Of Rats and Jen

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Net-Net’s Nest, Day 15: Here’s Looking at You, Kids

Filed under: Mainely Rat Rescue,Rats! — folkcat at 4:09 pm on Friday, August 29, 2008

Hi, everyone! I want to assure you first that my finger is doing well, and I’m feeling less freaked out about it. My doctor has looked at the cut, says it’s healing well for an animal bite, and has me taking an antibiotic just to be safe. I guess I’ll live!

Meanwhile, the babies are growing rapidly. And the cute behavior abounds. Tuesday night, I sat peeking down the entrance of the plastic igloo they nest in. The pile of little, blind babies was squirming all around. There was much mutual grooming going on, little tongues licking. I saw one little baby take another’s ear in its mouth and go nom-nom, it was just so yummy!

As if that weren’t enough, one of the little black ratlets was washing a neighbor. Then it stopped and used its paws to wash its own face and ears, looking every bit like an adult rat giving itself a full bath.

Just when I thought I had already died and gone to cuteness heaven, that same little black ratlet flopped over on its back, grabbed its own hind foot in its front paws, and started nibbling on its toes! O! M! G!

Sadly, my attempts at photos taken through the cage walls and into the interior of the igloo have been a complete failure, or there’s some chance you might be seeing some of the action I just described, too. But, oh! I just couldn’t believe that so much cute could be packed into such a tiny pile of fur!

Yesterday, Thursday, Net-Net’s little babies turned 2 weeks old. As I was having their daily handling session, one of the black ratlets opened her eyes! She was the only one to do so at that moment, but it was the beginning.

Later the same day, I noticed Net-Net fussing at the igloo entrance, trying to fluff something into the door. I looked closer, and realized that there were babies trying to come out! A couple of them, eyes closed and all, did get past Mom and have a good walkabout, exploring the entire cage before finding their sightless way back into the igloo to rejoin the ratlet pile. There was a repeat of the walkabout with different ratties later on as well, and by the end of the night, I counted at least three that had opened their eyes.

Today, the little ratlets are all eyes wide and taking in the world. Their fur and markings have all come in enough to really tell who’s who. And I’ve had to re-evaluate some of my initial assessments – it turns out that they are not dumbo-eared, as was originally thought. All have standard ears. Even so, however, there are still some surprises that turned up as their fur came in…

I believe that Net-Net’s Nest will be properly announced and displayed on the Mainely Rat Rescue site later today, so I feel free to give you an advance introduction here. So, without further ado, I present Net-Net’s Nest!

(As always, click through for larger and even more charming images.)

Alice

Alice is a black rex female. “Rex” means she has curly fur. Her feet are white, and she has a small, dumbbell-shaped white spot on her belly. There’s a possibility she may be a double rex – that would mean she has two of the rex gene instead of just one. If she is a double rex, she may lose her fur at around 7 to 8 weeks old.

You can see the waves of curls in Alice’s fur better here.

Ethel

Ethel is a beige female. She has a white stripe on her chest that blends into her main coat color, and pale front legs.

Harriet

Harriet is a beige self female. “Self” means that she is one color all over. Her belly is pale beige. She has a slender build. Her near-twin in the litter is Trixie. Harriet’s belly is a little paler than Trixie’s.

While I was taking these pictures, Harriet settled down onto my finger and began licking it.Harriet Licks My Finger

Laura

Laura is a black female. She has white toes on the rear feet, and all white feet in front. There is a long, thin, white stripe on her belly. Laura is a robust, precocious little ratlet – she was the first one to open her eyes.

Lucy

Lucy is a black female with white toes. On her chest, right where it belongs, there is a small, white, heart-shaped spot.

Lucy may be a very special ratlet. She is the runt of the litter, and has several physical features that suggest she could be a hairless rat. Although she has fur right now, if she is a hairless rat, she is likely to lose it by around four weeks old. She has very curly whiskers (a trait of both hairless and rex rats), and there are hairless rats in her family tree.

Norton

Norton is a beige male, with pale front legs and a white stripe on his chest.

Ralph

Ralph is a beige self rex male. Up until last night, his fur hadn’t looked curly, but when I handled the babies yesterday I realized it had come in distinctly wavy, and his whiskers are very kinky – a trait common to rex rats.

