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I haven't posted in a while, so thought I'd share.

My big black self boys Jeffrey and Tucker are almost 15 months old! That's roughly 45 in rat years (If the calculation of 10 days = 1 year in rat growth is correct). I can't believe my baby boys are now middle aged. They went through a mid-life crisis with the addition of their four new juvenile cage mates, each losing a fair amount of weight with the stress of new additions. But now, they're gaining weight again, and are fat and sassy patriarchs of their domain.

Black Pete, their biological younger half brother and the cage baby is now close to full sized. I was concerned I wouldn't be able to tell he and his physical 'twin' Tucker apart once he was full grown unless I looked at is little irish paws, but it's striking to me how different they look. Pete is daintier than Tucker, with the cutest, most perfectly perfect pink ears, and he has enough of the silvering fault in his coat that in some lights he looks closer to russian blue than black. He is the content omega of the gang, and relishes his job of peace maker.

Zmei my smeezy BES has never seen a nom he didn't feel compelled to snatch, steal, horde, inhale, or otherwise claim as his god given right. He's always been fluffy squishy, but now he's getting roly poly on top of it. At six months he's already matched Jeffrey's top adult weight, which Jeffrey didn't obtain until he was 10 months old. I keep trying new ways to limit the little dust buster's food consumption.

Skinner and Melon, the naked twins I had been monitoring with their drama queen potential aggression issues. Last week they started humping everyone and everything that moved, and started showing more than the usual rough housing naked rat battle scars. I decided it was time, and took them on Friday for neutering. The surgery went so smoothly, and after a day to recover, I went ahead and reintegrated them back into the colony to minimize any separation issues. It was a complete non issue, with both of them finding separate snuggle burrows and generally refusing to talk to me for a couple of days while soaking up the nursing attention of Zmei and Black Pete.

Today was deep down cage clean day, and Skinner and Melon are back to eating and behaving normally and being perky and bright eyed. I will miss their glorious naked bums, but I am already seeing a decrease in their cheekiness now that their behavior is back to normal.

Could it be that we will have a completely happy integrated cage in the next few weeks? Crossing fingers!
 

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welcome back story seeker,thank u for the updates
 

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Story,
GREAT update on your boys, thanks! I just read your update out loud to my husband and it was super to hear how the Alabama ratties are doing. Little Pete..what a sweetie! A great nurse (along with Zmei) to your nekkid boys after their surgery and peacemaker as well. Nice!
I am glad the surgery went well, and it was also so funny to read about Zmei being a nom nom addict, heheh! :giggle:
I bet he is such a roly poly squish boy big time at this point, eh?
I am also glad Jeffrey and Tucker are doing well..I love all of your boys, they are such an amusing and lovable bunch. Send new photos out? I would love to see more pics! Kisses to all your boys and I am as always sending a special kiss and hug up to Windham, who I know is having tons of fun with my Klausse and Wolfgang. :)
 

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Great update!!! :D I'm glad the surgeries went well--sounds like they'll be calmer now that they don't have those hormones telling them what to do! :lol: (Also, it sounds like Zmei is a bit like my Stanley--I'm always trying to figure out how to get him on a diet without limiting Russell's food, too, and it's quite a challenge! Lately he's been coming out for extra romping time around the apartment, so maybe you could try that with Zmei. :) ) I love the description of Pete, too. You should draw another cartoon of them all!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Story,
GREAT update on your boys, thanks! I just read your update out loud to my husband and it was super to hear how the Alabama ratties are doing. Little Pete..what a sweetie! A great nurse (along with Zmei) to your nekkid boys after their surgery and peacemaker as well. Nice!
I am glad the surgery went well, and it was also so funny to read about Zmei being a nom nom addict, heheh! :giggle:
I bet he is such a roly poly squish boy big time at this point, eh?
I am also glad Jeffrey and Tucker are doing well..I love all of your boys, they are such an amusing and lovable bunch. Send new photos out? I would love to see more pics! Kisses to all your boys and I am as always sending a special kiss and hug up to Windham, who I know is having tons of fun with my Klausse and Wolfgang. :)
Zmei says there isn't a nom he doesn't love. He'll endure any indignity for a nom. I took him to the library yesterday during my work shift. I put on a hoodie and he spent the time riding in my hoodie or on my shoulder for a good hour while I set up for programming and helped patrons. Most patrons never even noticed him. Anyone who would notice him and try to pet him, he'd lick, lick, lick their hands. The advantage to a hood is that his butt was usually hidden, and the people who were rat phobic (read="Ew gross! That tail!! Eek!") loved him because they never visually connected him to being a rat.


