Tag Archives: rat photos

Cardboard rat castle

Standard

Our new ratties arrived today! Whoop whoop! I’ll share all about that in a moment, but first I want to brag about the super rat castle that my creative husband made 🙂

It’s finally done, so here are all the levels and how they fit together:

Level 1

Level 1

The rats enter through a classic ‘mouse-hole’-shaped doorway and have to navigate a maze (it even has a wrong turn with a dead end built in).

Level 2

Level 2

The second storey has a viewing window (covered with clear plastic) and a fenced-in area that can be filled with stones through which the rats can snuffle for treats 🙂

Levels 1 and 2 set up

Levels 1 and 2 set up

The whole contraption is made from nothing but strong cardboard and plastic packaging tape.

Level 3

Level 3

The third level can also be filled with interesting items for the rats to crawl through – I’m thinking of using scraps of old material. As you can see, each level is covered with tape so that any pee spots or food messes can be wiped up with ease.

Levels 1, 2 and 3 set up

Levels 1, 2 and 3 set up

Levels 2 and 3 both have cute viewing windows and staircases with steps for easy grip when the rats ascend or descend.

Level 4

Level 4

Finally, the rats will emerge into the open space on Level 4. It has a small shaded area on the one side though, because we know how much ratties like scurrying straight to dark, safe places :mrgreen:

The complete castle

The complete castle

What a labour of love! I’m so impressed with my husband’s ideas and hard work. In my mind’s eye I picture this as the ratty version of a gorgeous fancy hotel, and if I had time I’d paint it Mediterranean white with palm trees and cute details all over… but I know the ratties don’t need that – they’ll love it exactly as is 🙂

Advertisements

Paperwork, pedigrees and pics

Standard

So! We’ve signed the contracts for our new boys and received their pedigrees. Only four sleeps left till we fetch our newbies from the airport! :mrgreen:

The contract is a standard one that all proper breeders will require prospective rat owners to sign. I guess it must be similar to contracts from breeders of other pedigreed animals. It’s simply an agreement between Ninja and I and Wheatfields Rattery, to ensure that:

  • we don’t breed with our new bubs
  • the rats can be confiscated if we don’t care for them properly, and
  • the rats must never be sold to a pet shop – if for any reason we can’t keep them anymore, they must go back to the breeder.

The pedigrees are what you would expect: documents showing the ratties’ ancestry as far back as their great-great grandparents. This time on the pedigrees, the breeder used the names we’ve called the rats, which is cool and very official 😉

Today the breeder took the boys to the lady who’ll be the one arranging the flight. Before they left their only known home, though, they had one last photoshoot:

Moon – Black lightning-blazed vari-berk

Moon – Black lightning-blazed vari-berk

Knight – Black Berkshire

Knight – Black Berkshire

Mishka – Russian Blue striped roan dumbo

Mishka – Russian Blue striped roan dumbo

Vodka – Russian Blue striped roan

Vodka – Russian Blue striped roan

The breeder says they’re unstoppably active at this stage, which is going to be a major change for us now that we’re used to the quiet slow pace of lady Flea-Flea 🙂

It’s also interesting to see how my boys are starting to fade already. Some rats are very fast faders, while other coat colours and genes hardly fade at all. I hope they’ll still keep some of their beautiful silvery colouring though!

Anyway, so it’s been a great journey for me taking you through this series of posts on the process of ordering new ratties. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. Little remains for Ninja and I to do other than to thoroughly clean their future home, prepare some welcome-home snacks, and wait to hear what time their flight from Cape Town should arrive in Joburg.

Till then, have a sunny week!

Zest

World Rat Day 2013

Standard

It’s World Rat Day! Time to spare a thought for these intelligent, adorable and badly misunderstood creatures.

Rat meme courtesy of Ratanooga.co.za

I’m counting celebrating today as part of Goal #78 on my 101 things in 1001 days – celebrate five obscure holidays. Except that, of course, celebrating pet ratties is hardly unusual for an owner-slave like me 🙂

Rat owner meme courtesy of Ratanooga.co.za

Rat owner meme courtesy of Ratanooga.co.za

Some fun rat facts you may not have known:

  • Pet rats or fancy rats come with a range of coat types and a wide variety of coat colours.
  • The collective noun for a bunch of rats is a ‘mischief’.
  • Some rats have large, low-set ears called dumbo ears – which really adds to their ‘squeeeee!’ factor 😉
  • Rats in general have very bad eyesight, while pink- and ruby-eyed rats can barely see more than a blur.
  • Pet rats are very clean creatures, conscientiously grooming themselves and others (and even their humans!) throughout the day.
  • Ratties can’t burp, but they do get the funniest squeaky hiccups sometimes 😀
  • These rodents can collapse their ribcages if needed, to squeeze through spaces much smaller than you’d imagine possible!
  • Rats use their long, scaly tails (which for some reason many people seem to find gross) as a cooling system, because they don’t sweat. Makes me wonder how the bred-to-be-tailless rats cope in the heat…
  • Rats use their sweet little hands, which don’t have any thumbs, to grip food and scoop water. And apparently researchers have found that most rats are right handed.

If you haven’t yet acknowledged the cute side of rats, here are some of the most adorable pics of our present and past rat babies (all pics courtesy of their respective breeders)…

Our current girls Flea and Coffee looked like this at eight days old:

Baby Flea

Baby Flea

Coffee as a bub

Coffee as a bub

When their eyes open they become even cuter! Here are the girls with two of their other sisters. Flea is the tiny black one, of course, and Coffee is the girl on the far right.

Tiny girls ready to explore

The breeder of our previous boys, Scribble and Muesli, also sent us a few pre-purchase pics so we could choose our rats:

Two weeks old

Two weeks old

Four-week-old nunus

Four-week-old nunus

From these pics it’s tough to not to fall in love with pet rats and recognise that they can be just as beautiful and lovable as any kitten or puppy.

But if you’re still not convinced, allow me to introduce you to the heroine of rat lovers everywhere: Ellen van Deelen.

Grab a cup of tea, make sure no one is around to hear your inevitable ‘Awwww!‘s, and check out her rat photos here.

Ellen’s incredible pictures shoot straight to the heart of what it means to love a rat. She shows them in anthropomorphic but natural poses with a variety of bite-sized props, and captures their expressions and personalities perfectly.

Resistance is futile 🙂