The house purchase is progressing, and all being well we should be in possession of keys before Christmas. This has meant some discussion about cages and how much room they take up, and the best use of accommodation. In the longer term we are considering not having any more boys (much as I love my big squishies) because it means always having at least two cages on the go. The big cage we have now, the Explorer, is big enough for a very large group and just having two boys in it seems a waste of resources.

We had already decided that after the move, the cage would come downstairs and would house both girls and boys, with the access between levels blocked of course. This afternoon during cage cleaning we decided to go for it now, so that they would be adapted to the new layout before moving. The other reason was that the boys seem to have almost stopped using the bottom half of the cage, probably because with the colder weather they are preferring to snuggle up in the upstairs hammock.

So the outcome is that the boys are in the upstairs half and the girls are downstairs. We swapped the trays over so that the upper tray with the corner cut out is now downstairs, where there’s no corresponding gap in the wire floor. The girls have the half-shelf, and the sputnik which has never been used before, and the boys have their beloved huge hammock.

The whole arrangement now looks like this:

The Explorer – boys above, girls below


The girls’ half looks like this:

If anything, slightly bigger than they’re used to


Bitesize stayed firmly in the igloo, but Pinch was on the shelf, waiting to have her picture taken:

Not sure how I feel about this shelf, Mum


Meanwhile, the boys’ half now looks like this:

Are there actually any rats in there?


Eventually, after some coaxing, Hawkeye put in an appearance:

What’s all this racket? Some of us are trying to sleep!


Although having boys has been wonderful I also miss the days when we could happily fit another two or three girls into our group without a moment’s thought. I’d see a couple of girls in a nearby rescue and we’d have them, and because we had the one big cage and a group of mixed ages it was never a problem. I want to go back to those days, and with the Explorer we can do just that. It seems that for the last few years we’ve just had pairs, so a change is in order.

The Furet, which the girls were living in, helpfully comes to pieces really easily so that has now been dismantled. It’ll probably go in the loft at the new house unless we need it, but we won’t be getting rid of it, at least for now. It’s always handy to keep a decent-sized spare cage for fosters or holiday guests. And of course we still have the Mary, which lives on top of the Explorer, out of the way, and is indispensable for the elderly or less mobile rat.

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