Posted on Leave a comment

Baby rat growth & development part two: days 11-16

11th Day:

Please ignore the haggard nails, we’d been doing tie-dye. 😉 
The rat babies have been growing like little weeds! At this stage they were still unable to see, but their ears have started to open up and showcase themselves. All of Deadpool’s babies, AKA the Deadites, inherited Dumbo ears as both their parents had them. Only a few of Ripley’s crew (of the Nostromo, naturally) developed dumbo ears despite having the same father. Genetics! While I certainly claim no great depth of understanding when it comes to the intricacies of rat genetics, I do find it very intriguing to learn about. I believe that by breeding our dumbo eared double rex to a standard coated dumbo we’ve gotten a batch of 100% rex babies, some with silky coats and others with short, curly fur…but then I’m not entirely sure as some of her litter look pretty bald. 
This little sweetie is Bendleton, or Ben for short. He’s definitely gotten a luxuriously silky coat! So soft and shiny! He’s been growing bigger, faster, than the rest of the Deadites. 

Cuddle puddle!
A couple of the babies were still pretty runty… 🙁 

12th Day:

Starting to get harder and harder to keep them together long enough for a photo…
The one closest to the camera is Newt, who developed a striking resemblance to her aunt Ripley, hence the name. Behind her is Orcha, another little girl, but you can see how beautifully shiny her coat is!

Aww, hi sweetie!

13th Day:

14th day:

This is the big day! The Deadites have started opening their little eyes and trying to take in the world around them. They’re still on the clumsy side but are definitely getting much more difficult to keep in one place. One of our runts passed away peacefully in the cage during the night… 🙁  They’re still nursing at this stage but have begun to show a little interest in other foods in the cage.

15th Day:

This little sweetie never opened his eyes…poor little guy was a runt until the end, which wasn’t very long after this. 🙁 He was kicked out of the nest and ignored, when we’d check on him he’d be hunched in a corner shivering…over a day or two he got progressively worse. He’s no longer with us, but he’s not suffering either…

Still far from agile, they can wiggle their way out of the nest and will scamper short distances before tiring out and returning to the cuddle puddle. Found one little guy trying to nibble on a piece of carrot when I checked on them. 

16th Day:

I love how at this age they’ve begun lifting their heads to smell the breeze…looks like they’re little wolf pups trying to howl for the first time! ^_-
They’ve also started trying to groom themselves, though they’re pretty clumsy so you’ll catch one toppling over or even tumbling off of edges pretty often. Really have to keep a close eye on their adventuring because they’ll get right up to the edge and…fall off. They’re starting to actually look like little rats now. 
No photos of the 17th-20th days, sorry! 🙁
We were in the process of moving and it was a bit too chaotic to pull out the little guys as often as I had hoped to…To try to compensate for that, I’ve been taking a lot of photos of the other litter to chart their progress during these weeks. I’ll have that post up soon!
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into their development!
Posted on Leave a comment

Happy February’s & brand new babies

Hey guys, been a minute!
Needless to say, January got away from me. 
Between working on a book cover, volunteering with Critical Care Comics, adopting two new rats then losing our beloved fat rat Pendleton, working on trying to resolve the situation with my grandmother, car troubles and the rest I didn’t find much time to work on the blog. For that I apologise.

Yes, we adopted two new rats last month. 
The little baldy above is Deadpool, a female double-rex. While she’s mostly hairless, she has little bits of soft curly peach fuzz on her face and legs so she’s not a true hairless rat- to her benefit. True hairless rats were bred in laboratories for their utility in science and tend to have compromised immune systems and many health issues throughout life as a result. Double rex rats, like our little wrinkle-belly above, are much more resilient. 
And our little Deadpool is pretty robust, just like her namesake! Just yesterday she gave birth to a litter of 9! 9 is actually pretty small by rat standards, but that’s plenty of little guys for us. Pendleton was the proud papa but he didn’t get to meet his progeny. 🙁 May he rest in Rathalla. I’m glad that his legacy lives on and I’m really excited to see how their coats develop. They’re not really the cutest of things right now to non-rat lovers, but one thing that’s fun to note is that you can see the little light spots full of milk in their bellies in the photo above.
Then we’ve got Lt. Ripley, an odd-eyed (one eye is red) fluff ball. She’s an absolute sweetheart and cuddle bug, recently having developed the particular propensity for sticking her tongue up our noses and trying to groom us. It’s a sign of affection that shows she considers us part of her family and cares about our tidiness and wellbeing, but it’s kinda gross when she pulls away with a booger and starts chomping away. x_x;; and her tiny little tongue is quite probe-y…but love is love, right? And pet rats are exceptionally clean animals, probably cleaner than us, so it’s no wonder she’d want to groom us… ^^; she’s just trying to hold us up to her standards of grooming, which mean cleaning your face every 5 minutes or so, lol. 
There was some tie-dye as well. 
I’ll resume posting on the regular again shortly. Thanks for your patience, guys! 

Posted on Leave a comment

Meet Pendleton!

Everyone, meet Pendleton!
Pendleton, everyone. 
He’s the latest addition to the 710 household, and he’s settled in quite nicely! 
Our friend was looking for a home for the poor fella and needed to give him away, so I volunteered. Antho supported it, so here we are. Pendleton’s about a year old and he’s a bouncy little boy. He loves free roaming our bathroom, eating snacks, and snuggling up in my computer chair. Rats are naturally very social animals, so to compensate for his lack of a cage mate we interact with him frequently and let him out often. He’s happily nestled in to my lap now. ^_^ He keeps me company while I write and is very well behaved- he never climbs over the keyboard or very far from my lap. If he ventures too far onto my desk, I can call to him gently and he’ll scamper back within range. He’s especially fond of hoods, and will curl up and ride around in mine for trips downstairs.

He’s not my first pet, and certainly not my first rodent, but he is my first rat. 
With all the information freely available on the internet, I was able to learn a lot about how to appropriately handle him and how best to bond. Rats, being such social little guys, need to develop bonds of trust before they’ll really open up but once they do they’re absolutely lovely! Clever and cuddly, if I ever go too long without petting him he’ll definitely let me know by nuzzling my hand. They need a lot of stimulation to keep from getting bored, so we’ve stocked his cage with all sorts of toys and chew things. He seems happiest with me in the computer chair, though, and will sit happily bruxing and boggling away as I rub behind his ears. ^_^ I’m not going to lie- having earned the trust and affection of such a small, fragile creature makes me feel really good. Like, Disney Princess good. Rats have every reason to be wary, being fodder for a wide variety of predatory animals, humans often among them. 

Fears of catching the plague are nil, as rats have been exonerated. Good thing we didn’t adopt a gerbil! 😉 
Do you have any pets?