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!


  1. Vanilla pudding and rat introductions? I'm laughing at the beautiful absurdity of life! Now if you could only tell me what to put on my dog when the doorbell sounds, I'd be one happy woman!!

    In all seriousness, that is a clever trick. Did you figure it out yourself, or did you learn it somewhere?

  2. Yeah, it was a little bit of a surreal experience!
    THe vanilla pudding wasn't my idea, but an old trick that people use to introduce rats. Another one is scare them so they are too busy being scared to can put them in a small cage and run a vacuum next to them or drive them around in a car with the radio blasting. I thought the kind approach would be better for all our nerves, and I'd only pull out the "big guns" if necessary. Luckily, it all worked out and they are still the best of friends.

    BTW,you're probably familiar with this blog:

    I was thinking of this when I was reading about your trip across the country. Sounds like you had it easy in comparison!

  3. That was a neat post, Lynne! I used to have a pet mouse named Brutus--white with pink eyes! He rode everywhere on my shoulder! I once had a fruit bat riding on my shoulder patch while going through a prison wing too. All the offenders went into their cells when they saw that. They didn't come back out until I was off duty too!

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  5. Nice telling about your rats in your blog. Mostly rats are friendly in nature . But sometimes they fight with each other at time of treat. your rats are live likes best friend.
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  6. Oh wow, he is absolutely gorgeous!

  7. I wish my rats first meeting was sweet as this

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