So Biscay had his little operation on Wednesday. This was made more fun for us because we had tickets for a special exhibition at the Natural History Museum, and train tickets to London, all booked for Wednesday, but we managed to fit everything in. Phoning the vet while we had lunch in the pop-up cafe on the first floor gallery of the NHM and asking how my rat’s castration had gone added to the generally surreal air of the place.

He has recovered well and is eating, drinking, weeing everywhere and pooping for Britain. For the first couple of days we had his convalescent cage downstairs so we could keep an eye on him more easily. He did a fair amount of sleeping and was obviously feeling a bit sorry for himself. On Thursday evening we got him out to stretch his legs a bit and also to see Cromarty and Fitzroy, very briefly. There was a certain amount of tension, and I’m not sure whether we’ll be repeating the experiment very often – there isn’t much love lost between him and Cromarty.

Last night I got him out to sit with me on the sofa for a while. He is an extremely wriggly boy, and though he climbs all over us and is clearly not afraid of us, he will do almost anything to avoid being touched or held. So initially I got him out using a bonding pouch, but he didn’t want to sit in that for long. I did manage to hold him and give him some gentle scritchings and fussings and after a few attempts he sat still quite well, didn’t struggle, and seemed to be trying to stop himself relaxing into it. When he wanted to get free and go wandering I let him for a moment or two, then picked him up again for more fussings – and this time he did relax. He actually started bruxing and boggling – I’ve heard him brux before while out at playtime but for him to do it while being held was a definite first.

This morning we moved his cage upstairs into the rat room so he can hear and smell the others, and though he’s on his own at the moment I expect he’ll have company before long. In about three weeks’ time he’ll be safe to go with the girls, so we will look at introing him to them – or some of them, at least.

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