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December 13, 2009

Rat pics!

Due to popular demand (ok, one demand, but it was a really strident one), I'm posting a couple of pictures of some of the many rats we've had in this place.  These rats are super-cute creatures, as you will be able to see.

My wife is the main rat-person in the family, though I do find them cute.  She takes such wonderful care of them, that I truly admire her for it.  It's not many people who can sit with a sick rat for long periods of time, knowing that they will eventually die on you.  The fact that they're not dying alone has to be a comfort, though I know it's extremely hard.

But on to the cute rat pix.

Back in January of 2009, we got two rats from the Little Mischief Rescue organization.  A number of the rats were pregnant, so we had to wait until they had given birth and finished their quarantine before we could get them.  The mothers were all very young, maybe just a month or two old.  Once the babies are weened, they pretty much forget their parents.  So when we showed up to get our two rats, it turned out that one of the mothers was really cute, so we took Mom and one of the babies.  We creatively call them "Mom" and "Baby."  However, they're so close in age, and with the parental bond pretty much gone, they might as well be sisters.  They're quite rambunctious and can be quite annoying.  We hope they live to the ripe old age so that when we get some younger rats, those rats can annoy Mom & Baby as much as they are annoying the others now.

This is Baby, looking coy.  I've noticed that some rats, especially these white and brown ones, can look like this quite often if you manage to get a good picture of them.  It's almost like they're acting demure.  Don't be fooled.  She will do anything she can to annoy the hell out of you.  But she'll look damned cute doing it.  She and Mom will even tag team you sometimes.

The wife also has a weakness for hairless rats, and we always have to have at least one if at all possible.  Sadly, two of these three beauties are no longer with us, but we have Harriet (back), Maude (middle) and Gert (rudely not facing the camera).  For those who don't know, rats tend to lie in piles, and it's not unusual to have three or four in a pile, all sleeping on top of one another.  It's even more likely if there's a hammock involved.

When we took one of our earlier hairless rats to the vet, the assistant (I'm not sure what you call them, or is it "assistant?") was petting her and cooed "It's like petting a bald man's head!"  That statement has stuck with us ever since, and it's so true.  They are quite soft.  They also have quite the personality, too.  Our female hairless rats are usually the "alpha" rats in the cage, sort of in charge (though that doesn't stop Mom & Baby from annoying them at times).

Unfortunately, Gert's the only one of these three we have left.  Harriet died a couple of months back.  We're not sure what was wrong with her, though when we got her from the rescue, she was already kind of traumatized by her cagemates.  She had loving cagemates with us, but she never really got healthy.  She wouldn't eat, seemed very shy, and just never really came back to normal.

Maudey died last week.  Rats are very prone to tumors, and Maudey seemed even more so.  Within a month's period, we had taken in her in for surgery to remove the lump twice, and when the third one showed up, we decided there was nothing we could do.  She hung on for quite a while, though.  There were some days that we figured she'd be gone when we got home, but she was still going.  That ended last Friday (9 days ago).

I'll post more as time goes on, but thought you'd like to see a couple of pix in the meantime.  Hope you enjoy!


  1. I don't think you told me you lost one last week. Baby is kind of cute but I don't care much for the hairless ones. Kim is very caring for all of them. Of course WE know she is a caring person. You have provided a loving home for them * I think that's wonderful. I don't know anyone who likes rats. (except Karen). Send more pictured when you can.

  2. *SQUEE*

    And that really sums it up.

    Thank you!

    We call the rat piles, "cuddle puddles" around here. That's basically what they are. Puddles of cuddle.

  3. Tumors/short life span is why we no longer have a pet rat, but a pet cat. We would grow so attached to the rats that after the 2nd one passed I could not do it again. Losing a pet every year and half is too much for me. :| We did love them dearly though. They were both so different (only had 1 at a time so they were very sociable with us), but full of personality. RIP Ninja & Scrappy (both named by Kiddo LOL).

  4. Thanks for the comments, everybody!

    Mom: hairless rats are especially cute when you see them in action. Pictures don't do them justice.

    Karen: You're very welcome. I promise to produce more at some point so you can "squee" some more. :) And I like "puddles of cuddle"

    Melissa: yeah, it can be really rough, but you do kind of get used to it after a while. It would be nice to, at least once, wake up to a dead rat rather than having the "death watch" we've had with the last few, where they're still living but you know the time is coming soon.

    The reason we don't get them put down is that it seems all rats (or at least all of ours) get extremely agitated when they are put in the carrier to take them to the vet. We don't want their last experience to be something traumatic like that. We prefer that they die at home, if at all possible. But that does make it hard.


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