

(At present I have one not-very-good photo on my phone, and while I’m sure it’s perfectly possible to get it on here somehow I have no idea how. There are probably people reading this and thinking how easy it is, but please don’t try to explain it to me. That would only end up in a bad place, like the time I tried to update the maps on my satnav, which just ended up with me yelling at the ‘simple instructions’ “I don’t have [insert option here] button! How can I choose [insert option here] if I don’t have it? What is wrong with you people?” Over and over again. Not pretty.)

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