Thursday, June 29, 2006

Fargo's Peregrine Falcons

Fargo's Peregrine Falcons
At first blush it may seem surprising, but Fargo is a remarkably good place for watching one of nature's most spectacular creations - the peregrine falcon.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Big Brave Budgie Bird

After a bit of convincing I managed to get Agatha Budgie Bird to try out a new perch. She always likes to play 'look at the pretty bird.' Now she can do it when she wants to. Hopefully she will not sit there all the time...

"We is still sleeping"

Clara mouse complains about interruptions while trying to nap.

Little old lady mouse Clara, wishing I would please go away, but, would I also leave some treats...

Dreamy Eva rat not minding a quick skritching while she naps.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Boober, Lord of the Manor

Boober is not too sure about all this change. But as long as he gets his play and cuddle time everything will be alright.

"Who's that?"

Slugo checking things out. Slugo had some adjustment issues but appears to be doing better now. Our routine is picking him up, wrestle, cuddle, brux, boggle and then nap in my lap, on my forearm or on my shoulder.

Eva's kisses

Eva nose-kisses me and says "It's all been very nice, but, can I please go back to my own cage?"

Eva walks out onto my hands, but not quite into my arms. I gather her up and we sit for a while. After a bit of fussing she settles in and as I pet her she bruxs, and then gives me a boggle.

I explain to her that she is a big girl and she should be with her new sisters. They have accepted her and love her. This morning they were all gathered on the community hammock, popping and begging for treats.

Not-So-Wee Beasties

I recently discovered a wonderful blog about a lady who now lives on a farm. She did not grow up on a farm, but rather chose to live on one as an adult later in life.

Her writings remind me of my childhood home and my life growing up; she brings the little things of everyday rural life alive to me again, reminding me of why it was such an amazing time in my life. This includes, of course, the animals...!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

the 'Chicken Man'

Henrietta, and Old Englsih Bantam hen, sits on the shoulder of Terry Morris. The tiny 12 year old hen, weighing less than one pound, has traveled with Morris across the country and lives in a horse trailer on a small horse ranch north of Bismarck.

Rodents in transition

With the changes in the rodent community comes some unsettling and insecurity. I am certain Clara mouse does notice Curly mouse's absence. And with the arrival of Slugo the other rats seem to need to reminded that they are still special.

I took Slugo rat out for a serious snuggle. After initial fussing Slugo snuggled in, bruxing loudly and boggling as much as such a little rat like he could. He appears to have settled in to his home very well and is moving things around to his liking. He is very flirty and playful.

Boober rat needed immediate security and comforting when Slugo arrived. Boober must have realized he is no longer the only baby-boy rat, even though he is very much an adult. Boober still needs his snuggle and play time and to be sure he is still number one. Boober is going through a cage change and the introduction of an exercise disk, which he may never use any more than he would ever use his wheel.

The girly rats Beatrice and Regina noticed the changes but did not seem to alarmed. Regina, who likes to watch, kept an eye on me as I set up Slugo's cage.

Eva rat may be ready to move in with Beatrice and Regina. They have all been playing well together during social time. Eva, in fact, now power grooms both Beatrice and Regina without much fussing by those two. Beatrice and Regina have a huge cage with multiple levels so there should be plenty of private space.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

"My name is Slugo..."

"And I am a hairless boy rat." [or as we just learned, a 'double-rex'...Trish]

We saw him at the same store we got Boober. When I went to his cage and made chatter-kissy noises at him Slugo ran right up and chattered back at me. It took a day to decide on whether to bring him home but he won out in the end.

world of wee little beasties

Congrats! It’s a wallaby!

The pouch isn’t exactly natural. And Jennifer Donovan has never been a mom before. But when Mother Nature called for help raising a wee wallaby, Donovan and her mother, Toni, answered.

Sisters Alexis, 9, and Kaitlyn Dugan, 8, and their cousin Madison Law, 4, rejoice at the sight of 8-month-old wallaby A.J. on Thursday at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma. Zoo biologist Jennifer Donovan, right, has cared for him since his mother, Alkina, died.

Donovan’s mother, Toni, sewed a custom “joey pouch” for the zookeeper to snuggle baby A.J.


This is Lilly.

Lilly really loves somebody.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nieces and rodents

My nieces came over for a visit last weekend. At first they were not so interested in playing with the rats. But then they noticed the adventure balls and pleaded that the rats should be in them. After a bit of negotiation (with the rats) we managed to get the two ratty girls going around the floor in their balls. I told my nieces that if they sat on the floor and called the rat by name while making a little kissy-noise the rats would come running to them. Everyone squealed with delight when the rats came rolling up to their knees.

