New arrangements

Our Christmas visitors have gone home today – they were pleased to be back with their Mum, I think, though it was a little hard to tell. Over the course of the ten days they spent with us I managed to pick up and cuddle (briefly) all of them except Loki, who reminded me of our spitting furry ball of hatred, Luther, though about three times the size. He was most unhappy about being picked up this afternoon and being put in a carrier, and was still sulking almost an hour later when reunited with his Mum. The others co-operatively got out of the carriers and checked out their cage, and Loki remained in the bottom of the carrier, fuming. He was not a happy boy. Hopefully he’s settled down again now.

So there was a lot of cleaning to do when we got home, not least because we wanted to move the Wing Dings into the big cage (though still separate from our four). After some discussion we decided to move our four into the bottom half of the cage and the WingDings into the top, mainly because the attachments for the wheel are fixed to to the top half and I really wanted the WingDings to have the wheel.

It also means we’ve been able to dismantle the Furet and make a bit more space in the rat room. We won’t be getting any more rats for some time, so we don’t really need the extra cage taking up space.

The WingDings seemed very pleased with their upgrade, and did a lot of exploring – and eventually they all seemed to get the hang of the wheel. Our four were a bit less impressed, and Coffee Girl went for a good old sulk at the back of the cage. They’ve actually got more furniture than they had in the old setup, and I’m sure they’ll be ok eventually.

The WingDings get upgraded

The older girls seem a bit less pleased

 

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Season’s greetings

This year I failed utterly at getting any proper Christmas photos of our lot. However a couple of last night’s photos did lend themselves to seasonal captioning.

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However you celebrate your midwinter festival of choice, I hope you have an enjoyable one. Love from us and the rat-things.

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Lots of photos

Just in time for Christmas – I have managed to get lots of photos of our various residents and guests. We have a full house at the moment, with our four girls, the five foster girls and five boys who are spending Christmas with us while their mum is away.

The WingDings are doing very well – they’re out of the danger period for developing full-blown parvo and have been growing physically as well as in interactivity with us. They’re extremely cheeky and very bright. They’re also getting a bit big for the cage they’re in, but at the moment we don’t have other options. After New Year they’ll go in the bottom half of the big cage but just now our Christmas guests are in there. More on them later.

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Leelawadee

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Helvetica

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Mistral

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Bodoni, Verdana, Leelawadee

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Leelawadee

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Bodoni

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Leelawadee

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Helvetica

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Verdana

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Bodoni

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Interacting with J

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J is the Rat Whisperer!

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Our four older girls are all fine, Coffee Girl is now a little over 2 years old but not really showing her age and I think she still rules the roost with Little My as her enforcer, and Snufkin and the Snork Maiden as the downtrodden masses. They’re actually a happy little group now and I’m very glad everyone recovered well from the loss of Leggy McLegface as that could have been very difficult for the group.

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The Snork Maiden and Snufkin

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Little My, Coffee Girl, Snork Maiden and Snufkin

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The Snork Maiden, Little My, Coffee Girl, Snufkin

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The Snork Maiden

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Coffee Girl

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Snufkin and Snork Maiden

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The Snork Maiden

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Little My

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Snufkin

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Coffee Girl

The five visiting boys are a bit less forthcoming with us and don’t much want to be picked up to come out of the cage, though they will tolerate some interaction at the door. I didn’t manage to get photos of all of them last night but did get a few, though don’t expect me to tell you their names – four of the five are black hoodies so there’s a lot of “Is that Thor?” “It might be, I don’t think it’s Loki.” “Well, it’s not Odin.” They are lovely big chunky boys and they do wander out to say hello when I go in the room. There was a bit of interest from the girls at first but it all seems to have calmed down again now.

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Pretty sure this one’s Odin.

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So there we are! Fourteen rats isn’t many compared to some owners (and breeders of course!) but they’re keeping us on our toes. I’m very glad I did some serious stocking up on food a few weeks back. Tomorrow they’ll get a bit of Christmas dinner of course, and they’ve been told to be good or Santa won’t come…

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Leggy at rest

After some delay, Leggy McLegface has been laid to rest in a nice terracotta pot, with a small Canary palm planted above her. The palm isn’t fully hardy in Britain so will be in the greenhouse over winter.

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More WingDings

In happier news, the five fosters are doing well. A couple of weeks before we’re fully out of the woods in terms of them becoming sick with the virus, but at the moment they are eating everything sight and growing well, so we’re cautiously optimistic. The two fuzzies, Leelawadee and Bodoni, have some noticeable thinning/bald areas developing so they’re probably having a moult.

We got some pictures last night:

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Bodoni

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Bodoni

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Verdana – she blinked at the wrong moment!

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Mistral

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Leelawadee looking pink!

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Helvetica

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Bodoni

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Helvetica

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Leelawadee

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Verdana, Helvetica and Bodoni

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Mistral and Leelawadee

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Loss at a distance

Yesterday I had a message from our friend S, the breeder who bred Lias and Drumknott, and where we took Lias after Drumknott died. Lias slipped away yesterday, aged two and a half, after ten happy months with his beloved princess Ingrid.

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It’s strange having not been a part of his life since January but we still had a little “moment” on hearing the news. He was a lovely boy and I miss him (and Drumknott, the big loon) terribly but I always felt that if we had tried introing him to youngsters after Drumknott went, he would not have been as happy. Taking him back to S was the right thing to do, I’m sure of it.

Night-night, Lias. I hope you’ve found Drumknott, and you’re having fun together again.

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WingDings

The five foster girls have been here for three weeks now and are completely mad and very cute. I had a photo session last week with them all in my new fancypants photo lightbox (which took a couple of months for me to figure out how to open it, but I got there in the end!). Had to be very quick as they’d be off exploring the dining table given half a chance. The breeder said we could name them for her so we went with a theme of typeface names, which means they are collectively known as the WingDings.

Helvetica:

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Bodoni:

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Leelawadee:

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Leela has less fur since this photo as she’s moulting – she and Bodoni are fuzzy rexes so will be partly bald a lot of the time.

Mistral:

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Verdana:

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Mistral (background) and Leela:

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Verdana (left) and Mistral:

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There’s a bit of sad news as well, as the lovely Leggy McLegface departed a couple of weeks ago. We’d seen the vet and she had been on antibiotics though we were still trying to work out what was wrong, but evidently we didn’t work it out in time.

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