We (my fiancé and I) love rats, they’re amazing little companions. We added two new additions to the family this month, bringing our ratty total to eight. My Dad aptly named them ‘the furry brotherhood’ when he met them for the first time, claiming that the word ‘rat’ itself implied too many negative connotations for such lovely pets - which is true, everyone loves to think things about rats that just aren’t true. I digress, I wanted to write a post about all of them, because they’re all unique. In order of when they joined the family, I give you, the furry brotherhood…
Stripe is my girl and an absolute sweetheart. She was terrified when we got her, and took a little longer than normal to trust us. She never lashed out or anything of the sort (I’ve never been bitten by any of our rats) but she would hide from me etc, with time she learnt to trust me and it was so worth the effort in the end. Stripe is my ‘lap rat’ and will barely ever leave my side / lap. If she’s out for playtime, you’ll find her wherever I am. She bruxes and eye boggles (signs of happiness / enjoyment) like nobodies business - more than any of the others. Stripe’s definitely the cleaner of the cage, making sure to groom everyone far more than necessary (even when they’re not very happy about it), we joke that she has OCD. Some of the rats in our mischief have a nickname too, Stripe’s is ‘Stipe’ (as in the R.E.M. lead singer).
Lottie is an adventurer, explorer and all round clever clogs. If there’s a rat missing, and a bulge in a towel etc, it’s Lottie. Rats are fearless little animals, but Lottie is insane (the good kind). Sit her on the back of one of the computer chairs in the house, and she’ll launch herself two / three feet to the bed. She’s not happy sitting still and has to investigate everything. We love her for it. Her nickname is Lottie von Lancelot (long story).
We ‘rescued’ Tidus and his brother Lestat from an absolutely horrendous lady that should be banned from ever owning animals. They were advertised as free to a good home on Gumtree, plenty of these ads are from people who find out they’re allergic, or just can’t care for their rats anymore etc. This lady had had an explosion of rats, due to having such wide gaps in the cage bars that the boys and girls were just getting out and having sex whenever. She was keeping the rats on sawdust and allowing them to just mop up condensation from windows. She was also keeping several male bearded dragons together. She was an absolute disgrace. Tidus already had a massive wound above his eye when we took him home - given her level of care we assume an older rat probably attacked him. His wound is now a noticeable scar that never grew back fur - he took that in his stride, chicks dig scars. Tidus has always been sick since we brought him back from that hell hole. Respiratory infections, head tilt from an assumed ear infection, an abscess on his throat…the list goes on. But, he’s never complained, he just gets on with life. Tidus is extremely loving, and loves to dish out kisses (licks) to anyone that wants them. He’s adorable, absolutely squee. He’s still very small compared to a normal adult, and has fluffy kitten hair despite being almost one, teamed with his head tilt and scar people love him. Even people who “hate rats”. I have such an incredible soft spot for my little man (probably a spot of favouritism, sssshhh), but he just melts my heart. His nickname is Tiddy (his name is Tidus and he’s diddy).
As above, Lestat was rehomed with Tidus. Lestat, put simply, is the ladies man. He’s adorable with massive dumbo ears and all of the licks to give (just like Tidus). Lestat is similar to Lottie and sits in the adventurer category - he’s similarly mastered the chair to bed jump. His nickname is Les (Cam isn’t happy about this) or Poster Boy.
Remy and Lucian joined us next. Remy is our big boy, the biggest in the cage, but still small compared to rats we’ve met at rat shows. He’s a big softie though and absolutely adores the balls that rattle. He’ll pick them up and headbang to make them rattle. He’s got a big white belly, which is routinely subjected to tickles :)
Lucian is…chubby. He’s not actually fat, just chubby. Some people have really chubby rats, and realistically it’s cruel (same as chubby humans) but Lucian’s not at the Weight Watchers stage (that is a joke…), he seems to have just eaten a couple of extra yoggies here and there. His nickname is Werepaws as he’s really, really hairy - and his paws are covered in black hair.
Dexter and Digit joined us 2 weeks ago, so understandably there’s plenty more bonding to be done. Dexter was an extremely shy rat when we first brought him home, the shyest yet. Barely moving and pooping through fear for the first week. With perseverance over the last few days he’s opened up, he’s been eating treats from our hands and ran to the cage door to greet me for the first time yesterday - even pining for me when he was put back :) Perseverance is always worth it, I have all of the shy rats and they’re absolutely worth the effort - you’ll have a loyal companion once they trust you. His nickname although unoriginal is Dex.
Digit is crazy. He’s into everything, and that’s great. He was climbing the walls and jumping off of platforms from day one. Digit’s unique trait is that he’s missing a toe, it doesn’t bother him in any way, sometimes we wonder if he even knows…
So, that’s our mischief. A big bunch of cuddle monsters.