The nieces took turns hand feeding the rats and the budgie, who had been closely watching the whole event.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Clara's Progress

Clara is still feisty as ever. Her latest antics include piling her bedding and litter up in the corners of her cage. This is especially annoying when she stacks bedding against the feeder tube of her water bottle which causes the water to wick out into the bedding. Clara still greets me some mornings and evenings with a chatter-chatter-chirp while prancing back and forth when trying to get my attention. She is not as snuggly as she was when she was ill but she will let me pick her up for some cuddle time, even if it ends with her giving me a deluge in my hand, of which she seems very proud of.

Clara's cage was next to Curly's cage and I often saw them communing through the bars. After I removed Curly's cage I noticed Clara stretched out with her ears pointed downwards, looking towards where Curly's cage was...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Goodbye, Curly

"I'm so very tired," said Curly as I took her out of her cage and put her on some pieces of silk in preparation for her journey....

I had been ready to help her with her final journey last week and had even prepared this device. But she appeared to have been more comfortable the last few days that I did not want to take a chance at causing additional pain and misery for her or me. The last time we cuddled I simply reached in gently under her chin and she crawled up into my hand and rested her nose between my fingers. She was not twitching or have panic-like reactions as she had been having the previous days. This morning she was at peace, her head slightly curled inward between her paws with a small treasure of treats beneath her.

I finished Curly's shroud and put some more treats in with her before I took her to her siblings, mother and father.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

RFID Tagging for Pets?

Do we really need - let alone want - RFID tagging for pets?

If the USDA continues on its present path, NAIS will no longer be voluntary, but compulsory - not only for livestock, but for pet owners, also.

This website has good, ongoing information on what's going on...


"They're such intelligent creatures..."

You can see video of him playing here...

I even found a story about a soccer-playing goldfish!

Mummy Rat

It is what it is. But am I the only one disturbed by this? At first I thought this person was doing it as a ritual out of love and respect for a beloved pet, but the more I read it, the more I felt she was doing it as an artistic experiment only. While I found it fascinating to read about, I felt bad for the rat...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Rat Study Shows Dirty Better Than Clean

Rat Study Shows Dirty Better Than Clean
(AP) -- Gritty rats and mice living in sewers and farms seem to have healthier immune systems than their squeaky clean cousins that frolic in cushy antiseptic labs, two studies indicate. The lesson for humans: Clean living may make us sick.

comfort from strangers

Found on an AP/MSN feed

more about singing mice

National Geographic video about singing mice

Thursday, June 15, 2006

'Living fossil' rat caught on tape

The animal was trapped and then released (Image: D. Redfield).

'Living fossil' rat caught on tape
'Fossil' rock rat pictured alive (watch the video!)
Professor and biologist bring back photos, video of Laotian rock rat.
A scientific expedition to central Laos has found a live rock rat, believed to be the sole survivor of an ancient group of rodents.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Eva's commentary

ooh ooh ooh-ooh-ooh says Eva as I pick her up. Eva climbs up on my shoulder and presses her cheek against mine while making a soft chirping noise. We walk around together while I check out the house. When I put Eve back she looks up at me with wide eyes and perked ears...

Clara's Complaint

chatter-chatter-chirp says Clara as she looks out at me during the morning routine.
Clara runs up on to her wheel and glares at me. I notice she has packed part of the wheel with bedding and the wheel no longer turns. I reach in and under Clara's watchful eye I remove the bedding. Clara takes tentative steps forward and as she breaks into a trot she lets me known that I may be on my way...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Curly's comfort

When I checked out Curly this morning I opened her cage and she came wiggling right up to the door, put her paws up on the frame and stuck her nose out at me. I scooped her up and we did our daily snuggle. After sitting for almost 30 minutes I put her back in the cage. Curly immediately had some sort of tantrum, kicking her bedding around and looking quite upset. I reached in and presented my hand, palm up. Curly rushed into my hand and snuggled right in. Again, we sat for awhile...

Friday, June 09, 2006


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

We is busy...

"You is too early, we too busy, we nap'n."

"oh, maybe we's not too busy... got treats?"

"I'm not too busy..."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A nose for danger...

Lola rat, the top of the class of risk-running rodents trained to sniff out landmines in Colombia.