Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Sometimes, Plans Change

Filed under: Rats! — folkcat at 5:29 pm on Wednesday, January 30, 2008

They sure did last night. It was our plan, originally, to use our time today to do the pudding orgy in the bathtub thing to get Lola, Yuri, and Leonardo together in one cage.

Then last night, I decided I wanted to snack on one of the pudding cups we’d bought for the purpose. And the cages were right here. And Lola needed some time out of the cage. So did Yuri and Leonardo. I followed my instincts, and went forward.

It was risky doing it on my lap, but the Ratties quickly moved the action into the large cage. Quickly – well, it was interesting, actually, to watch how Yuri and Leo moved in slow motion around Lola, at least at first.

So here’s how it went. I opened Lola’s cage. I brought Yuri out of his cage, and smeared chocolate pudding on the back of his neck. Lola came down on the pillow on the arm of the chair (it serves as a ramp), and began licking the pudding. So far, so good.

Yuri must have taken this as some sort of sign, because he began moving – in slow motion – towards the cage. And up over the threshold. And down onto the cage floor. Slowly. S-l-o-o-o-w-l-y. “Inch by inch, slowly I turned…” slowly.

All the while, Lola is moving back and forth. “I’m going to lick that chocolate! No, I’m going to back away and assess the risk from this intruder! Wait, he’s a boy, let me sidle up to him sideways and present my rear! Hold on, he’s in MY cage! Oh, my, smell that chocolate, I want to lick it!”

It went on like that for quite a while, Lola and Yuri in a slow dance. I took some video, but it’s shaky and, frankly, boring to watch, just two rats slowly circling around, moving in and out. Pretty soon, I decided Leonardo needed to be in the mix, too, so I smeared his neck with chocolate and put him down by the cage door.

The whole process continued like that for a while. I took video now and then, in case something good happened. Lola attempted a few skirmishes, but always backed down. There was much dominance posturing, but she quickly learned that the boys were ready and able to match her, move for move.

She wasn’t happy with it, but she learned she wasn’t going to be able to change it, either.

Yuri and Leonardo, meanwhile, had clearly decided that the big cage was home NOW. At one point I took Yuri out to check his foot – Lola had managed to grab it, and he was licking it a lot. The foot was all right, though, nothing to be concerned about. I set him down on my lap, and he made a beeline back to the large cage. To HOME.

Lola decided to move upstairs, to the main nest level on the top floor. The boys explored around, following her up, where they established a stronghold in the corner opposite the nest. This bit of video comes from that part of the encounter.

You’ll see the boys huddling together in the corner on the right, but making frequent overtures in Lola’s direction. Meanwhile, Lola continues moving closer, then backing away. After a bit, she decides to start pushing nest material in their direction, first a paper towel, then later, she drags over the entire felt bag she curls up in and tries to push it on top of Yuri and Leo.

So, I’m watching this action on Lola’s part, her dragging nest material over onto the boys, and wondering what she’s thinking. What do you think? Is it:

  1. “I will BURY you!”
  2. “No, no, you sleep over HERE!”
  3. “Oh, you need soft things to sleep comfy – here take mine!”

Me, I’m thinking it was number 2.

All this was last night. This morning, Gryphon and I woke up and checked the cage in the living room.

All was quiet. But everyone was alive and uninjured. The boys and Lola were sleeping, not in a puppy pile of familial happiness, but at least within close proximity to one another. Yuri and Leo were on top of the felt pumpkin bag, and immediately next to it was Lola inside the purple felt spider bag, the opening of the bag distinctly turned away from the boys.

Close, but not too close.

Gryphon and I did a major reset of the cage today, cleaning it out thoroughly, adding a plastic igloo downstairs, putting in the Wodent Wheel for the boys to try, changing all the rugs, hammocks, and bags. All three rats found their own corners to claim, for a while. Eventually, it must have been nap time, with Lola again choosing the purple bag in the nest corner, and the boys curling up together in the pumpkin in the opposite corner.

After a little while, I watched while Yuri made his move. Slow motion again. He crawled out of the pumpkin he was sharing with his brother, across the floor to where Lola was cozily curled in the purple spider bag. Then, inch by inch, slowly he crawled in alongside her.

Lola protested briefly, squeaking a bit and pushing at him with her hind feet. But then they seemed to come to a truce.

And so, I can leave you with this picture at the end of this tale:

Lola and Yuri
Lola and Yuri, Together

Maybe not a completely happy resolution yet, but a level of tolerance and acceptance is being achieved. The boys are strong enough to hold their own with Lola, who, as much as she protests, really does want the company.

I think we’re all going to do just fine!


Comment by Christina

January 30, 2008 @ 7:26 pm

Aww, they look so cute together! I’m sure with time, Lola will give in and start enjoying te company. Who knew that pudding could work such wonders!

Comment by Carrie K

January 30, 2008 @ 8:37 pm

They do look cosy. Is this pandering? lol.

Comment by Claudia

January 31, 2008 @ 12:24 pm

YAY!!! Harmony!!! How fabulous, they look like a happy little family. And you know, that’s why I never got into the Brittanys. Brittany – Brittle, it’s just a bit too close a match for me!

Comment by Carol

January 31, 2008 @ 9:52 pm

that is just lovely. Ratties need company. Maybe the enforced 3 week wait was a good thing. They got to sniff each ther and get used to the intermingling of family smells first!

Comment by Leesa

February 1, 2008 @ 11:42 pm

Yay!!! Congratulations on a seemingly successful rattie integration!

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