Wednesday, June 3, 2009
In The Garden With The Rats

By Shellyane Bryan
A rat owner from England shares tales of living with her first rat, Queen Dumbo Duncanson-Bryan, and a rat named Mouse.

Click image to enlarge
mouse in water dish
Mouse the rat didn't seem to enjoy being on the grass outside.
rat in cage outside
Photos Courtesy Shellyane Bryan
Dumbo the rat spent her time outdoors trying to escape from the cage.

With the hot weather we’ve been having here in England, there has been a lot of ice cube production in my household. I saw a program on television a while ago that recommended giving ice cubes to dogs when it’s hot so they don’t drink too much and subsequently wee everywhere. As my rats have quite thick coats of fur and are no doubt baking hot in this weather, I gave my rats some ice cubes to keep them cool.

I have never seen my rats so fascinated by something in my life. When they weren’t throwing the ice cubes around the cage, they were nibbling them and licking them and sliding them around. They played with them more than they have any toy I have ever bought for them — like children with a cardboard box at Christmas. Adorable.

I also thought it might be a nice idea to let them enjoy the sunshine too while the rest of us sunbathed. I put the top of the cage on the grass, because I didn’t trust them not to run off while my back was turned, but Mouse had a hissy fit and decided she didn’t like grass all that much. Instead, she sat on the cage and pottered around while Dumbo tried to escape.

Later on they had a little sun bath of their own, which will probably make the light brown patch of fur on Dumbo’s back even lighter; The rat equivalent of getting a tan. It made me wonder if furless rats can get tanned, and whether they need lotion to protect them!

The other thing my rats have done recently is make a window in the little wigwam I bought for them to sleep in. Honestly, nothing is sacred when it comes to rats. If it can be chewed, it will be chewed. Still, it was pretty cute when Dumbo poked her head through the hole they made and fell asleep that way.

Does anyone have any ideas for something my rats can’t possibly chew through and is pet-friendly too? That would be great! 

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In The Garden With The Rats

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Good story!
Mike, Columbia, TN
Posted: 7/16/2009 11:29:54 AM
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