Ricky

Ricky is a beige varieberk male. A Berkshire rat has a certain pattern of markings, with the main color on the head, back, and sides, and white on the belly, legs, feet, and sometimes the tip of the tail. A varieberk is like a Berkshire, but with some variegation of the color pattern with white coming up the sides of the body. You can see the white markings on Ricky’s side here.

Ricky was the first ratlet to go walkabout from the nest yesterday.

Trixie

Trixie is a beige self female, like her near-twin Harriet above. When you see her in person, she appears to have a dark spot above each eye, but that may be a trick of the light and the way her fur lays. She is not as slender as Harriet, and her belly and front legs, while paler than her back, are not as pale as Harriet’s.

OMG, How Do I Bring One Home?

These little rat babies will be ready to go to new homes at around five weeks old – somewhere around September 18th. If you live in the New England area and are interested in putting in your claim, you can go to the Mainely Rat Rescue site and read the page, “How to Adopt“. You’ll be asked to fill out an Adoption Application. Adoption fees vary, and are outlined on the Adoption information page.

Here’s the direct link to the listing for Net-Net’s Nest in the Available Animals pages: Net-Net’s Nest. There, you can learn more about Net-Net’s history, and how this litter came to be.

If you’re not within reach of Mainely Rat Rescue, but you’re feeling the pet rattie bug, there may be a rat rescue organization near you. Mainely Rat Rescue has a number of links to other groups on their sidebar. You could also search at PetFinder.com, and find rats for adoption anywhere in the country.

Have a Great Weekend!

Here in America, it’s a long weekend in celebration of Labor Day. Gryphon and I expect to spend it playing EverQuest 2, maybe eating some hot dogs, and spending time staring in delight as the little ratlets begin to explore their world. I hope you have something planned that is every bit as enjoyable!

A Tale of Warning

Filed under: Mainely Rat Rescue,Rats! — folkcat at 4:06 pm on Tuesday, August 26, 2008

When every rat fostering counselor warns about how nippy rat moms can be; when the owner turning the rat family over to you shows you her own bite received from the mom; when blog readers who are also expert rat breeders offer excellent advice and cautions about rat bites from hormonal mothers; most smart people would listen, right?

I may not be as smart as I’ve led myself to believe.

Rat Bite Injury

I got careless and stupid last night fussing with something in Net-Net’s cage. I should have a) worn heavy leather gloves, b) moved Net-Net out of the main cage while I worked, or even c) left well enough alone and not fussed about exactly where some cage accessories were located.

Net-Net made a mighty leap and nailed my right middle finger right near the tip-most knuckle. I’ve got a half-inch gash on the side of the finger. Gryphon took me to the ER and we had it checked out. The splint will be necessary for a couple more days to keep the wound from re-opening.

At least I didn’t need stitches. Still, I feel very sheepish today. I had all this excellent advice from you, my friends in rattitude, all over the country, and I ignored it.

We can only hope I’ve learned my lesson now. And maybe this will be an object lesson to others who may also be dealing with a mother rat for the first time. Do as my expert advisors say, everyone – not as I do.

As for Net-Net, word is that she should start to become less hormonal over the next week or so. Still, I’m not going to take chances. The heavy leather gloves are sitting right next to the cage now.

I hope you’ll understand, then, that it may be a couple days before the next photos of the babies happen. That’s okay – by then, their eyes will be open, their colors and markings well developed, and they should just be oozing personality, charm, and sheer cuteness. It will be dripping from your monitor, I promise!

The Original Ratties

We’re not forgetting our original Rattie family in all the foster excitement. Lola, Leo, Yuri, Lily, and Laurel are all living happily together. Playtime usually involves all five of them coming to the door of the cage in one bunch, asking to be let out. I open the hatch, and five furballs of various sizes come tumbling out to romp under a blanket on my lap. It’s an experience like no other, and I love it.

Little Laurel has taken a particular liking to Lola, and tends to follow wherever the big girl goes, as you can see in this camera phone picture taken a few days ago.

Lola doesn’t seem to mind a bit!

More soon, but I’m sure you understand typing is a bit difficult right now. So don’t be surprised if I take a couple days off from the blog. Later!

Net-Net’s Nest, Day Eleven – A Tale of Miss-Identification

Filed under: Mainely Rat Rescue,Rats! — folkcat at 4:44 pm on Monday, August 25, 2008

Today was the first opportunity I had to get a photo of Net-Net herself, along with the babies. Well, such babies as you can see under Mama here.

