Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's a Boy!

There is a new rat in my house...

Introducing:  Darwin!

I'm not quite sure how this happened. I was chatting on Facebook with one of the ladies from the Mainely Rat Rescue, and next thing I know I was agreeing to get a new rat. They are good...not only do they do wonderful work rescuing and taking care of rats, but I think they can hypnotize you into taking more!

Anyway, I was very nervous about adding a new rat to the two I already have, after the disaster with Mr. Rat. I was so afraid that they wouldn't get along and I'd end up with two cages and one lonely rat again.

I drove to Maine to get him, and the minute I saw him I was smitten. He's a PEW. That stands for Pink Eyed White, the first I've ever had. He is probably the sweetest rat I've ever met. He's definitely a "people rat". You can't walk by the cage without him coming to the front looking for attention. He isn't skittish within the least and warms to new people right away.

Anyway, I put him in a cage next to the one with Edison and Tesla in it the first night I had him home. All three looked and sniffed each other through the bars, with no signs of aggression. Whew! First hurdle over. In fact, when I got up the next day all three were in the same place, still sniffing each other. I wonder if they were there all night?!

Then came time for the introductions. I was petrified, but I tried to act casual so my fear wouldn't be catchy. I'm sure they could hear my heart beating from across the room!

I doused each a little vanilla on their butts to cover their smells. (You could have made a lot of money off of me by betting that I would ever have cause to write that sentence.) Then I put a little vanilla pudding on them, so they might lick the pudding instead of fighting with each other.

I put a towel and some treats down in the bathtub, added rats, held my breath and.........nothing. They just looked at each other for about a minute. A little bit of an anti-climax.  Then Edison and Tesla moved in on Darwin as he stood very still. They gave him a sniff over, then went about their business, eating treats, licking pudding and doing all kinds of fun rat things.

Within a few seconds, all three were playing together, bruxing and boggling, grooming each other and being best friends. I let them stay there for awhile, then moved them to the big cage. The friendliness continued, and with the exception of one little squabble around the food dish, they have been friendly since.  

Here they all are, snuggled in one of their little houses:

It's a love match!