Saturday, June 30, 2007

Portrait of young Slugo rat as an older rat

It is very, very hard for me to think of Slugo rat as not the little boy rat I found hidden away in a cage, who climbed up my shoulder and chatter at me and who I lamented not getting right away so went back to get him the next day... But Slugo rat is no longer a little boy rat and is showing the signs of being an older boy rat.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another mouse parade

Ethel mouse and Abigail mouse are not too sure about taking pictures.

"We would rather snuggle..."

"It's climb over the watch time!"

Abigail mouse settles in for a snuggle.

Ricky mouse is not too sure about picture time...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Kudos for Caring

RATS may not be everyone's favourite animal, but firefighters thought highly enough of one to save it from a house fire in Pocatello, Idaho this week.

Firefighters trying to put out a huge fire at an apartment in the southeastern Idaho town were amazed to see a live rat huddled in a charred cage, the AHN website reported.

After being rescued, Halo the rat received oxygen with a special cone-shaped animal resuscitation mask.

Firefighter Kirby Jonas, who rescued Halo, said he was pretty sure anything in the cage could not have survived the flames.

"If I were betting money, I would have put down $10,000 that anything in that cage was dead," Mr Jonas told the Idaho State Journal.

Halo was not the only lucky one rescued from blaze. Firefighters also rescued four of five cats in the apartment.

No one was home at the time of the fire, which officials blamed on an electrical fault.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Rat Life: A Documentary

Thanks to a post on the Ratties Livejournal community, I discovered a fascinating documentary that is available for viewing online. You can also buy the documentary on DVD at the same site. Some question why the scientists did what they did, and the morality of it, as well as what good did it do, i.e., what did they learn. I am not sure myself what their goals were, but what I've seen so far is absolutely fascinating - that is, to see what a domestic rat does when faced with a more natural environment.

Please note that the rats were not entirely in the wild, but rather in a controlled (to a certain extent) enclosure...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chaucer rat gets no respect...

Chaucer rat caught in a private moment...

Chaucer rat giving me the eye after interrupting his private moment...

Monday, June 11, 2007


"...the famous mouse symbol, found on every item crafted by Robert Thompson has an uncertain history. The story told by Robert Thompson himself is that one of his craftsmen remarked that they “We all as poor as church mice” Whereupon Robert carved a mouse on the church screen he was working on. That particular mouse has never been found but it has continued as a trade mark of quality and dedication to craftsman ever since."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Duck Crossing

It was a mother and her brood of ducklings, much like those in the photo at the left, that we came across enroute to my medical appointment two days ago. We were driving down a long, tree-lined one way, talking and listening to the radio, when our eyes realized what we were bearing down upon; we slammed on the brakes in the nick of time as the group skittered the last of their way across a busy three-lane! Fate was kind to the ducks as well as us - no rear-end collision! As we passed in what felt like slow-motion, we both took a quick glance to make sure they were alright, and we swear the mother looked around with a concerned expression as if to check if everyone was there. This was in the middle of a city - I'm still not sure what the allure of the area would be for a mother duck, but who knows?!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Chernobyl Area Becomes Wildlife Haven

"In the Journal of Mammology in 1996, Baker and his colleagues reported that the disaster had not reduced either the diversity or abundance of a dozen species of rodents - including mice, shrews, rats and weasels - near the Chernobyl plant."

Celebration of a Life

After reading this, you'll feel like you knew him...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

One Smart Parrot

Poncho - an amazing parrot - is someone to watch...literally. His owner says this about him in this clip: Poncho, my 30 year old double yellow headed amazon (i've had him for 15 of those years!), uses one of his feathers to help scratch his head! The new feathers that are constantly growing in cause the itch, which I usually scratch for him. He was not taught to do this, he figured it out on his own, and has been doing it for years. He uses feathers that fall out naturally, and will also use other objects besides feathers for the same purpose, like pencils, straws, toys, etc. Does anyone elses parrot do this?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"...It got out of hand"

Calif. woman found with 120 pet rats

LOS ANGELES -- Officers seized more than 100 pet rats, dozens of rabbits and other animals including several birds from the home of an 81-year-old woman, who was later treated at a hospital for what appeared to be bites, authorities said.

"The woman had no food in the house for herself and seemed disoriented," said Annette Ramirez, an officer with the city's Animal Services Department. "Her arms were covered with open wounds apparently caused by animal bites."

Animal control officers discovered the scene while investigating a report Monday of unkempt conditions at a home in suburban Wilmington. In all, they found about 120 rats, 25 rabbits, six parakeets, a dog, a quail and a cockatiel, she said.

The woman, identified as Wanda Langstom, was overwhelmed by how quickly the rats reproduced, Ramirez said.

"She said it just started with two but it got out of hand," Ramirez said.

Most of the animals were in fair condition, but two rabbits needed medical attention. They will all be available for adoption after being treated by a veterinarian, she said.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mouse Guard

In a world full of dangerous predators, how do simple mice survive? Only through the heroism of the Mouse Guard. Three of the Mouse Guard's finest — Lieam, Saxon and Kenzie — seek to uncover a traitorous plot against the Guard in the difficult chill of Fall 1152.

Take a peek ...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Farewell Regina rat

Over the last week Regina rat had been slipping away. Regina rat had not been showing any obvious signs of discomfort or pain but she has been slowing down considerably and her body temperature was cooler than normal. I would find Regina laying all by herself, looking forlorn and panting softly with no obvious congestive lung sounds. Her tumor-like growth had not appeared to have gotten any larger. Regina rat would willing let me hand-feed her and give her Pedialite and then cuddle with me for naps. She was getting around the various levels of the cage with some effort but she was very willful on going where she wanted to go, at times leaping up ramps or across levels and still getting food and water on her own. She would even get "twitchy" while being held when she needed to go to the bathroom. But every day she would slow down more and more. We would take time to cuddle and nap together and she was still very bright eyed and bruxing.

This morning Regina rat drank some Pedialite and nibbled some treats but I could hear her softly whining. When I put her back she would turn and climb back up my arm, letting me know she needed more snuggle time. Regina rat did sleep on her own in her hammock for a while, her two new sisters checking in on her with cuddles and licking, but as I was about to leave I looked in on her and could see she was in distress. I took her out, wrapping her in her blanket and she sat with me. After a while she tried to get up on her own, letting me know she had enough of my snuggles and I put her on the play mat near her playhouse. Regina rat sat on her mat and I scritched and cuddled her and seemed to be happy with her last moment on the play mat. She begin to twitch, gave out a soft cry and a gasp, trembled and was gone. I sat with her for a while longer and then readied her for the journey to the rainbow bridge.