Net-Net remains very protective, but she’s getting used to us handling her as we have to. Which is good, because we do need to handle and examine the babies every day, and that’s easier when we can move her into another location.

That “other location,” for the moment, is a rat carrier we’ve built from a 10-gallon Rubbermaid Roughneck tote. With a rectangular window cut in the lid, and a piece of hardware cloth attached securely with zip-ties all around, we have a roomy, well-ventilated carrier. I’ve put a towel in the bottom, and when we need to work with the babies, we move Net-Net there for a while.

Excuse me, sir…I mean, miss!

After posting yesterday, I thought we had come to solid conclusions about the genders of all the ratlets, and I picked names for them. Today, however, while I was looking over the babies (and testing my ability to tell four beige self ratlets apart), I realized that two of the beige babies that I’d identified as male are actually females.

Oops! Instead of five males, four females, as I thought after examining my photos, we actually have six females, and only three males.

The difference, at about days 10 and 11, is the nipples. Male ratties have no nipples, females have them. Around this age, the nipples have become visible, and the fur hasn’t yet grown long enough to obscure them.

It’s an ideal moment for gender identification. Just don’t make the mistake I did, and think they’ll be obvious enough on a photo of a beige ratlet’s belly, taken while it squirms in your fingers. Be sure to look at the bellies in person.

Having determined where I’d gone wrong on the gender identification, I decided the babies had been handled enough for today. Besides, Net-Net was wanting them back. So I abandoned my plans to get better photos today, and put the family back in the nest.

Tomorrow I’ll make a new try at individual pictures. I’ll also see if I can find more ways to distinguish the beige babies. I’m beginning to see that we have at least a couple distinct shades within the beige family – if I can learn to reliably tell them apart, it will be easier to tell who’s who. Especially now that I can tell the boys from the girls!

Nothing like hands-on learning.

That’s what I’m getting here, in abundance. And I’m loving every minute of it!

More pictures soon, I promise. And I’ll introduce the babies by name, too!

Net-Net’s Nest, Days Nine and Ten

Filed under: Mainely Rat Rescue,Rats! — folkcat at 4:10 pm on Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day Nine:

The fostering adventure begins! We picked up Net-Net and babies from her owner around noon, and brought them straight home. Here’s what the brood looked like at the age of nine days:

Net-Net is a very protective mother, and takes very good care of her babies. In no time at all, she had figured out that however difficult change might be, this was where she was raising her babies now. She made a huge nest inside the plastic igloo hut with the ratlets deep at the back.

I’ve learned the hard way how nippy mother rats can be. Net-Net got her teeth into the pad of my right index finger when my hand came too near the igloo for her liking. Then later, as I tried to move a food dish to another location, she got a solid bite in on the lowest knuckle of my left index finger. I could swear I heard her teeth hit bone, though it may merely have been my startled imagination. (Don’t worry – I’m okay, the wounds are small, and my shots are completely up to date.)

Net-Net is otherwise adapting as well as can be expected. And she’s actually pretty friendly – she is readily taking food from my fingers (and even leaving the fingers behind). And she lets me pick her up if I need to, without struggling. She’s clearly a well-socialized rattie. Just a bit hormonal. Who could blame her?

I learned from Net-Net’s owner that there are two possible dads. Net-Net herself is a petite, adorable, black varieberk. (Here’s a link to a nice guide to rat markings: Rat Markings by Emily of EaglesEye Rattery.) The two dads are both beige, one is a self and the other a varieberk as well. One of them is a dumbo rat, with the large ears that sit low on the side of the head – like our own Lola. This last detail is important, it turns out!

Day Ten:

I moved Net-Net into a small pet carrier temporarily so I could handle and photograph the babies. I took “portrait” shots, as well as belly shots. This will be the start of my education in identifying both markings and, most importantly, gender.

On my preliminary, uneducated look, I believe we have five females and four males. As best I can tell with my inexperienced eye, they all seem to have dumbo ears – which is probably the best paternity test we could have under the circumstances.

Here for your maximum daily cuteness requirement (MDCR) are the portrait shots of all nine babies:

Net-Net Baby #2 Net-Net Baby #3 Net-Net Baby #4 Net-Net Baby #6 Net-Net Baby #7 Net-Net Baby #8

I have names in mind, but I’m going to wait for the folks at MRR to help confirm my identifications before I assign them. Watch this space for more details – and of course, more pictures!

