The Newest Alabama Ghost Rats Are Home - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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The Newest Alabama Ghost Rats Are Home

Okay, I'm dog tired but home. And home with me are my three new rat kids.

My two survivors the College Boys, now officially named Waddel and Luster B. Lustrat. And my new tiny talented and tenacious terror, Clara the Impossible Girl. Huzzah!

And now I'm off to bed. Pfew.


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Hanging out in the Land of New Feetsies:
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 04:11 AM
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HEEYY!!! You have your three new bubbies home with you, hooray!! That is great Storyseeker! I cannot wait to see photos and anecdotes on your new fuzzy babies, yippeee!

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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I log back on today to post a few pics, and see you've stopped by. Haha. Yes, they're home. They've lived more places than most military brats, but now they're home for good.

I've had a couple of days to look at them and get to know them so far.

The foster had the boys long enough to start with the neutral territory intros w/ Clara. Clara and Luster were already starting to get along, while Waddel and she were still figuring each other out. I took advantage of the Terrible Horrible Car Ride Monster and let them all three ride in the same cage so they could further bond over their shared terror. It seemed to have done the trick. There's still some minor face pushing going on, but I'm also catching the three of them sleeping together most of the time.

Just for the sake of anyone reading this thread out of context from the other threads mentioning these kids I'll reshare their backstory a bit:

Clara was born on Christmas Eve 2012 as an oops litter from a pet shop female who was purchased in one of those typical get 12 for the price of 1 accidental pregnancies so common in pet store purchases. Clara was wicked hormonal so I requested her to be spayed. She's already so much calmer and exhibiting an impressive aptitude for problem solving and a very restless spirit. I was warned I'd have to watch her like a hawk because she would find a way to get into trouble at any opportunity. Because I thought she could benefit from having her busy mind engaged in tasks, I started clicker training last night, and she's picking it up already.

Then of course my two College Boys.
Clara was named for a Dr Who character thanks to my sons. The College Boys were named after haunted buildings on the campus where they were rescued: Waddel Hall and Lustrat House. My inner 12 year old snickered at Lust-rat, though the proper pronunciation is "LehSTRAHT"...and by extension his nickname is the french "Lehster" with my tongue tucked in my cheek. Waddel Hall was "Wah-DEL", but to me he's Waddle.

Their story wasn't so silly though. They were purchased from a feeder bin as a college prank where they were released into a women's dorm. They survived that, but the College boys who caught them smuggled them back to their own dorm and started a betting pool to see who would have the privilege of dispatching of the rats horrifically now that their prank usefulness was over. An awesome young man present chewed out the mouthbreathers and claimed the rats from them, where they ultimately made it to the Rat Rescue and then to me.

The foster volunteers at the rescue did some great work on socializing everyone. Waddel came out of his girl's dorm adventure with a broken tail. The bones are completely separated so the last inch of his tail flops around loosely. They considered amputation, but the vet said there was still a good blood supply and Waddel wasn't in pain, so he elected to leave it. Even with this and everything else, Waddel somehow came out of it all completely people bonded. When frightened, he runs straight to the nearest human and begs for protection. He prefers hanging out with us and is already an accomplished sleeve diver and shoulder jockey. I've missed having boys too, because his big muscular bulk just feels good to hold. He's got this tiny little head and these giant birthing hips. His fur is as soft as can be and he loves tunneling under my chin and hair. He's my first pink eyed rat, so his poor vision is interesting to get used to.

Luster is the youngest at 4 months, and still a sleek weasel bodied boy, which fits his little mink self. He's still got a bit of the twitchy skittish juvenile in him, and bolts at the first noise. I was told he's a sweet little guy though: Reserved but curious. They described him as the most laid back so I will assume that a lot of the twitchiness is just him still settling in. I haven't handled him much and want to give him all the time in the world to decide I'm okay.

