Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Rats Slinky And Diddy Settle In

By Shellyane Bryan
A rat owner from England shares tales of living with her rats named Mouse, Slinky and Diddy.

Click image to enlarge
Diddy the rat
Photo Courtesy Shellyane Bryan

Diddy the rat has already gained weight and is larger than Mouse the rat!

Slinky and Diddy the rats have now settled into their new home. I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since I bought them, but they are happy and getting fat, the way rats are wont to do.

Having said that, Slinky is still quite small for her age and doesn’t seem to have grown very much, whereas Diddy is enormous and also very, very heavy — much heavier than my rat Mouse.

Mouse accepts the two of them and often allows them to sleep with her, but she does have a tendency to nip their feet the way she used to nip poor Dumbo’s. I have no idea why she does this. Fortunately, Diddy and Slinky are much more likely to retaliate, as they are young and spritely. I don’t mean that they will cause havoc by fighting, but they can stand up for themselves. Neither of them are as docile as Dumbo ever was, so are far less likely to tolerate Mouse’s strange behavior.

I let the new rats run around on the floor for the first time a few days ago and they loved it. I have never seen two creatures more excited by the prospect of adventure. I was sitting on the floor with my laptop and they kept bounded over to investigate. The second I moved, they skittered away, only to return a few moments later. Eventually I realized they wanted me to chase them.

I noticed something very interesting — and quite funny! — while Slinky was running around. Every so often she paused and started swaying from side to side. I have never seen this behavior from a rat before, so I did some research into it and discovered that, because red-eyed rats find it more difficult to see than black-eyed rats, they sway to detect motion. I will have to try and film it, because it’s interesting to watch her move.

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Rats Slinky And Diddy Settle In

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Reader Comments
Hi, Shellyane, thanks for explaining that swaying behavior! I had a beautiful white rat nearly 30 years ago, and she did the same thing, and we never knew why.
Lynn, Deerfield Beach, FL
Posted: 3/16/2010 6:45:27 PM
Tommy, Pocatello, ID
Posted: 3/16/2010 8:59:46 AM
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