Pets are a bit like children. If you can hear them crashing around creating havoc then all is probably well – it’s when they go quiet you should worry.
Anyway, a month or so ago I bought one of these little gizmos – they were in the January sale with about £10 off so it seemed worth a try. A lot of rat communication is ultrasonic and we thought it would be fun to see if we could hear our lot talking to each other. I tested it out on various things – rustling fabric, jingling coins – before pointing it at the rats.
Not a peep.
Girls are meant to be chatty, but ours were either detector-shy or the only mute rats on the planet. When we tried the boys, though, we found Cromarty was quite vocal. Then, what with one thing and another, we didn’t use the detector for a few weeks.
Tonight I thought I’d give it another go. The boys again were fairly noisy, especially Cromarty – quite a lot of reaction to being scritched, but also a bit of general chatter as they were running around. The girls were the real surprise. Whether we just didn’t have the right frequency last time I don’t know, though we did try a range. Perhaps they just weren’t feeling like talking. Tonight, pretty much everyone had a go. Sam was the noisiest, either because of alpha status or because she was in heat, but the others did well too.
The frequency on the detector covers a wide range for various things, and generally a happy rat will be chatting away at about 60kh or thereabouts. Tonight ours were spot on, which is pleasing. Next time I may try to record some of them.
In other news, Pinch is still quite happy by herself. She had a bit of a chest infection but a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories saw that off. She was very good about taking her meds mixed in some pureed banana and apple, so now she still gets the fruit puree when she comes out of the cage, just because.
Sam has recovered really well from her op. The wound has healed completely and the fur is growing back. Fingers crossed for no more lumps.
The boys have continued to settle well. Biscay is still nervous but they are all much better than they were. Cromarty actually licked my hand this evening while I was scritching him. If they behave, I may take one of them to the next rat show we go to, which will be in April. Plenty of time for him to disgrace himself!