Enter the Bunyip

We told our rescue coordinator about Yeti’s passing, and she hooked us up with a new resident for the empty hammie habitat. Our newest little monster, Bunyip!❤

I was amazed at how pretty his markings are. The rescue knows very little about him. He came from a cruelty case, there were other pets in the home, that’s all that’s sure. His eyes are a bit crusty but have been treated and are apparently on the mend so we’re simply to keep an eye for now (pun not intended, for once). His coat looks a little lackluster, a bit thin in places and slightly dull, so hopefully TLC and good food will see him looking his best. We’ve got no idea how old he is. It’s clear he’s reached maturity– he is a BIG boy, half again the size of either of our other hams, very burly. Our new man is quite a hunk, obviously.😄 He’s a tough ol’ boy too, a notch out of one ear and a neat round hole in the other. My partner says he’s just like Boss from Hamtaro!

His overall condition is good, he’s not underweight, has all his toes, and all the other signs of health but for the coat and the eye. He does seem to walk with just a bit of stiffness, to my eye, and for some reason, he drags his scrotum rather than keeping it tucked in as Yeti always did (I don’t know if that’s an individual hammie thing or what). I don’t know how much time we’re likely to have with him, but when we’ve got the gear and the empty arms and needy hams are in wont of homes, it’s just plain silly not to take another on. And we’re in love with him already, so he’ll spend whatever he’s got left lording it over the two saps he’s got wrapped around his paw.

One thing going for him, he’s very active. I put him in the upstairs bit to begin with so he knew where the food and water was, but he quickly discovered downstairs and rearranged all his furniture, made a nest, then went back up for a victory drink and a meal (with some olive oil sprinkled on top for that coat of his, which he enjoyed immensely). I have a feeling I’ll need to move his stairs around a lot so he can still get to the upper part! I’m glad being in a neglectful situation hasn’t dampened his spirits.

Then the big miracle happened. We decided to have him out to see what kind of handling he might have had and whether he’d allow us to wipe his eye clean with a damp cloth. He’s already tame! I’ve never, ever had a rodent I haven’t had to socialize. He takes being picked up and handled in stride and let us wipe his eye. He enjoyed peas and took them from our hands without an issue. He ran in the ball. He was very pleased with himself.

Here’s to a new beginning. I think Yeti would approve.

Our Fair Ladies

I have been remiss in posting about our girlies, who we’ve had a fair while now. Things continue to be pretty hectic in our lives, but we’ve been enjoying the wonderful company of our first lady-rats: Elektra, Cordelia, Alice, and Hester.

Here we see Alice, who has a bit of a head tilt and always looks as though she’s dancing, and Cordelia, who is the group daredevil and into just everything.

And here’s Hester, who is Alice’s sister and the shyest rat of the group, and Elektra, who is our first dumbo rat, and also has the distinction of being rescued and brought to Paws by way of an exterminator who discovered her investigating a “rat problem” in someone’s garden. She’s very cuddly and gives lots of kisses.

We also lost our own little hamster boy, Yeti, who was 2 years old and loved life and food to the very last. RIP sweet one, we love you.

Best wishes to all for the new year and we’re hoping it’s a year with a lot more foster adventures and a lot of wonderful new changes for us. I wish the same to you!

“People come and go so quickly here!”

I thought the quote from the classic MGM Oz adaptation was appropriate.😉

After the Fiddlers Three checked out, we got a quad of four eensy, teensy boys we dubbed Gomez, Lugosi, Stoker, and Poe. They were only here about a week before they got scooped up for being so precious! Here’s one photo we managed to snap during their terrifying yet exciting first playtime:

Tomorrow we’re getting our first ever girls! Exciting.❤ I'm eager to see if raising girlies is any different!

The Latest “Grads”

So Chopin, Amadeus, and Gustav (the Fiddlers Three, as I like to refer to them, even though of the three composers I’m fairly certain only Chopin played the violin) have “graduated” and are hopefully moving on this weekend! Our rescue coordinator was really happy with how they’ve blossomed and that made us feel wonderful.

We’ll get some of their littermates to love on and we hope they’ll soon be just as tame as these three, who are happy to be picked up, and don’t even mind being lifted from above. We can touch them anywhere– faces, feet, tummies, nothing bugs them, and they just generally enjoy being fussed with. They crawl all over us (they especially love riding in sleeves, and practicing their “rat macramé” on my hair) and love nothing better than a good playtime running about and wrestling followed by running back up to us and climbing on us. I’m fairly sure they see people as live food-dispensing jungle gyms.

I made a silly video to “advertise” them, which is a bit terrible but I had a lot of fun with it:

Goodbye, Hello!

