Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Rat See, Rat Do

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

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Slinky the Rat
Photo Courtesy Shellyane Bryan

Slinky the rat squeaks a lot, and now her rat companions are starting to adopt her squeaky habit.

I’ve noticed that my pet rats are starting to adopt one another’s quirks as of late. Slinky the rat, since the day I had her, has always been very squeaky. She squeaks in her sleep, she squeaks when one of the other two try to take food off her and she squeaks when she’s excited about something. Comparatively, Mouse has never been one for making any noises whatsoever, and Diddy even less so — unless Mouse is tugging her ears the way she used to tug Dumbo’s!

I noticed today that Mouse has started to squeak, especially when she fears someone is going to take food away from her (and heaven forbid anyone takes away Mouse’s food!). Maybe she’s worried that the food supply is growing short because I’ve been regulating what she’s been eating to help her lose some weight. Thankfully, she has lost quite a bit and looks a lot sleeker now. Slinky has finally started to put on a bit of weight. Having said that, she’s the most energetic and excitable of my three rats, so I doubt she will ever be the size Mouse was.

As for Diddy, she is a very stocky rat. All she ever really tends to do is eat and sleep — something she must have adopted from Mousey. On the other hand, Diddy is far more willing to bumble over to the cage door, especially when walnuts or almonds are on offer. I’ve never seen them move so fast at the sound of rustling plastic bags! They have obviously learned to recognize that the sound means treats. I think that might signify it’s time to start teaching the babies some tricks!

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