Monday, February 27, 2012

Count the Rats -- Episode 1 Answer

I can see four rats in the picture.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Count the Rats - Episode 1

This is a photo from Christmas time. How many rats can you see? I shall post the answer tomorrow.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Found Toy- Rat Swing Set

While at the local dump, I picked up a "Rat Swing Set" from the free stuff area. Doctor had enjoyed a stuffed toy/basket when we picked him up from the rescue. I still wish I'd gotten a picture of him sitting in his swing and swinging away. Since then, I've been on the look out for another swing for Doctor.

I think I might have found it.

And, here's Doctor checking out the swing...

It's too early to give a full review as the rats haven't had a chance to truly explore and play with it. But, I'm hopeful that Doctor will enjoy swinging in his swing. (Doctor hasn't figured out how to get into it without assistance)
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Patches is back home with her buddies

Patches is recovering very well from her surgery. Yesterday, she rejoined her buddies in the big cage.

Today, this is her trying to convince me that she can wander on the floor. We have magnanimously decided that she's not allowed on the floor until she has her first bath after surgery which isn't to happen until she is actually more than 7 days post-op. We, however, did not consult Patches' opinion on this, and she disagrees wholeheartedly.

Her hair is starting to grow back which you might be able to see in today's photo.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Post Op

Patches had me worried yesterday. When we brought her home, she was squeaking intermittently in pain and was having episodes of agitation and confusion. Fortunately around midnight last night, the agitation resolved.

Now, she's acting like a typical postop ratty, snoozing with Nurse Gwyn. She's been eating and drinking.

The vet told us that it was likely residual effects of the anesthesia that was making Patches agitated. It's just heart wrenching to watch your rat trying to run from something that she can't see, and she was oblivious to her environment. But, Patches is Patches again.

She's healing well.

This is her attempting to balance on the little litterbox, but she was successfully munching her food.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Day of Patches' Surgery

The photo is of Patches taken yesterday.

She went in for surgery this morning at 8am, and the vet has already called to say that she is recovering well. The vet found 2 masses on her left side. One of them was under the other one. And, the vet reported that Patches just didn't want to go to sleep and required extra sedation. That's Patches. She can be extremely stubborn.

We have her hospital cage all set up and are waiting for a phone call around 3pm to pick her up.

So far so good.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Patches' First Surgery

Happy Valentine's Day.

Sigh, I got to go to the veterinarian today.

We, including the moral support of Mabel and Doctor, took Patches to the vet today to find out about her tumors.
Female rats frequently have breast tumors. One of the multitude of reasons that rats are used in research.
Anyways, Patches has become quite bumpy. We had initially just been watching as she's my old lady at 2 years of age, but her left armpit lump has been growing fairly quickly. The lump is visible in the following photo.

The vet says she's still young enough for surgery to be beneficial so, Patches goes to surgery on Thursday morning to have two tumors removed. She actually had 3 bumps but the third bump hasn't grown over several months. Unfortunately, the vet does not want to tax Patches too much with the surgery because the two tumors are going to leave a large scar. To put it into perspective, one of the tumors is the size of Patches' head. Imagine how big a surgery that would be for a human.
We have a good vet fortunately. She's operated on several of our rats. I was complimenting her on how neat her stitches are and she was mentioning that she intentionally is diligent with the rats to make very fine stitches and tosses glue in, too. And, she said, that her (the vet's) hands are small which makes it easier to make really small stitches. This is all great, as I am worried for Patches. She is not as healthy as her buddies, ie she's an old lady.
Rats heal very fast, but they are also fastidious about cleaning and are well-known for chewing through a surgeon's handiwork post-op. Yeah, gruesome. Fortunately, we have never had that problem. As I said, we have a good vet.
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Keyboard Protector

So, I made a keyboard protector for my Ipad which often resides in its Rocketfish keyboard.

Why would I need such a thing?

Well, the little ratties like to walk across the keyboard. Ok, that's not particularly horrible, but can lead one to end up sounding like askdhfaugrladk.