Black Pete is such a doll. I always mentally refer to him as 'Baby Pete' or 'Little Pete', but he's not so little anymore. He's almost as big as Tucker. But he still has a 'shy little' personality. He's just so gentle, sweet, and balanced. I don't know if he'll ever be particularly people bonded, but he's an invaluable asset to the cage dynamics.

I'll post some photos directly. I haven't taken any in a month, but I'll see what I have.

Windham has discovered the advantage of being non-corporial in that he can actually visit all of his online buddies. Be careful, that little ambling flash of a butt out of the corner of your eye may not be agouti or blue every time, it may be a little black visiting bum. :D

Great update!!! :D I'm glad the surgeries went well--sounds like they'll be calmer now that they don't have those hormones telling them what to do! :lol: (Also, it sounds like Zmei is a bit like my Stanley--I'm always trying to figure out how to get him on a diet without limiting Russell's food, too, and it's quite a challenge! Lately he's been coming out for extra romping time around the apartment, so maybe you could try that with Zmei. :) ) I love the description of Pete, too. You should draw another cartoon of them all!!!!
I'm really hoping that the surgery will continue to reap positive results in the cage. I can't say I didn't give it every effort. Every vet I've spoken to about the boys are oddly shocked that I'm able to keep a colony of six adult boys in the same cage.

I really think it's a combination of the efforts made, and the pure size of the cage. Six boys in a 12 rat capacity cage. Everyone has plenty of space to break to their corners when things get too tense. I'm noticing that the protest squeaks have died down at least for the time being.


As for Zmei, it's especially challenging to keep him on a diet because of the number of different dietary needs in the cage. ...And the fact that he's not happy unless he's stolen what belongs to another rat. He's all "You're eating that? You mean it's edible? And you're still alive? Give it up!"

He was cracking me up yesterday. As big as he is, he's still a puddin'. He popcorns like a baby when he gets excited, and he tries to get the other rats to play with him. He dove at Tucker, and it looked like he was going to pounce Tucker and roll him, but then at the last second he burrowed his way under Tucker's belly, flipping himself over on his back and started playing the 'reluctant' submissive. If I hadn't been watching, I'd have assumed he'd been rolled by Tucker and was being power groomed. Tucker had this astonished look on his face all WTF. Tucker's usually so dignified, and above displays of silliness, but after a moment of surprise and persistent repeated reverse belly rolls by Zmei, he was talked into it. He started playfully ratballing with Zmei all over the cage. I've never laughed so hard.
 

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:lol: :lol: Oh, man, aren't rats just hysterical?!!! I do think it's impressive that you've got 6 boys in one cage, but I'm sure that the cage size has helped tremendously. The bigger, the better--no doubt about it!