Treguard and Lord Darbyshire have moved on to greener pastures, and in their place we’re giving cuddles to a trio of very young, small rat babies we’ve decided to name for composers. There’s something pleasing in giving artsy, sophisticated names to itty-bitty baby animals in all their silly cuteness, somehow.

Introductions! We’ll go from biggest to smallest, I think.

Chopin:

So far, the least flighty, scatterbrainy, and hyperactive of the three. Takes measured inventory of his surroundings, has a treat, walks about sniffing, all in all a very respectable character. I’m sure his time will come. These are just like, baby babies. About palm sized. Pretty soon I’ll catch him hanging off the chandeliers with the other two.

Gustav:

The middle sized one, looks very similar to Chopin in markings except that he has a white tip on his tail. He seems to be a very sensual little rat, loves life, gets very INTO experiences. He jumped up on the water bottle, we handed him a treat, he got so full of squinty-eyed pleasure eating it that he fell off and almost rolled downstairs.😄 Then he jumped back up there and suddenly the exhaustion of existence overcame him all at once (though he’d been napping minutes earlier) and he almost fell asleep right there, which is how I got this adorable snap. Life: it’s where and when you live it. Gustav is a tiny Zen master.

Amadeus:

Deus is BUSY, you guys. There are THINGS. Things to look at, things to do, and ooh! a piece of food, I’m going to pick it up in my mouth and take it over here to- ooh! a thing to sniff, put food down, sniff thing, what was I doing? Ooh!

He is the smallest of the three and feels the need to follow the other two around and alternately try to either hump them or pin them down and wash them so forcefully they squeak.

This is going to be FUN. ;D

Busy times, and other excitements.

We’ve still got the foster ratties, and they’re an adorable, engaging pair. It’s been especially rewarding to watch the extremely shy Darby blossom a little. 

On the home front, we’ve been immersed in trying to launch our careers, a difficult endeavor for any couple starting out made a little more daunting by a difficult economic atmosphere. It’s meant a downturn in a lot of my presence online, as some of my projects have to give way for others. I try to maintain a balance in what I have going on which means there is nearly always something on the shelf waiting for its proper time to have a season in the sun.

I haven’t been entirely pleased with that, as there are a couple of projects I’d hoped to be able to upkeep more regularly, and the foster blog was one of them. But with so much to do, I would rather spend more of my time caring for them than writing about them when I have to choose.

Fostering is one of the last things to go when I consider which projects need to spend a little time collecting dust. Maybe even the very last thing. It’s nice to give back, it’s nice to feel needed, and having someone to nurture creates an eye in life’s stormy times. Hopefully we’ll see you all again soon, and more often. But it’ll have to wait for calmer seas. 

Foster Rats!

Well, before we could foster the mice, they all got adopted! Fantastic! So the rescue said, “how about a couple of rats? We are having a cage shortage!” We were happy to oblige.

Built them a new cage, here it is next to Yeti (our hamster)’s palace, with the fella for size comparison (he is six feet tall):

And here are the ratties! Just arrived this morning.

Sorry the photo is total crap, but they’re scared witless so I didn’t want to stress them any further. They are having a sleep right now. They’ve not yet braved an exploration of the bottom half of the cage, though they’ve sniffed dubiously at the hole.

I can see why the rescue was so glad to have another foster. When they said they’re having a very bad cage shortage, they weren’t even kidding! The cage I built is about the bare minimum size I would say you need for a pair of rats, and it is about quadruple the size of the cage they came over in. While they’re not at all in the habit of keeping anybody in cages that dinky to the best of my knowledge (and it was obviously a travel cage), it’s clear from the mess in there that they were in it for probably at least a day, my guess being in prep to come here because they didn’t have a cage free that wasn’t the travel cage. I’ll have to see if I can do something about that, there may be a way to solicit some cage donations.

Poor dudes, made them stink like anything too, I hope they give themselves a groom– I know that rats aren’t odorless, but I am pretty sure they’re not meant to reek. We did let them have a wee bit of the shredded paper they were on for the sake of their comfort in having something that smells like them, but I am going to take it out as soon as I think they can handle that. We’ll have to give them a scoop out tonight anyway so if they seem comfortable I’ll do it then.

I don’t think they’ll be too hard to socialize. Treguard, which is what we have dubbed the larger of the two (that’s the creamy colored one in the back, he’s got red eyes), comes up for a sniff and accepts being stroked gently with a finger without fuss, and he even gave the tip of my finger a very gentle exploratory nibble. Lord Darbyshire (the dinky hooded one with his face in the dish) is a bit of a nervous sort from what I gather. He will need to be plied with lots of tasty things.

They’re very cute. I think Treguard is my favorite, which isn’t much of a surprise because I have such a thing for burly hulks. Once he’s happy with people he’s going to be great for squishy cuddles! Darby’s a cutiepants though.

I’ll keep you updated on their exploits!😀
(xposted)