Net-Net at Mainely Rat Rescue

If you want to learn more about Net-Net and her babies, and how to adopt them (or any of the many other available rats), please visit Mainely Rat Rescue on the web. They have a special page just for Net-Net’s Nest!

The Tale of the Surprise Rats

Filed under: Rats! — folkcat at 9:53 pm on Friday, August 22, 2008

No picture today, but don’t worry – there will be plenty, soon enough.

Some of you may have noticed this in my last post, but some of you may have missed it. Gryphon and I will soon be welcoming ten more Ratties into the house!

Yes, ten. We’re now an official foster home for Mainely Rat Rescue! They have asked us before if we’d consider it, and we always put the notion off because we weren’t sure we were ready. But now, with our own Rattie colony numbering five, it seems far less intimidating.

It makes sense this time, too. The rats in question are a mom and her babies who are located right in our own hometown of Wilton. How perfect is that?

Mainely Rat Rescue got a cage, accessories, and even some food to us via their volunteer transport system (and I met another rat-enthusiast named Jen in the process). We have everything we need to be ready for the little family. I contacted the current owner, and we pick them up tomorrow.

Why You Have To Be Careful With Rats

Because they’re stubborn creatures who are awfully darned clever about getting their own way. Net-Net (which I’m told is a nickname for Marie Antonette) is a perfect example.

Net-Net’s owner is a good rat person. She has multiple Ratties adopted from Mainely Rat Rescue. (Net-Net herself, in fact, may be related to our own Yuri and Leonardo, since she’s from the same grouping of rats). In the house were a few females, including Net-Net, in one cage; a couple of neutered males in another cage; and finally, a couple of un-neutered males in a third cage.

Net-Net figured out there were fully functional males in the house. And she’s apparently a good enough escape artist that she found a way out of her cage, and into the boys’. Soon enough, it was obvious that she had babies on the way.

Added to the rats already in the house, babies were more than Net-net’s owner could take care of. So, being a Mainely Rat Rescue Adopter, she got in touch with MRR and made arrangements for Net-Net and the kids to go someplace where they could get the special attention they need.

Even the Best Rat People Get Caught

The owner knew how to take care of rats. She kept them separated. She knew what could happen if she didn’t. Even with all that, Net-Net’s stubborn determination brought about a surprise litter of babies.

If it’s that easy for a savvy rat owner to have an accidental litter, imagine all the uninformed people who dive into the world of rats in a careless way! It’s no wonder that organizations like Mainely Rat Rescue have to exist. There are just so many thousands of unexpected Ratties out there! How many manage to find the loving care they deserve in a forever home?

Once Again – You Can Help!

I direct your attention again to the Mainely Rat Rescue Raffle! Prizes galore, many rattie-themed, some of them just marvelous handcrafts that anyone would be glad to have in their home. The money raised will enable MRR to officially register as a 501c3 charitable organization. This will give them tax-exempt status – making it even easier to solicit donations, since after that point, any funds you choose to donate to them will be deductible on your income taxes. It also opens the door for possible grant opportunities that may be available only to registered charities.

Moneys in excess of the filing fee for the charitable status will pay for financial software they will need to carefully track money in and out, and also go directly to the operating costs of the rat rescue. This includes cages, food, dishes, and other accessories and supplies for foster homes to use in caring for the rats; veterinarian costs; and much, much more.

They haven’t existed even a year yet, but Mainely Rat Rescue has already helped many deserving Ratties find good homes. With your support, they can continue doing so for a long, long time.

Raffle tickets are only $1 each. For $9, you can get ten chances; for $17, twenty. Such a bargain! MRR accepts PayPal, and you can contact them about paying by personal check – there’s an e-mail address on the website.

Tickets will be on sale until 11 p.m. Eastern time on September 14th. Winners will be announced on September 15th.

Thank You

Many thanks to everyone who has already purchased tickets – and good luck to you! The Ratties love you for caring!

Amusing Side Note

When Net-Net’s owner was told who would be fostering her Rattie family, she recognized me! It turns out that her mother regularly reads my blog, and always shows her the posts when I write about the Ratties. She was very pleased to hear where her girl was headed to with the babies, and I’m tickled pink that I’m actually helping out one of my readers!

How cool is that? (Waves at Rebekah!)

I Dare You

Filed under: Rats! — folkcat at 11:04 pm on Monday, August 18, 2008

I absolutely dare you, to refuse this face!


