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Wednesday, March 17, 2010
New Rats, New Challenges

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 is playful and often nips at Shellyane's feet.

Diddy and Slinky, the rat babies, are really coming into their own, now. I can see their personalities starting to emerge now they’ve found their feet — all eight of them! I feel a bit anxious about how they’re going to mature at the moment, because they’re both still a little nibbly and nervous.

However, Slinky — just like Dumbo did — is turning into a bit of a lick monster. She’s very playful and energetic and loves being chased around the cage. Diddy, on the other hand, loves being chased around the living room, but sometimes she tries to do it back to me and has a habit of biting my socks! That’s a bit of a nasty quirk I will have to train her not to do, because she gets a bit carried away and bites too hard from time to time. It’s to be expected, though, when she is just being a bit playful. I think she will probably just grow out of it.

I might start officially training my rats sometime in the next fortnight. If they’re willing to be attentive enough, I think they will pick things up very quickly. Once they’ve exhausted their exploratory time on the floor, they normally hop over for some attention, which is probably the best time to try and train them, seeing as I can’t get them to leave me alone!

Mouse, my other rat, has, of course, been her usual self — nipping toes, ears, pinching food and generally being Mamma Rat. She made Slinky’s toe bleed a couple of days ago, but Slinky certainly let her know she hurt her by pouncing on her back. Poor little mite really is quite feisty for her size, which brings me to another point.

Diddy is massive. She is still a baby rat, and she’s already Mouse’s size. I wonder if she has just grown quickly, or if she is going to be absolutely enormous when she reaches maturity. I can’t wait to find out!

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