Well, that was a performance

Today was “Dealing with the New Cage” day. We had been looking for a replacement for the Super H for some time but hadn’t seen anything that really fit the bill or that we could afford. Then, my manager told me that his manager, R, had a cage he wanted to get rid of – his son’s chinchilla had died, the cage was less than 12 months old – so I asked R what it was like. It sounded good and he didn’t want much for it so I said yes, and took delivery of it last week. This weekend being a four-day break for Easter, we decided that we could get the cage set up and the room rearranged today.

I found out last night that the cage is actually a double Critter Nation, a cage which seems to be quite good quality and reasonably highly thought of. Looking at the pieces, I had scratched my head a little about how it would all fit together but R had labelled the main pieces with letters and drawn a diagram so I figured we would work it out. After a few false starts we got the cage itself together and on its stand – it’s a big beast, taller than me and with two levels and two sets of double doors on the front.

It also has two half-width shelves. Now, looking at the online instructions for the Critter Nation, these are meant to just clip into the sides of the cage. Ours look very different – they have hooks along one side which kind of hook over the cage bars, but then they have this sort of swinging arm arrangement which looks as though its hooked ends are meant to hang from the bars of the level above (or the roof of the cage) – only, they don’t fit. And the shelf is the wrong width for the cage. Then there are three ladders which are the wrong length and width for everything else. I asked all the rat people I know on Facebook if anyone knew how they were meant to fit, but no luck yet. So if anyone on here can help, I’d appreciate it.

We ended up not using the shelves and ladders, but just giving the boys several wooden ledges for getting up and down between the levels, and (hopefully) enough hammocks and things to keep them happy, at least until we find out how the shelves are meant to be used.

So this is their new home:

The boys' new cage. Apparently it's big enough for eleven rats.

For comparison purposes, this is the girls’ cage:

Much more compact and bijou.

The boys did manage to pose nicely while exploring.

Hawkeye even worked out how to get down to the lower level (I put their red castle down there to make it a little easier to get down from the hammock):

I think the poor things are properly confused. They’ll get used to it – and just when they do, we’ll move them into the smaller cage and start building up a great big group of girls for this cage. Maybe. In the meantime, any chance I get to buy new shelves, ladders or anything else to make the cage better to get around, I’ll take.

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