Lola Makes Her Plea

Lola is shown inspecting my most important knitted object of recent days – a 6-foot long mohair spiral scarf.

Why is it so important? Because it’s a prize in a fund-raising raffle being held by the good folks at Mainely Rat Rescue. They are such a new organization they haven’t completed the official filing for their 501c3 status (that’s what certifies organizations like theirs as officially charitable, non-profit, and tax-exempt) – but only because they need the money to cover the fees.

That’s what this raffle is all about – raising the cash to cover the 501c3 fees, and any surplus – of which we hope there will be lots – will help run the rescue itself. There are scads of prizes, ranging from gift certificates for cages, to full sets of cage accessories, jewelry, handmade quilts – you name it, it’s there. You can see the full details about the raffle here, at the Mainely Rat Rescue Raffle page.

Tickets are just $1 each, or buy in bulk and get 10 for $9, or 20 for $17. They take PayPal, and even will accept personal checks if you mail them soon enough, so there’s no excuse! The deadline for purchasing chances is 11 p.m. EST on September 14th, and they’ll announce the winners the next day.

Why?

Because the folks at Mainely Rat Rescue are doing an amazing job with very little for resources. Even if you’ve only been reading this blog since the beginning of 2008, you know that four of our current five Ratties came to us via Mainely Rat Rescue. Every one of them was well socialized, and they’ve all formed a happy colony in our home.

And the four who came from MRR, all came from situations where someone wasn’t knowledgable enough about pet rats, where genders weren’t separated or surgically sterilized, where care enough to keep random and uncontrolled breeding from happening simply didn’t exist. Mainely Rat Rescue stepped in, gave the rats a place to live while new homes were found for them, and basically, probably saved their lives.

How do I know?

I’m beginning to get a thorough education in how much Mainely Rat Rescue does to take care of these little furballs. Gryphon and I have been asked to provide a foster home for a Mom Rat and her nine babies. The family happens to be here in a home in Wilton already – I’m guessing that the babies were a pet-store rat bonus prize.

Mainely Rat Rescue is providing us with the cage, cage accessories, and a significant portion of the food and special baby nutritional needs for Mom and the babies. This doesn’t come cheap. The cage alone is usually $100 or more, and that’s for just the cage – no food dishes, water bottles, hammocks to sleep in. This is the sort of expense that MRR goes to when they help these babies out. And they do it gladly, because it’s the right thing, and they can’t bring themselves to turn their backs on a Rattie in need.

That money has to come from somewhere.

Frankly, I don’t know how they keep afloat. The adoption fees they ask are so small, and I’ve seen that they often waive them or discount them for one reason or another, all in the interest of assuring that the rats find the right home.

They’re doing good work, and they deserve to be able to keep doing so. I’m glad to be helping out as I can – I donated the scarf to the raffle, and now Gryphon and I will be taking temporary care of ten of the rats in need of good homes, while MRR finds those homes for them.

You can help, too.

If you’re considering a rat for a pet, and you’re in the New England area, please check out Mainely Rat Rescue. In other parts of the country – there are rat rescue organizations everywhere. Just Google, and I’m sure you’ll turn one up. The rats are almost always well socialized, because they are so often surprise babies that then are raised in foster care with loving attention.

Buy a raffle ticket – buy ten – buy twenty!

Mainely Rat Rescue Raffle. There are prizes for rat-keepers, there are prizes for everyone. There’s even an entire twin-sized handmade bed quilt! You don’t have to be kept by rats to enjoy the winnings. Outside the U.S.? No problem – they only ask that you cover half of the shipping cost.

Tell Lola, “No.” I Dare You!

If you can do it, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Belly Up to the Bar, Boys! (and Girls!)

Filed under: Rats! — folkcat at 12:31 pm on Thursday, August 14, 2008

It would be darned easy to get the idea that the Rattie Family only ever sleeps, if all you judged from was recent pictures on this blog. In fact, however, they are occasionally seen doing other things.

Most notably, they eat. And they’re getting along well enough, they don’t mind doing it together.

If you count the visible tails, then add in Lily (who is facing us on the left), all five Ratties are present in this group, chowing down happily and ignoring any remaining interpersonal issues they may have. All for the sake of the garbanzo beans and brocolli.

After all, a rat has to have his or her priorities!

Peace In The Valley

Filed under: Rats! — folkcat at 4:07 pm on Monday, August 11, 2008

Come Saturday night, I’d had enough of small meet-and-greets on my lap. I just didn’t feel that we were advancing the cause of Rattie Harmony with them.