I did get some poor pictures. In addition to my three rats I came home with the walls of a martin's playpen donated to me because Amy the Rescue Angel told me that I may need the extra space to satisfy Clara's high energy and intelligence. It was missing the manufactured lid that goes with it, so I went to Lowe's yesterday and picked up some hardware cloth and redneck engineered a flip top lid for the playpen. Hardware cloth, clamped c-rings, zip ties, bungee cords, and yardsticks. The only thing missing is duct tape.

Anyway, here's some shots of the cage and the rat kids gracing me with glimpses of their ADHD antics.

Luster likes soy yogurt:


Another of Luster. Beep Beep Zoom:


Hi Waddel you little snow angel you:




Waddel zooming by. Note the tiny head and big hiney.



Hoodie girl Tiny Clara peeking out:


Aaand, two seconds later, peaking out from another location:


And, just because, here's the big playpen. 44x44x24:


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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Yay, some better shots today:

Clara



Group Shot: Luster, Waddel, and Clara


Another shot w/ Waddel holding still:


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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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And I'm going on record to say that everyone is right: It's HARD to photograph PEWs and photoshop is your friend.

Here's an untouched pic of Waddel for comparison:



I'm thinking natural sunlight with no flash is the only real option.


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Last edited by Storyseeker; 06-28-2013 at 02:51 PM.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 04:18 PM
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Oooooh, Story, great photos! Gaahhhh! I love your new kids! They are such cutie patooties!

I have not yet had a chance to read your new post as I have to skeedaddle out but when I get 10 minutes, I am going to sit down and read all your news on your new kiddos.

(But I had to peek real quick at all the fun pictures...can you blame me?)

P.S. Their big playpen looks amazing and so fun for them. What pampered happy kids you will have!

Vlad

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You will always be with me, my sweet boys. I will see you at the Bridge.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Vlad. They are so neat. I was going to wait until I was ratless before getting any more, but I think this was a good decision. It is going to make the transition less painful. My oldest girls are starting to show their ages, and Aggs still hasn't forgiven me for making her take meds twice a day since she has always been very sensitive about hands.

Having these eager love bugs is bringing new energy into my mischief.

I've been working with them today. You might find the process interesting. I have no idea if this is a wise approach to trust training rats, but I have found a little bait and switch by tricking their senses and instincts works well. Specifically their sense of smell, and the instinct to seek out a warm, dark hidey place.

I put a poncho on and flipped the back end over my head to make a hoodie/cowl/cloak w/ lots of folds for burrowing. I poked all three skittish rats into the dark, warm recesses of my cowl and walked around a bit like that. It wasn't long before they'd burrowed into my hair and under my neck, since they couldn't get down while I was walking.

I kept them long enough to make sure that the inside of the hoodie had been peed on, or at least smelled a bit like them. Then I took them into the play room and laid down on the floor to read a book with them burrowed at the back of my neck.

And what do you know, that dark warm cloak smelled like them /and me/. The bright bathroom was big and skeeery. The place that smelled like me was safe. So I read a book and ignored them.

It took them an hour for all three decide to leave my cloak and explore. I'm sure they spent part of that time rat napping in my hair learning to associate my smell with all kinds of safety.

Sure enough, by the time they had finished doing the two steps forward, one step back exploration of new territory and were running amok around the room, all it would take was a single unfamiliar sound and all three would bolt into my hood from across the room like three mini road runners. Zip Zip Zip.

You know, I was kind of reminded of the looney toons cartoon with the mice who tried to commit suicide by getting Claude the neurotic cat to eat them. They'd zip, zip into his mouth. He'd spit them out and they'd zip zip back into this mouth. LOL Hmm....

Whadda ya know...youtube is a good thing: http://vdownload.eu/watch/3242439-19...s-m-jones.html


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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 09:18 PM
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Oh Hooray! I finally got to read all your posts and like always, it was such a fascinating blast to read.


First off, your method with the poncho sounds brilliant to me. How clever and effective is that?! It worked like a charm and I am none too surprised! Bravo, dahling. (and Story replied, "Yes, yes, I know, I am brilliant, thank you everyone, please, no applause. ) Hehehee.




And yes, the Looney Tunes cartoon with poor Claude and the mice, awesome! Marc and I are Looney Tunes fans, so we know our Bugs and Daffy and all the rest, including Claude spitting out the mice! (I had totally forgotten about that one).



