Time hurries on

I have not written in a while, I know. I have not felt there has been much to say lately. I keep on medicating, hoping my little guy will stop wheezing, continually being disappointed. Sometimes it is a psychological battle to get him to take it – he is too smart for his own good and not yet old enough to sagely accept the slightly funny-tasting porridge for the gift that it nevertheless is – something Godric came to do over time.

Apart from that, the boys are growing, their lives a microcosm; a couple of months pass, half a year, and we don’t even notice it. We say to each other, ‘wow, the year is passing quickly’ when we suddenly realise it’s April – just like we do every year.

And in that time passing unnoticed, Tyrion goes from baby to teenager, fighting with his brothers, though still the smallest of the group.  Garrus, Mordin and Thane turn one and I am so caught up in my thoughts, I only remember 3 weeks later – unforgiveable as two of them have pedigrees and I know their exact birth date. We have a small party of muffins.

It's MY birthday!

It’s MY birthday!

Time passes, and slowly the older boys can be convinced to cuddle from time to time. My identical black Berkshires – Eric and Godric – are now easier to tell apart from the front. Godric’s nose has gone brown, while Eric’s is more grey. Godric is also now about 100g heavier than Eric – as much a sign of Eric’s current illness as of Godric’s lifelong illness. Godric has been getting his medicine in a spoonful of porridge twice a day for most of his life. They will turn 2 in just a few months. Eric occasionally lets me cuddle him now, for a short while at a time – such precious moments.

The wheezing is an issue with the current group, something I don’t recall ever experiencing before with my previous rats. Perhaps once it goes around the group, you battle to get rid of it. We keep on keeping on, trying different medications, trying to keep the temperature steady, the cage clean… Some of them show improvement, others not so much.

Anyway, here are some more photos from the birthday party:

IMG_1117 IMG_1120 IMG_1084 IMG_1093

New year, summer, photography

Well, happy new year to everybody! I have been a bit scarce in the past couple of weeks, so I thought I was way past due for a new year’s post.

It is summer here and it is SO hot. Every summer I shake my head and grumble, “This is hotter than usual, I’m sure of it!” I don’t know if that’s true, but I live in a coastal town with a moderate climate, and any temperature above or below the narrow band of 15-25 degrees Celsius has me grumbling. In my defence, I think it has been in the 30′s a lot recently.

The poor boys have been suffering in the heat. I have been trying everything to keep them cool – cold bottles, putting out cold tiles (which I keep in the freezer between uses), a spray-bottle for spraying cool water on them, and of course I leave the back door open for whatever cool air might come in (lately it’s just been hot air coming in).

The rats have been looking like this…

GodricSleep

…and this…

GarrusSleep

…this…

ThaneSleep

…and of course like this…

MordinSleep

Another recent development is that I got a new camera. My old one broke, so I finally got myself an SLR camera. So this post will continue to be a picture-heavy post: here are the first few pictures from the new camera.

Thane

Mordin

GodricMaybe

Garrus

Tyrion

The boys and I wish everybody a great year with lots of cuddles for the furry family members!

 

 

 

Added sweetener

Some medicine for rats is awful. Baytril, for example, has to be hidden in some delicious treat.

Luckily, ViralGuard Junior is designed for human children. I give it to my rats to boost their immune system. A number of them have issues with wheezing and so on, so it’s an added boost to keep them healthy. And they love it!

I just had to take a video of how excited they get to take their ‘medicine’.

Not the face!

I may have mentioned before that some of my boys are at their hormonal ‘teenage’ phase, where they scuffle a lot. Generally it’s best to leave them alone and let them sort out their own pecking order, unless they draw blood. Well, Mordin has had his ear scratched open twice now – the second time just this week. It is still healing.

Now I am left wondering, well how bad does it have to get before I should get Garrus neutered? Should I get Garrus neutered or just keep them separate? Or just see how it goes. Okay, this time I didn’t actually witness what happened to his ear, but it is most likely from another fight with Garrus. I have made sure that they have stayed in separate cages this week (though they still get together at playtime), at least until Mordin’s ear heals.

But each time this pretty boy’s ears get damaged, I can’t help but think: “Not the face!”

Model Rat: Mordin is such a pretty boy!

Model Rat: Mordin is such a pretty boy!

Foot fetish

I have a confession: I love the silky soft texture, the tiny pink perfection. I love how each one is unique. Sometimes, I even like to kiss them!

Rat footsies are adorable! They really are different, just like people’s feet are different. Different rats hold themselves in different ways, perhaps tending to place their weight on different parts of the foot. As they age, too, they hunker down more and run around on tippy-toes less.

And here, a small museum of rat feet for your amusement…

Thane’s feet are small and rounded, kind of like Cortez’s feet were.

Thane's feet remind me of Cortez's.

Thane’s feet remind me of Cortez’s.

Godric’s feet are long and pointed, and the nails point upward.

Godric's long feet

Godric’s long feet

And yet it’s always Eric who seems to have a problem with long nails.

Eric's feet with his long nails.

Eric’s feet. His nails don’t seem so long at the moment.

Mordin’s back legs are a bit awkward, with the legs and toes always splayed wide as if he is always struggling to balance.

Mordin's awkward back foot.

Mordin’s awkward back foot.

The best part of all, though, is rat feet in action, doing what they do best – distracting me from getting anything done, unless you count ‘taking photos of rats’ as getting things done.

Godric sleeps

Godric sleeps

Stretch!

Stretch!

And best of all, with his little foot in his mouth…

Toes!

Toes!

What part of your pet do you find just oh so cute?

Just enough to wet the toes

The water is just shallow enough for us not to notice our feet have that awful watery stuff on them.

The water is just shallow enough for us not to notice our feet have that awful watery stuff on them.

My boys are not water babies. None of my rats have been really. Mostly they view any body of water deep enough to touch their belly fur with a fair amount of suspicion (especially those that have experienced The Bath – I don’t think any of my current boys have, though).

Yesterday was a very hot day and so I decided to give them their first ‘swim’ of the season. I happened to choose a shallow tray which could not hold so much water, and was pleasantly surprised to see them walking about it in, completely unfazed. So yesterday evening and this evening the rats received their helping of peas and corn sort of submerged.

I was very chuffed with Thane, standing there so bravely, with both feet planted in the water.