Tag Archives: Russian blue rat

Mishka’s mad method

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When we treated our boys to leftover prawns, I got a few shots of Mishka’s mad method of eating the seafood without holding it in his hands:

Step 1: Grab a prawn

Step 1: Grab a prawn

Step 2: Taste the yummyness without touching it

Step 3: Chase the prawn across the cage (because you refuse to dirty your paws)

Step 3: Chase the prawn across the cage (because you refuse to dirty your paws)

Step 4: Somehow, use this method to slowly, carefully clean the shells

Step 4: Somehow, use this method to slowly, carefully clean the shells

Step 5: Sneak up to the bowl...

Step 5: Sneak up to the bowl…

Step 6: ... and bounce off with another piece (while managing to look like an utterly adorable clown!)

Step 6: … and bounce off with another piece (while managing to look like an utterly adorable clown!)

Step 7: Start the hands-free licking process as before

Step 7: Start the hands-free licking process as before

Hehehe. Ah man this rat melts my heart! 🙂

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Six months later…

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Remember these little guys?

Boys from Litter 1

Well, six months later they’ve grown into four very handsome young adults:

Moon Rover

Moon Rover

‘Moonymoonymoonbeam…!’ I call out, and there comes a blazing streak of black and white dashing towards me 😀 Moon is the littlest boy in our bunch, but weighing 440 g is still decent for a male rat. In the four months he’s been with us he’s earned lots of random nicknames, including ‘Opposite Rat’ (for always being awake when the others are sleeping) and ‘Pliable’ (for accepting pretty much whatever cuddling you subject him to). He’s my second favourite ratty 🙂

Voddy Vodka

Voddy Vodka

Oh dear, poor Voddy! We have a bit of a tumultuous relationship, he and I, because I get fed up with his senseless biting of my Mishka’s ears :/ He still picks on Mishka daily (his favourite time to strike is when the helpless dumbo is sleeping), but when he’s not being divisive he’s a really cute rat. He’s also very smart and the quickest to learn the few tricks we’ve tried teaching him. Ninja has a special place in his heart for this rat; we often joke that we should swap so I can call Moon mine and he can have Vodka! But of course they all belong to both of us 🙂 Vodka is our second biggest rat, weighing 500 g.

Sir Knight the Polite

Sir Knight the Polite

Ah Knight, the little gentleman 🙂 The pose in the pic above is typical of Knight’s polite, if-you-don’t-mind-I’ll-have-that-tidbit-now kind of attitude. He weighs 480 g at the moment, and feels so solid and well muscled in our hands. If you think you can resist the cuteness of a black rat, it all changes when those adorable white socks are clinging on the cage bars and begging for a run! Sometimes we still call him Tiny Tot even though he isn’t anymore, and I also call him our little Black Roof Rat 🙂

Squishy Mishka

Squishy Mishka

Awww Meeeeeshka! He weighs 520 g now and has carved out a cosy nest for himself in the middle of my heart 😀 He seems to slowly be outgrowing his reticence during free runs, but occasionally we do still see him peering cautiously around a corner as in the pic above 🙂 His attitude in the cage with his brothers is gentle, though he enjoys a good scuffle like the rest of them – and his policy for dealing with upstarts is simply to sit on them!

I’m very pleased with the progress our boys have made. They’ve all been neutered and Vodka and Knight recovered from the infections they got from the ops. They’ve all gained weight at a good rate and so far they’ve had no respiratory issues. At six months they’re officially mature, and it’s hard to believe they’ve already experienced about one quarter to one fifth of their expected lifetime.

Looking ahead, I hope that we can start taking one or two of them on short trips with us, as I’ve heard many rat owners do successfully. I also plan to add vitamins to their diet this year, and to keep up the regular clipping of their nails (that’s always fun!). As you know, Moon and Knight won prizes in our rat club’s first online rat show last year. In 2014 the club is hoping to host their first live show, and I’d really love to enter our boys in that competition if possible 🙂

And now enough blogging about the bubs… time for me to go clean their cage and give them that free run they’re begging for!

Can you name these rats?

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This may not be true to the Chinese zodiac, but 2013 has certainly been ‘the year of the rat’ for me! I laid to rest two beautiful girls (Coffee and Flea) and got four handsome new boys to fill our home.

My understanding of these sweet fancy rat pets has deepened over the last year, and my love for them has grown. And you, my dear readers, have borne the brunt of my strange obsession!

I’m sure you didn’t expect the Sunshine Scrapbook to turn into such a rodentcentric blog; neither did I. But this small spot on the web is where I share all the bright, beautiful, sweet and fluffy things that bring joy to my life – and rats just happen to tick all of those boxes 🙂

For a bit of fun as 2013 comes to an end, here are 13 famous rats you may or may not know… How many of them can you name?

Rat #13

Rat #12

Rat #11

Rat #10

Rat #9

Rat #8

Rat #7

Rat #6

Rat #5

Rat #4

Rat #3

Rat #2

Rat #1

Did you get them all? Check your answers below:

#13 – This is a Banksy rat, one of many clever rodents painted by British graffiti artist Banksy. (Photo credit: Unknown/Banksy)

#12 – I don’t know its name, but that’s an Ellen van Deelen rat, of course! If you want an overload of ratty cuteness that can’t be matched, google the excellent photography of Ellen van Deelen. I bet every rat owner wishes they could take such amazing pics of their bubs… (Photo credit: Ellen van Deelen)

#11 – The 11th rat on my list is Hector, a dapper little astronaut sent into space by the French in 1961. (Photo credit: RedScharlach.tumblr/Original unknown)

#10 – This guy won’t make much sense unless you’ve watched the kiddies’ TV show Bananas in Pyjamas. That’s Rat-In-A-Hat. (Photo credit: Bananas in Pyjamas wikia)