So we got a tub of vanilla yogurt, laid an old, rat-chewed bathtowel in the bottom of the bathtub, and took the next, drastic step.

One by one, beginning with the little girls, each rat was smeared with a large swath of vanilla yogurt down their back, and placed in the tub.

We didn’t get the mutual groomfest that I hoped for. But neither did we see a bloodbath. The five Ratties seemed to reach a tense tolerance of each other in their shared misery. And they were miserable, I could tell. They milled around, trying to find a way out. They postured and posed at each other a little. But mostly, they sat in one place, and only decided to attempt to clean themselves up when they seemed sure they weren’t going anywhere for a while.

I deemed the lack of blood a good sign, and decided they were all going into one cage together immediately. Gryphon cleaned the large cage, and did his best to change the furnishings a bit.

For the next 36 hours or so, until sometime overnight last night, we observed Lola carefully following Lily and Laurel around. Occasionally, she would jump on one of them, turn them over, and hold them down. Sometimes, the little girls stood up to her before getting jumped. Lola always backed away after a moment, seeming to think she’d made her point.

By this morning, Lily and Laurel had earned the full run of all areas of the cage. Things are quiet right now – afternoon is Rattie snooze time. I looked in the cage to see where everyone had put themselves for their nap, and found this scene:


L. to R.: Lola, Laurel’s butt, and Lily

Lola is clearly still a bit fluffed up, as if to say, “Okay, I’ll snuggle up to the babies for my nap. But I’m not going to pretend to like it! Harrummph!”

I think, however, this scene of peaceful, communal snoozing shows the newly-grown Rattie colony is going to be A-OK.

So where are the boys? Somewhere off to the left of this picture, snoozing inside an old tissue box. They just can’t be bothered with drama!

As for the yogurt method for Rattie introductions – the jury is out. I was pretty unhappy seeing the yogurt-sopped rats milling about unhappily the way they did. In the end, however, it seems to have worked. Maybe it’s the shared trauma; maybe just the fact that it made for an abrupt change between “before” and “after”, making it easier for all the Ratties to start fresh.

It will be some time before I have to attempt introductions again, and I won’t have to decide whether to use the yogurt method or not until that time. If you asked me to do it tomorrow – I’m not sure I would. Ratties are resilient creatures, however, and they are forgiving as well. They don’t seem to hold a grudge against me for what we did.

For now, however, we accomplished a peace in the valley, a colony of five rats of varying ages all living together. And that’s a good thing!

More Rat Baby Pictures

Filed under: Rats! — folkcat at 5:01 pm on Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I’m trying to keep up with the ongoing demand for more Rat Baby pictures. There are problems with that effort, however.

Lily and Laurel, the two little girls, are fast. I don’t just mean they move quickly – I mean it’s almost like they teleport from one part of the cage to the next. Pointing a camera at them when they’re moving yields mostly a blur, and that’s if you’re lucky.

I try to get pictures when they’re sleeping, with mixed results. This photo, for instance:

What was happening a moment before was the girls were sweetly snoozed out, with Lily using her sister’s rear end as a pillow. As soon as I opened the cage (I tried to do it quietly, but no luck), Lily got all excited and curious and wanting to see what Mom was doing.

I did manage, in the midst of her efforts, to get a few good photos.


Portrait of Lily


A Peaceful Laurel

The girls are growing rapidly, too. It’s only been a couple weeks, and we can see a visible difference in their size.

Lola remains annoyed, though she does seem to be relaxing a bit. On the other hand, I had the little ones out for a romp on my lap today. Lola watched closely the whole while. After I put Lily and Laurel back in their cage, I let Lola out for a turn.

She wandered a bit over me, sniffing all the way. Then she tucked down between my legs (I sit on my easy chair almost yoga-style, with my feet tucked under me – the space around my feet is a popular spot for the Ratties to tuck themselves), and let loose a huge pee right on the chair there.

Well! I guess she’s told them what belongs to who!

Knitting still gets overrun by gaming, though I am picking away at it bit by bit. EverQuest 2 is just so satisfying right now, it’s hard not to play. I still get my household chores done, and it’s not like any of the knitting is for deadlines (okay, there’s one charity bit I should get done soon), so I’m not too worried about it. Except that I know you like to see what I’m working on. It’ll come back, I promise.