When we first had rats I had very few ratty friends. We relied on books, guesswork and common sense and for the first few years it got us through. Then we started to get to know breeders and societies, and eventually websites with discussion groups, and then Facebook happened, and now if we have a problem or a question we know that friends are just a keystroke away.
Today has been a good day for showing why I’m so grateful for all this interaction. Last night at playtime a huge row kicked off between Biscay and Cromarty. At first we thought Cromarty started it but it became clear that Biscay was the aggressor. They calmed down after a few moments and went back in the cage but this morning it all started again. I managed to get Biscay out of the cage and it was amazing how quickly Fitzroy and Cromarty relaxed. Another thing to be grateful for – we are on leave this week, pottering around the house. Had we been at work, we might have come home to injured rats.
So we began to think about options. It was becoming clear that Biscay was hormonal and probably needed to be neutered, but in the meantime he couldn’t share a cage with the others without starting a fight. All our cages are occupied. He was in the hospital carrier this morning, which is far too small for any rat to be in for more than a few hours. I posted on a couple of Facebook rat groups and in no time had two offers of loan cages, one from the lovely breeder & rescue where we got Pinch & Bitesize, and Misty, Sirocco & Boots.
After booking the young man in at the vet’s for a pre-op check, I drove over to collect the cage. The pre-op check went about as well as I expected – he screamed the whole time, even when no-one was touching him. At least the vet saw his bad behaviour for herself. And we booked him in for the op tomorrow, so fingers crossed that it all goes well.
Without Facebook, we might have managed something. But it’s safe to say that right now I’m very glad it’s there.