Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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.
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Photo Courtesy Shellyane Bryan
Dumbo the rat occasionally gets bullied by her sister rat, Mouse.
My rat Dumbo received a rather nasty cut to her ear this week. I’m not positive how she managed to do this, but I have a suspicion it has something to do with Mouse’s needlelike claws, or maybe even her teeth. Mouse has, after all, managed to slice her own ear in two when scratching, so I wouldn’t put it past her to do the same to Dumbo. Anyway, the cut has since healed over fine, and it doesn’t seem to be causing Dumbo any sort of discomfort.
I’ve been worried about Dumbo a lot lately, because Mouse has been bullying the poor dear and she’s starting to get a bit stressed about it. I still haven’t managed to find a decent-sized cage for the two of them. I think I am going to trade the massive one I have at university for the slightly smaller one my brother has. That should suit them fine.
I was looking up other people’s stories about fighting rats. Apparently, rats that tend to sleep curled up together are actually very good friends. This is a relief to me, because Mouse and Dumbo pretty much always sleep side-by-side.
I think I need to consider getting a few other little toys or boxes for my rats to hide in when they’re getting particularly tired of one another. I suppose it’s no different to us humans; we get sick of being in the same house as each other from time to time.
I’ve started getting the rats out one at a time to give them a break from each other, because even when I let them run around the living room together, Mouse can get a little too playful, jumping on Dumbo’s back, nipping her and being the usual pesky little annoyance.
I was hoping Mouse would generally start to get a little friendlier the older she got. She is quite an affectionate rat by way of licking, but she is not one for cuddles or attention. Sometimes, no matter how much you handle them, rats just aren’t interested in cuddles. Maybe Mouse will calm down when she’s a little older and a little fatter. I’m sort of looking forward to the day Mouse starts to get a little chubbier. She’s going to be so cute!
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