Thursday, September 9, 2010
Slinky The Rat Surprises Me

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

Click image to enlarge
Photo Courtesy Shellyane Bryan
Diddy the rat might not like shoulder rides, but she sure seems to like the strap for the camera! Slinky's interest is also piqued.

Slinky did something absolutely adorable over the weekend. Normally she is a very spritely thing, always on the go, never keeping still, always out for adventure. I wouldn’t expect anything of a young rat (even if Mouse and Diddy are as lazy as two rats can possibly get — Slinky makes up for them), so imagine my surprise when she curled up in the front pocket of my hoodie and promptly fell asleep.

Not only that, though, but later on after she woke up, she clambered out, scaled my arm and made herself comfortable in my hood, where she stayed for an hour going wherever I went. I couldn’t believe how sweet it was that she was happy to just sit comfortably and view the sights (only the sights of my house and my garden, but that must be pretty fascinating when you’re only a few inches tall!) Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my camera at the time, so I couldn’t get a shot of her enjoying the ride.

I’m trying to train Diddy to enjoy shoulder rides a little more, but mostly she just seems to cling on for dear life rather than enjoy the adventure. Mouse won’t have any of it of course, poor little thing. I remember her when she was teeny tiny, clambering all over poor old Dumbo. As I had Slinky and Diddy when they were a few months old, I’ve never seen them very, very young.

I think it can make it quite difficult to train rats when they’re older, though not completely unfeasible. I didn’t start properly training Dumbo and Fidget for a few months, and they learned very quickly. Trying to train Mouse to do anything, however, is practically an impossibility. I might give it a try all the same, though (and maybe she’ll even lose a bit of weight!)

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