I am so glad you got these three kids. The timing was right, I can tell by your post. And I was so sad to hear about Waddel having his tail broken during that horrific prank...poor sweet baby.
I am glad he is doing fine though and that he is not in any pain.


You know what? You answered one of my questions I had! I was wondering how to pronounce his name and there it was on your post. I was calling him Waddle in my head, but thinking that it was probably supposed to be pronounced WAH-DEL. So I was doing the same thing you are doing, ha ha.


I love the name and based on his big bottom shape, the name will be a lovely fit.


Speaking of names, Clara is just a beautiful, sweet and very feminine name for your girl. I just love it.


And Luster, wow, it was sooo cool that when you mentioned the haunted halls your boys are named after from the college, that the proper way to pronounce that was Leh-strat, which of course reminds me of my all time favorite vampire from Anne Rice's novels, LESTAT! So neat!
(yes, I have seen the movie "Interview with the Vampire" about a million times...sigh)

SO...the names just rock, big time. I love them. Good job to you Madam!


I get the feeling that Luster is going to be the Maximus of your two boys...smaller, more zippity and skittish, and Waddel is going to be the big love squish who craves people, like Achilles. Isn't it funny how you can see so much of your own rat kids in other people's rat kids? (Achilles and Zmei come to mind, of course)

Wow, how fun and fulfilling for you to have your new kiddos, and boy I am sure they are falling in love with Mama Story as I speak. That trust training session was amazing. They are very lucky to have found you.


I am sure Clara and the boys will have so much fun in that wonderful playpen you rigged up for them. If I was a rat, I would be in there big time.

Thanks so much for the great photos and pictures, and keep in touch with how your new bubs are doing! And...send them allll of my love and kisses.

Vlad

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You will always be with me, my sweet boys. I will see you at the Bridge.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2013, 03:30 PM
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P.S. on your post, Story....


I just remembered reading one thing on your post that I TOTALLY related to. You mentioned how wonderful it was to have boy ratties again because you missed that big, heavy weight of having a boy in your arms.


Marc and I comment all the time about the feeling of holding a big boy squishy in our arms...we call it "the hot water bottle" feeling. One of the biggest things we missed when we lost our first squishy love boy, Klausse.


That feeling of a big, warm yummy boy body to lift up and hold. Tucking his big paddle feet in to make him feel safe when I lifted him and just wanting to bury my face in his warmth and heaviness....sigh. But, like I said, you know ALL about that feeling.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Your replies are always so loving.

And just for clarification, I'm only halfway brilliant on my mother's side.

Since we are discussing pronunciations, you'll like this bit on Clara's name, it was my eldest son's idea. He's a big Dr. Who fan. But it was my youngest who informed us that the correct pronunciation was not CLAY-ruh (our Southern dialect) but CLAH-rah (Dr. Who dialect of the season). So we walk around "Hey ya'll silleh rayttees, and how you doin'....uh 'CLAH-rah'".


And I'm glad I'm not the only one who was thinking The Ratpire Lustrat. He really is Maximus Jr. He ran everywhere he could go and was just on the go the entire time. I'm glad he's got a rat to look up to.

Day 2 of the RatCowl has seen progress. Instead of hiding in my hood for an hour at the beginning of the session before working up the nerve to explore, this time she jumped out to play, and then finished the session with a nap in my hood. LOL

It was fun being able to distinguish which rat was crawling over me by their weight and demeanor alone. I could hardly feel Clara, and Luster would bounce around. Waddel was heavy and deliberate and stopped to lick or chew things. Water-bottle is the perfect description of him! And I had to curl my toes yesterday when he started grooming my head. He chewed the rubber band out of my hair, and then started nibble grooming my ears for the longest time. It's unnerving to make yourself hold still while teeth capable of grinding through cinder blocks delicately and persistently gnaws at the tiny hairs on the edges of your ears.

Yesterday was the Skittle Girl's day in the playpen for the first time. They didn't know what do to with themselves. Black Aggs spent the day spider-pigging and they all loved the room to explore.


