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Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Return Of The Rat Ice Games

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

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Diddy The Rat
Photo Courtesy Shellyane Bryan

Diddy the rat (shown) and her cagemates are trying to keep cool during a recent heat wave.

It has been exorbitantly hot in England over the past few days; hot for England at least. Sadly, it’s not just the people here who have to suffer a kind of heat we are definitely not used to — the animals do, too.

Luckily, during the hottest day, I was at home to ensure my rats weren’t getting overheated, though rather fortunately for them, they are situated in the coolest room in the house, the laundry. It doesn’t get a lot of sun, if any at all, and when the back door is open, it tends to catch the breeze. Still, they were obviously quite warm all the same, because the moment I tossed a few ice cubes into the cage, they pounced on them, playfully batting them to each other.

I will have to see if I can train them to ice-fish the way I trained (attempted to train) my rat Dumbo. It will be a good way to keep their minds stimulated, while keeping them cool and entertained at the same time. I have a feeling my rat Slinky will be the one to pick it up fastest, as she is by far the most curious and amicable of my three rats. Of course, I’ve spoken about my attempts to train Mousey on previous occasions. You may remember, that never was very successful.

Mouse the rat made herself comfortable on top of the cardboard box I’ve given them (which has surprisingly survived for more than a fortnight now). I assume it’s colder lying on top of it than inside it. None of them could manage curling up together. Slinky fell asleep inside the hanging tube and Diddy continued to occupy her spot inside the sputnik. I wanted to let them roam in the garden, but it was far too hot for them.

Thankfully, the temperature has at least dipped now, so the rats won’t be suffering while I’m at work. They have their own, personal mini-fan too. Treated like royalty at times, my rats.

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Return Of The Rat Ice Games

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Reader Comments
Hi Sellyane,
Was just going to say when I was in the UK (I'm from Suffolk and moved to Texas last August) I had a hammy to keep cool. One trick I used was having two chin-chilla slabs (they are granit and stay below room temp)and I would rotate them one in the fidge cooling and one in the cage. I would put one under one of his nest boxes if it was really hot and it helped. People also use bottles of frozen water for ferrets to cuddle up to but I think chewing may be an issue. I had a cage with a plastic base and I would stand it on some house bricks and then slide the frozen water bottles under the cage making a cold floor. I have air conditioning now so no longer have to worry but thought I would share some of my coping with hot weather solutions.
Hannah, coppell, TX
Posted: 5/27/2010 6:54:04 AM
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