I liked hearing about the library patrons petting Zmei, too. People need to stop letting the tail get in the way of the awesomeness of the animal! I've made it my mission to educate people about domesticated rats, and it seems like everyone here has done the same. And isn't it for the most part true that when people spend time with your rats, they do end up liking them? They're just so darned loveable! :heart:

Which reminds me--last night my fiance and I went to the pet store to pick up some special chew toys for the boys (today is their 21-month birthday), and there were some of the most adorable baby rats for sale. My fiance was looking at them and baby-talking them, and as we came home, he said to me: "Let's always be rat people, ok?" :D :heart:
 

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That is so awesome that your fiance said that when you were leaving the pet store Breyer..he has superb taste! Rats are just the BEST. Hands down. :D

And Story, yes, you are right about Windham! When Marc and I went to Scottsdale in November for a few days of sun, there was a swimming pool with a rock waterfall in the backyard of our house rental, and we knew that Klausse, Wolfie AND Windham were all splashing around the waterfall together,enjoying the sun with us. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pics!

Pictures as promised:


Black Pete is just so fine.


...Seriously.



"Heey", says Jeffrey, "Pick me up please".


"Come on. Pick me up".


"Psst! I'm down here! Pick me up!"




Skinner attempts to climb Mount "Killamanmommy".



Ascent will be tricky.


When free climbing, it's always best to do so in pairs. Skinner succumbs to fear of heights and a comfy belly hammock, while Zmei achieves the peak.


Zmei's impression of 'Willard'.


One of these rats is not like the others. One of these rats doesn't belong.





Jeffrey is suspicious of Spyrat's motives.



Zmei sneaks up on Spyrat.



Spyrat is winning!



...Or not! Zmei has Spyrat on the run.



Shhhhh. Spyrat may still be around here somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Skinner says Dood, put on some pants already.
 

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AHHHHH!!! Pictures!! Love them! Your boys are all SO beautiful, Story, sigh....I want them. :sneakyhug
 

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P.S....we have that exact Spyrat toy too! We set it out a few times during free play to see what our boys would do and they sort of groomed him! :)

We also loved Mount Killamanmommy. Ha ha!
 

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They are all so adorable!! :heart: And you know, my boys have a stuffed rat, but they kind of started to destroy it, so I had to confiscate it promptly! (Actually, I think I might have put a video on my youtube page with them eating it!) I love the photos of your boys with that stuffed rat, especially. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ahwww. Thank you Vlad. I love that Spyrat to pieces. I got him from my husband this past Christmas. I think its real name was Tiptoe or something, but I always find it snooping around so...

That's so funny that your guys tried to groom him.

And Breyer, heh, that's closer to the reaction I was expecting from mine. Zmei was the one who showed the most attention, and he isn't a chewer though. He never puts his teeth on anything if it's not food. He just wrestles with great enthusiasm.

I so love your youtube videos. I'm going to seriously have to get with the program and figure out how to do that. I was doing a good job for years keeping up with new tech, but then I started chasing kids and gave it up. I figured I'd eather pick it up later, or get my kids to do it for me. LOL.
 

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OMG, your boys are seriously cute and HUGE! My boy rat was pretty sizable compared to my females. I sometimes forget how big the males get.

I didn't see a previous thread about them, I'm sorry, did they have to get tumors removed? Also, if you don't mind me asking, about how much does surgery cost for a rat? I'm not trying to be nosey, so if it's offensive, no need to answer. :) Most of all, I'm glad everything went well and the surgery worked!

Where in Alabama are you located at?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Ratchilla. :)

No worries at all. I love it when people care enough about their rats to ask questions. Outside of communities like this one, it's hard to find people who know anything about them to ask. Thanks! My boys are my luv muffins. They aren't as big as some monster rat boys I've seen, but they are pretty squishy. Also, the bare legs in the picture belong to a child, which of course makes the rat boys look that much more massive.

And no, it wasn't tumors. My naked rats were showing some rat aggression tendencies, so I took them to get neutered. I had to shop around for a rat knowledgable doctor who was reasonably priced. My favorite doctor wanted to charge me 200 dollars /each/. The doctor I went with was recommended to me by a fellow rat fancier and he ended up charging me 35 dollars each. So, the price of surgery varies greatly even for the same procedure.

I'm located in Birmingham (like everyone else around me, I spent last week dodging tornadoes ). So if you live near there, I've got two great vets to recommend! :)
 
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