#9 – Now this face you must know! Arguably one of the most famous fictional rats around: Templeton from Charlotte’s Web. (Photo credit: Paramount Pictures)

#8 – Yup, that’s a gathering of rats at the Karni Mata temple in India, where tens of thousands of so-called kabbas rats are fed and venerated and allowed to run rampant. Gross, gross, gross. And that’s coming from a rat lover! (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

#7 – The artwork is so distinctive, I’m sure you knew that that fat rat is Beatrix Potter’s Samuel Whiskers 🙂 (Photo credit: Beatrix Potter)

#6 – Booger the dog and Kitty the cat wouldn’t have been the hit they were if they hadn’t been topped by Mousie the rat (admittedly, there were several different Mousies over time). This famous trio or animal pyramid was the brilliant idea of a man named Greg Pike. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

#5 – It’s Ratbert, of course. Ratbert the Consultant, co-worker with Dilbert, Catbert and Dogbert. Hehehe 🙂 (Photo credit: Dilbert wikia)

#4 – His jacket probably gave it away if you didn’t know which rat this was: it’s Rizzo from the Muppets. OK, so I learnt that from Google myself… I’ve never watched a Muppets show in my life! (Photo credit: Muppet wikia)

#3 – The only wise and feisty rat sensei out there: Splinter from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#2 – If you think a rat can’t change the world, think again. HeroRATs are trained to do life-saving work such as landmine detection and tubercolosis detection. (Photo credit: APOPO/Wikimedia Commons)

#1 – Oops, I cheated: #1 is actually four rats – my very own fantastic four 😉

Have a happy New Year everyone! See you in 2014!

Zest

Neutering pet rats

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Mishka and Vodka are first up for The Snip tomorrow! My poor rat-mommy heart feels kinda bad for them, but I’m hoping the advantages of neutering will outweigh the stress of an op.

My boys

Just quickly then, here are the apparent advantages (which I’ve briefly mentioned before):

  • Neutered males tend to be less aggressive and dominant (yesss, Mishka – that one’s for you!)
  • Neutering can sometimes help to keep their coats softer for longer
  • It is also said to reduce ‘buck grease’, the oily coating that male rats produce on their backs as they get older
  • It can apparently help to reduce the risk of some cancers
  • And, as with dogs and other sterilised animals, it can lead to fatter and more laid-back pets – which in the case of ratties is of course exactly what we want 😀

We chose for my two boys to get fixed first because they’re the biggest, acting the most dominant and, well, someone had to go first! It’s also a relatively pricey procedure, so we’re splitting the cost over two months. Hopefully the month’s gap will give Moon and Knight a chance to catch up in size a bit as well before their turn comes around.

But speaking of Teddy and Voddy, check out the photo above. You can clearly see here how Vodka (left) is fading very quickly, with a lot more white hairs flecking his Russian blue back. Mishka (right) on the other hand currently seems to be a slow fader, though his coat is definitely lightening up a bit too. For more on rat coat changes, see this post.

So these guys will be off to the vet bright and early tomorrow morning, and then I’ll spend my whole working day thinking about them until I can fetch them in the afternoon 😛 Will let you know how it goes…

A bundle of brothers

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Only two weeks to go until we bring our new ratties home! 😀

The breeder has now placed all our boys together, so there won’t be any intros for us to worry about when they arrive. As far as they’re concerned, they’re all brothers now 🙂

Here are a few of the latest pics (all courtesy of Wheatfields Rattery of course, though I didn’t get a chance to watermark them).

From left: Vodka, Moon, Mishka (standing) and Knight.

Vodka, Moon, Mishka and Knight

Some curiosity from Vodka. And you can see Mishka’s widely spaced dumbo ears here as he grooms.

Boys 2

The breeder explained that the ratties are a blur of activity at this age. I love their inquisitive little faces and interest in their world. Here you can see Moon’s almost ‘piebald’ markings.

Boys 3

Knight looks a lot like Flea, but there’s no mistaking that teeny white chin! *melt*

Boys 4

It’s cute how long and stretchy-looking the ratties are at this age. Their colourings and markings are also showing clearly now, and it will be interesting to see whether they fade or change over time.

Boys 5

I can’t wait to meet these cuties!!! We’ve been stocking up on plenty interesting toys and cage treats for them, which I hope to post about soon…

Also, our old Flea is doing fairly well. Her hind leg degeneration (HLD) is more pronounced now, but she’s still up and about each day. I enjoyed a lovely nap with her the other evening; a warm soft ball of elderly pet rat, bruxing with happiness as she fell asleep by me. Ninja and I are giving her loads of affection, knowing that each day is a chance to appreciate our old girl.

She struggles to eat hard foods now, so I cook or mash up most of her food, which she then devours. The other day I made her some peas, but had to shell and soften them for her as her little hands don’t grip things as well as they used to. Next weekend will be her 2nd birthday (the equivalent of her 60th in human years); Lord willing I can throw her a little party with special treats and lots of love 🙂

Fluffies!

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Our ratties’ breeder has just sent me some of the latest pics of our boys :mrgreen:

Without further ado, here are Moon and Knight at 24 days old:

Moon and Knight 6

One black tail and one pink one

Moon and Knight 8

Knight washing his face

Moon and Knight 11

They look so fluffy!

Notice Knight's adorable white chin

Notice Knight’s adorable white chin

Moon's beautiful blaze on display

Moon’s beautiful blaze on display

And my boys, Vodka and Mishka:

Just look at Mishka’s huge ears!

Vodka and Mishka 7

Such beautiful silvery brothers

Vodka’s little pink mouth

Vodka and Mishka 11

One look and all resistance crumbles

Vodka and Mishka 16

Curious cuties

Now the countdown really begins… just over a month left until we meet these sweeties 😀