Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Counting the Days…

Filed under: Mainely Rat Rescue,Rats! — folkcat at 9:49 pm on Saturday, January 24, 2009

We’re approaching the final countdown with Brynn and her litter. The babies will be four weeks old on Tuesday. We separate the boys from the girls on Friday. On Sunday next week, the four babies that we won’t personally be delivering to their adoptive homes will be transported to the foster parents who will make that final connection.

Since I last wrote, Chardonnay has been spoken for. That just leaves – are you ready for this? – Dom and Perignon. Yup. Dom Perignon.


Being a boy and a girl, they won’t be staying together. Instead, each will be paired with an odd baby out from another litter born around the same time. So everyone will have new friends and happy homes! If you were interested in either Dom or Perignon, you can still get in touch with Mainely Rat Rescue to inquire after them, and learn who their new buddies will be.

The babies are hardly babies anymore. They still throw themselves under Mom’s belly now and then for a suckle, but Mom’s body is changing and I think the milk is tapering off. For the first few weeks, when you picked Brynn up it felt you were holding a hand ful of hot coals. Now her metabolism is shifting back to more normal rattie temperatures. Biology wins over all, the babies will be weaned soon whether they want it or not.

Not that they risk lacking for nutrition. They’re eating like little pigs! Any food put in the cage is descended upon as though we’ve been starving them, and soon disappears. Some of the more greedy little ones have found that the best spot to sit for dinner is in the dinner bowl – you have the most convenient access to the food, and can control how much your siblings get to. Everyone gets enough of everything, though!

These babies sure love their togetherness. I’m beginning to think I should have spent more time taking them out of the cage individually, instead of in a crowd. I put them all out on a little table with rugs and a couple of props yesterday, and here’s what happened:

The four on the left, clockwise from back left: Asti, Champagne, Clairette, and Dom.
The four on the right, front to back: Korbel, Tattinger, Chardonnay (under kitty’s chin) and Perignon (only her rump visible under Chardonnay).

Everyone immediately grouped together, and went to the Beanie Baby kitty for comfort. Which, now that I think of it, makes sense, since it’s about the size of their own Mom.

That’s not to say they’re timid rats. Just that when they’re presented with a new situation, like all rats, they like to find a way to feel safe while they figure it out. Before long, they were milling all around the table like nobody’s business. Here’s my favorite picture from that:

Exploring the Mug, Inside and Out
Dom in front, Champagne behind him. No way to know who’s in and on the mug!

After the group photos, I decided to take some shots of Dom and Perignon together. It was interesting to watch how alike, yet how different, they are. They’re both mellow, snuggly little ratties. But then, Dom’s a boy, and Perignon’s a girl, and rattie society is much like a pride of lions. The boys stay home, lounging around, while the girls go exploring and bringing home dinner.

That was evident when I watched Dom and Perignon, and how they interacted with the little world of the table top. Both explored, both snuggled with the beanie kitty, both sought each other out for contact and reassurance. I took twenty-five pictures while they did this, and noticed that in nine of them, one or the other was staring down over the edge of the table, wondering what more there was and how they could get to it.

In only two of those pictures, the rat peering over the edge was Dom. In all seven of the others, it was Perignon. Peri, the girl, is the more adventurous of the two, while Dom is quite content to look, but leaves the genuine exploration to his sister.

Perignon peers intently over the edge…

Which is just fine with Dom, who will hang back and wait for her report.

And finally, when they’d settled down a bit, Dom found a cozy spot inside the mug, while Peri came and stared at me, demanding to know, “What’s next?”

Dom in mug, Peri out front.

A week from tomorrow, next Sunday, four of the babies will be moving on to other fosters, then to their final adoptive homes. The remaining babies and Brynn will be delivered to their new homes over the week after that.

And our world will be down to the Seven Little Ratties, our Perma-Ratties, which will thrill Lola, Leo, Yuri, Lily, Laurel, Laura and Trixie no end, as they’ll once again have our undivided attention.

Until the next foster ratties turn up on our doorstep, that is.


Comment by Valerie in San Diego

January 25, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

I think I’ve said “adorable” about 50 times now, but honestly, there is no better way to start a busy Sunday than to pore over a bunch of darling rattie photos. Hope Dom and Peri find great homes soon! Meanwhile, what cuties! I can’t wait to see the next batch (though we all might need some photos of the perma-ratties first… we miss them!)

Comment by Carol

January 28, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

I love the action pics. Rattie in the mug. Rattie staring over the table edge..etc. Cute!

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