I know I've posted this kind of thing elsewhere, but I'm feeling nostalgic about my furbabies this week, and anticipating the arrival of my new kitlings as well. So I thought I'd walk down memory lane with you guys.
Feel free to comment or add your memories of your own rodent furries. Let's celebrate our babies.
In 2009, I decided I wanted to try owning rats for the first time. After much research and contact with a rockin' breeder named Amy, I awaited my first three boys. They came home to me the first week of March 2010. Three 'creepy' smudgy black baby brothers that I named The Alabama Ghostboys.
Windham (back corner) was the shyest and yet grew to be the biggest of the bunch. His catchphrase was "There's Nothing to Fear But Monsters." He stayed with me 9 months before a mystery neurological paralysis took him from us too soon.
Jeffrey (dumbo to the left) grew to be a scruffy Indiana Jones explorer rat. He was mentor later in life to the next generation of baby rat that came into our home. He left us in the spring of 2012 at just over 2 years old when a benign but poorly situated bone tumor took him from us. His theme song was straight from The Stones "Jeff-REEE he does what he likes, any old time!"
Tucker (right hand boy) was Mr Godfather. He was amiable and confidant and commanded respect his whole tenure of The Cage. Later in life, HED scarcely slowed him down. We'd always sing: "Get out the way of old man Tucker, he's too cute to miss his supper." He lived to a ripe old age of 30 odd months, and left us in his sleep cared for by the next generation.
Our next generation came to us December 2011.
I fell in love with hairless rats, so broke my cardinal rule of BYB purchase and brought home the two stinkiest, ornariest, gummy beariest, street urchins I could find. Blind Melon and Lynyrd Skynyrd, aka Melon and Skinner were my happily married gay couple who were devoted to each other and no one else. Life was nothing if not exciting with them. They were fun, annoying, and always entertaining. We lost them both January 2013 when our air unit malfunctioned while we were away.
At the same time we adopted Melon and Skinner, we also brought home the Ghost Boys' younger half brother Black Pete, a tiny little dot of a baby who was the most discriminating and sweet gentleman I've seen. He grew into a giant solid block of a rat.
As seen here.
He had a devoted Bromance with his idol Jeffrey, and eventually took over as Lovefather after the exit of other brother Godfather Tucker. He loved few but loved devotedly, and left us too soon along with the hairless twins January 2013.
Arriving with Petamungus, came a pudgy, and roly poly Poster Boy For Ratty Goodness we named Zmei. He was a handsome BES satin boy and was the Gomez of the rat world. He would kiss you from shoulder to fingertips. He was arm candy and my biggest heart rat ever. He would also brass knuckle his own mother for some corn on the cob. We lost him far too soon at 18 months to myco.
The third generation came in the summer of 2012. I was asked to take in and love some of breeder Amy's gals as she'd developed a severe rat allergy and could use some help with someone she trusted to keep some of her retired breeders to get her numbers to an allergy friendly level. I became guardian to a rainbow assortment of five girls I dubbed the Skittle Girls.
First was Custard. Zmei boy's half sister. A delicate featured pudge of a BES satin girl cut from fat boy Zmei's mold. She was a surrender who'd come back to Amy having been kept isolated from other rats. Custard was terrified of all rats, but Black Pete fell in love with her on sight and spent the rest of her life winning her over. We lost her after a mere 4 months due to multiple aggressive tumors complicated by Myco, but in the time we had her, it was like having Zmei back with us again, because while she hated other rats, she loved us with a silly, licky, passion.
Second was Zanna, a litter mate of my darling Zmei. A burmese satin dignified older lady who after he lost his lady love Custard, took Black Pete into her heart and made him feel safe. I loved the three 'Mese rats so much. Their personalities and looks were exceptional. Though they were the only two litters bred of this line and quickly discontinued because of the multiple health problems that cropped up, I wish all rat lovers could have rats blessed with their personalities. We lost lady Zanna with Black Pete and the hairless brats in January 2013.
Along with Zanna, came cagemates Darcy and Devon.
Top to bottom: Devon, Darcy, and Zanna
Darcy, my dumbo russian blue velvet hunka happy go snuggly rat girl. She's cheeky and loves to escape the cage given the opportunity, but is the most pancaking mellow rat in the world. She loves everyone and everything, and loves hanging out with people. My son is devoted to this little girl, and she helps him do his homework every day after school.
Darcy, seen here contemplating a cage break.
Devon is a russian blue dalmatian lady who is an unashamed wheel addict. She is four months shy of her third birthday, and is only just now losing her wheely tail to HED. She STILL walks her wheel every morning. She is shyer and discriminating, but has chosen me as her special friend. I adore her and her face boomerang so much. I will cry big tears when Darcy and Devon go to the Land of New Feetsies.
Devon's Face Boomerang
Devon's Wheel and Wheely Tail
Rat number five is has become my labor of love. Black Aggie came to me a special needs head tilt girl who, like her uncle Jeffrey, is the ultimate explorer. She is by far my cleverest rat. There's little she can't figure out in a heartbeat. She's stand offish but every bit as entertaining and busily on the go as my hairless brats were. We've had recent health scares with her revolving around her ear and abscess issues, but we've got high hopes she'll be around for a long time yet to come.
Herrooooo head tilt girl!
Aggs is also known for her posing skills.