Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Happy Things, and Sad

Filed under: Daily Life,Rats! — folkcat at 9:15 pm on Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sad Things

We’ve reached a threshold with Star. No, not that one – yet. No, last night we decided she needed to be kept in a separate cage from the others, for her own health and safety. We set up the cage Lola came with alongside the family cage, and placed Star in it.

Star’s solo home is being kept right next to the family cage, so she’s still near everyone. Sable clearly misses her a bit already – when Gryphon came into the living room this morning, he said Sable was standing on the lower ramp, looking over at Star’s cage, and making the little chirping noise in her throat that we’ve come to understand as a longing for attention or affection. (We let Sable in with Star to visit for a bit, and that seemed to help.)

There were a number of factors that triggered this decision. Problem number one was actually Lola. The Youngster has figured out that Star is weak, and can’t fight back. And so Lola has been exerting her dominance over Star frequently, jumping on her and roughly playfighting. Poor Star could only lay there, immobile, and take it. I’d rescue her when I saw it going on, but I’m not always there.

We’ve also witnessed several incidents that could only be called “muggings,” where Lola has pushed Star over and taken a treat or piece of food from her mouth. And Lola has figured out that when treats are given out, if she quickly runs and stashes hers away, she can come back and take Star’s treat from her.

Not good. Lola was bullying Star, and Star can’t fight for herself. It had to stop.

There are other benefits to separating Star. She’s not able to eat as well as she used to, and needs some specialized food – which we have to keep Sable and Lola from eating up before she can get to it. Now, we can give her exactly what she needs, and she’ll actually get it.

Also, the new family cage is so large that if Star fell over or got stuck in a back corner, I couldn’t easily reach her to help. Lola’s old cage, though it’s a three decker, is small enough I can get to Star anywhere.

We are still a bit concerned about having Star in a multi-level cage, instead of a single-level. So far, though, it seems that the ramp design, while it doesn’t completely eliminate falling, does minimize it. And with a full 1/2 inch grid on the ramps, Star has actually been able to break her fall by grabbing hold and letting herself down more slowly. So, while the multiple levels might not be ideal, they’re far safer for her than being in the larger cage, with more open areas to fall in, and with a Youngster beating her up and stealing her food.

It’s all very sad, because, as I said, this is a new threshold. Star’s condition has come down to a level that needs special care, and that couldn’t be handled in the family cage. We’re another notch closer to the day that we are dreading, but at least we know we’re doing everything within our power to make things better for Star now.

Happy Things

Like friends who convince you to keep Craft Circle on, even if they’re the only one coming, because it’s your birthday and they plan to come with things like these:

Big Balloons
Big, Big Balloons

I realize I’m not exactly petite, but these balloons are so large, they even make me feel about 4 years old! Can you think of anything happier than a four-year old with a birthday?

My good friend Bea, who brought the balloons, also brought a small cheesecake, which we shared with some freshly brewed Li Zi Nutcracker tea (from Adagio Teas), while we watched America’s Got Talent together. We’re both really rooting for the ventriloquist, Terry Fator, to win – he’s one of several amazing talents left, but he’s a multi-talented powerhouse. I’ll bet if you go search on YouTube, you’ll find clips of some of his performances. You won’t believe your eyes – or ears!

Aside from balloons and cheesecake, Bea also turned up a copy of one of the classic books in the quilting field for me – Lap Quilting With Georgia Bonesteel. This is chockful of patterns and full-size templates, and gives complete instruction for the block-by-block method of hand quilting – which is space-friendly enough I may actually be able to do it in our tiny apartment. Thanks, Bea, I’m going to enjoy this one!

And the celebrations continue. I got a card from my parents today, with a birthday check which will probably fund a nice outing with my friends to go fiber and craft shopping. And my brother said he’s still got a package to send me. I love it when people are late with the wishes and presents, it keeps the fun going!



Comment by Elspeth

August 9, 2007 @ 2:40 am

Happy Birthday! What a nice surprise! Sad story with Star, though.


Comment by Carol

August 9, 2007 @ 10:22 am

Birthday presents rock! It’s always fun when they come for a few days. Spreads out the joy. Sorry to hear Lola’s being a bully. I had to start supervising my kitties when Blondie got ill. She needed special food for her kidneys AND medecine. So we had to watch Pagan to make sure she wouldn’t go and steal Blondie’s food. Which she did any chance she got. Blondie never was very aggressive and given the heart and kidney problems she had, she wasn even more passive. So Pagan used to get watched VERY closely at feeding or treat time. Unfortunately, now that blondie is gone, Pagan will steal Micha’s food! So we are still watching meal times very closely. I feel your pain.

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