However, Doctor.... (Doesn't he look innocent here?)

Doctor can be very obnoxious. He has the uncanny ability to stand on certain buttons. Such as the mute button or the stop button when a movie is showing, and his favorite is to stand on the home button which closes whatever application that you have open.

Also, Jimmy, one day, snapped a key off. Blam, Thank you, maam. I saw her nibbling and then, the key was in her mouth. Fortunately, it was easily repaired. But, the shocking thing was how quick the key was removed, just no time to stop her.

Sooooo, the Keyboard Protector was born.

My Ipad in its Rocketfish....

My Keyboard protector

Essentially, I made an Ipad case that was sized to cover my keyboard. The Ipad does fit inside the protector. But, I did have to put a piece of cardboard inside the protector as Doctor could still type through just the fabric case.

The keyboard protector works well, but as I found out, while trying to watch the simulcast of Walking Dead with 5 rats. The rats can still lean up on the Ipad and close web pages directly. sigh...
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Origami Rat Toys

I found these origami place mats stashed in my kitchen.

I can't even recall why I bought them, so they are now .... rat toys. By the way, these origami placemats would be absolutely awesome for a party with fun-loving adults or even upper elementary school aged kids. Bitten made them, but when I checked the website I couldn't currently find this particular item, so it may no longer be available. And, I have no idea how much they originally were, but they couldn't have been much more than ten dollars.

After ripping off the instructions...

I folded as directed on the printed fold lines. This all seemed straight forward, and it was except for a few folds that it would have been helpful to have known whether a mountain or a valley fold was desired.

This made a cute little dinosaur that if I had used as intended, I would have been able to move its mouth and attack fellow diners. Cool. However,...

Rat Testing Commences....

The poor unsuspecting Doctor's dreams are interrupted by Dinozilla and Bathing Elephant (made by Slytail).

Doctor inspects Dinozilla.

And, in a move faster than the camera shutter, Doctor disposes of Dinozilla.

Dino remains are visible in the background, as Doctor checks out the elephant.

Apparently, Doctor wants to stock up on elephant meat for the winter, so into the hammock the elephant unwillingly goes.

Yum, elephant ear.

A very pleased Doctor settles down to clean the elephant goo off his whiskers.

Origami placemats as a rat toy.

Doctor gave it 4.5 thumbs.

Cost- fairly inexpensive but I don't recall actually price, and origami made with unprinted paper is much cheaper.

Safety/supervision pretty safe and can be used without supervision. The package states food grade but it's printed paper. Some rat owners are leery of printed paper based on not knowing if it's made with a safe dye. This one should be safe for the rats because it is supposedly food grade.

Entertainment- My rats love paper. They love nesting with it. And, it was fun watching Doctor check out his new toys.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Rat Playroom Improved for My Home Office

I've been having a rat hang with at my desk for awhile now, and it had become obvious that they need a few things to make them comfy, so now, they have their own Rat Playroom.

The table is actually my 1929 Singer 66 Sewing Cabinet which appears to be original. Therefore the pink flannel liner is not there just for ratty paw comfort, but to also protect the cabinet from the ratties. Mabel is demonstrating her Wheat Thins hide. And, the green dollar store stacking box is a fairly sturdy litter box. I've added the snack tray and ramekin to provide munchies and water.

And, all of the stuff can quickly be stashed away, if I need to use the sewing machine.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rats on my desk

This is the table next to my desk/sewing table which I've decked out for rat convenience.
This is an action shot of Mabel. I really struggled today to get a focussed shot.

Here's Walter and Mabel. Walter is working on trust or rather bravery. He is a big cowardly lion. So, the khaki fleece thing is his security blanket. It is essentially a large lap-size tube of fleece which he can confidently explore the big scary world from. The green bin in the background is a litter box which Mabel broke in this morning. And, the wheat thins box is a hide.

Walter isn't scared of humans per se. He is more than happy to hang out on one's shoulder. He just squeals for anything new. He's a worry wart.

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