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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 07:48 PM
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Ha ha! Your update was so fun to read!

I read your post to Marc and he was totally chuckling and nodding his head about how you sat still, curling your toes through your lovingly applied ear grooming and hairstyling session from Waddel...we totally relate!


And speaking of Looney Tunes, Marc instantly thought of one of the cartoons where a new kitten in the house is doing that claw pawing thing on the family dog and he is sort of biting his lip to stay polite while kitty scratches her little paws on his body.


Aww, Waddel sounds like such a precious! Giving Mommy a good grooming! He loves you already, that is very obvious!


And Aggs doing her spidey-pig routine in the new playpen, yes! I can just imagine it! Go Spidey-Aggs, go!


I always forget that "y'all" speak with a Southern accent in Alabama so it was cool to read how you pronounce Clara's name and then trying to do the "CLAH-ra" pronunciation. Of course, being a Yankee from up North, the way I naturally pronounced her name in my head was "CLAIRE-uh".


My dad's half of the family are Texans, and boy I remember going to visit down in the suburbs of Dallas, and my cousins giggling over the "funny" way I pronounced "iced tea". They said I pronounced it "weird" because I would say, "EYES-D TEE" and they all pronounced it with the Southern accent so it sounded like, "AHS-TAY"...well, you know what I mean. Too funny.

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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ooo I remember that kitteh. Hehehe. I'm going to go back and watch all our looney toons now. I'm feeling it.

I grew up in the 70's, which means that we got Saturday doses of looney toons heavily censored by the powers that be to protect us kids from getting stupid ideas like jumping off of a cliff trying to run on air.

So I never liked Road Runner cartoons at all. They excessively short and were boring. Then we bought the original uncensored Road Runner cartoons a couple of years ago. I've never laughed so hard. I'm making sure to indoctrinate my children on the uncensored versions. Am I a bad parent to bait them into running on air off of the deck? >

Yeah, you say the ear nibbling is a sweet thing, but my ears are still twiching with phantom wiggins. LOL Yeah, I'll let him do it again.


Ahs tay. Yep, that's a Texasism. The south as as many southern dialects as England has British. LOL

We say it closer to "asstee" for reference...Which is not the same as opening a can of "whoop ice" or "A-skin" directions.


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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 09:53 PM
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LOL I love the differences in pronunciations, ha ha! Yes, we yankees up here always sound so nasally compared to our kinfolk down in the South, don't we? To a southerner, I probably sound like a New Jersey Fran Drescher talking out of my nose.

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Of course by comparison at our worst, we often sound like we're trying to talk with cotton balls stuffed in our cheeks.

Really though, there's no limit to the dialects. I love listening to them on all corners. I'd love to be able to go to the far NW. That's one area where I haven't heard the dialects first hand enough to recognize them when they occur.

On rat news, I had floor session 3 with the new rats. Observations:


When they saw me coming with my Ratman cowl on, they immediately jumped into my outstretched hand, ready for their walkabout.

Clara was flipped on her back the most and seems to be confused at this turn of events. From peefrenzy queen to this...??

Waddel has two days in a row dedicated to grooming my ears and eyebrows. It doesn't get any easier to uncurl my toes the second time around.

Lustrat is proving to live up to his new name. He bounced, chased, played, and explored hard the whole time. And when he'd encounter other rats, he'd merrily hump them and then flip them onto their backs. Luster was the most shy, smallest, and youngest of the three on day one. While his manner seems more playful than purposeful as of yet, he's defiantly not shy anymore. LOL Hysterical to see him flip big hunka Waddel and straddle him like a boss.


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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 12:21 AM
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Awww, ha ha, I can imagine how funny that must be seeing little sleek Luster pinning big boy Waddel...so cute!

And poor Clara...Queen for a day and then the indignity of being flipped. D'aww! Stand your ground little Clara! Girl power!

Your kiddos have fast learned so many good things about the Comforting Poncho Safety Nest, of course! Sigh...rats are just so durned intelligent. Love it.

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