Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sad And Happy Rat News
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.
Photos Courtesy of Shellyane
Katsuya (right) has taken well to newcomer rats Gilbert (shown) and Arthur.
Arthur the rat seems to be adjusting well to his new home, although he is a bit more of a loner than Gilbert.
Sadly, my friend’s rat Seto died very suddenly just over a week ago. It was very unexpected, as up until the night before he passed away, he had been his usual self. It’s one of those things with rats. Illness takes them very suddenly. We think it was probably pneumonia.
As with Dumbo when Fidget died, the rat left behind can become very low and depressed in the absence of its partner, and Katsuya, my friend’s other rat, showed every sign of grieving for his lost friend. Though he is usually a grumpy rat, it was obvious he was feeling distressed and lonely in his big cage, moping in his plastic tube and refusing to come out. Given that my friend has not had the best month, it was decided she would collect a pair of baby rats whenever she felt up to it.
A few days later, a baby Russian blue dumbo and a husky dumbo appeared on the scene. They are absolutely beautiful — especially the Russian blue, who has been named Gilbert. The husky has been named Arthur — both after characters in the popular Japanese anime series Hetalia: Axis Powers.
It’s so easy to forget how entertaining babies are, and how scared of everything they are at first. Arthur is just like Mouse, in that if you dare to poke him, he’ll give you a dirty look and scamper off unless he wants attention first. This must be a husky dumbo trait. Gilbert has the most adorable face though, as though he has no idea what is going on. Both of them have such soft fur too, quite unlike the slightly coarser fur rats get when they get older.
And Katsuya’s reaction? Strangely enough, he took to them straightaway. I think he was probably glad of the company. He has been cleaning and grooming them and generally bossing them around. Though, the poor old thing is probably wondering what he did to deserve having two babies clambering around on his back until they’re comfy enough to settle down for a nap. They are also getting to be a little more adventurous now and are coming out of the cage on their own. They will even place tentative little paws on any awaiting shoulders and offer a nibble here and there.
As for my own rats, there have been no more injuries and Dumbo’s ear is now perfectly healed! I haven’t even heard them fighting just lately, so I am hoping Mouse has calmed down.
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