Hi! I’m not trying to make you feel bad or say that you’re a bad owner because I’m sure you’re doing the best you can for her given the circumstances, but I definitely would never, ever advocate keeping an average rat alone & I think it’s better to have none than just one.
There are a really small handful of situations where it’s appropriate to keep a rat alone (ex: older unneutered male whose cagemates passed away, health or mobility issues that would make living with other rats dangerous, severe aggression that’s more unusual than just typical male testiness, or an adult male whose lived alone its whole life & can’t be neutered for whatever reason), but in general, they are not going to live a very fulfilled life living alone. I’ve seen firsthand what many rats get like when kept alone—obsessive behaviors (constant wheel running or bar chewing), self mutilation, & aggression are all *very* common. Some of that can be alleviated by lots of human interaction, but the best analogy I’ve heard is that it’s like if you lived alone in a big giant house that you weren’t allowed to leave, but for one hour a day, you got to play with a dog. You’d love the dog & enjoy its company & it would greatly enrich your life, but even if you saw the dog for literally every moment that you were awake, it wouldn’t be even remotely similar to having a human friend. I see people saying sometimes that “well, it’s definitely better to have 2+, but if you spend a lot of time with them, it’s fine to keep a solo!” & sorry, I’ll never agree with that…I’ve seen way too many rats that were severely screwed up by being kept alone & turned into completely different, happier animals once they had friends. :-/
I’m not saying that all rats that live alone are miserable, but I definitely feel like it’s very, very far from an ideal life, even if they’re given tons of attention. I’ve had some rats that didn’t interact a ton with their cagemates (or that fought a lot & had to be kept separate sometimes) that maybe would’ve been okay being kept alone, but that’s like saying people shouldn’t hang out or be friends because some people with anxiety or depression do better when off to themselves.
I know there’s not a lot else you can do in your present situation if you’re not able to convince your landlord to let you keep a second rat, but definitely consider getting her a friend if you end up moving, because I can almost guarantee you she’d be happier. :)
Wow, heavy question! I’m only going to speak from my experience—obviously, everyone is different & so I’m not going to try to talk about things I don’t have experience with.
Getting a job can be very difficult, especially if you’ve never had one before. This gets said so often that it’s cliche, but the best way to get a job is to know people, which is unfortunately really difficult if you’ve got bad anxiety, because you may not know that many people. If you don’t have friends with jobs that could possibly hook you up, another good way to get an “in” is to start talking to regular employees at places you visit often. Try to pick something that you feel like you’d be good at, but don’t limit yourself due to your mental problems, because you might find that you are able to be a different person at work. I would NEVER be able to go to a party & talk to people, & the idea of meeting my boyfriend’s close friends & family makes me burst into tears & want to self-harm. But I worked in retail for seven years dealing heavily with the public & I was fantastic. I could make small talk, I could upsell, I was engaging & friendly towards everyone that walked in the door. I realize not everyone is able to do that, but what I found out about myself is that the main thing that makes me feel uncomfortable out in public is that I feel like other people are better than me—that they’re richer, they’re better-looking, they’re smarter, & just all-around superior. But because I felt comfortable in the places I worked, & I knew the merchandise & the policies & the electronic systems, I felt like I had some authority, even when I was just a cashier. It made me feel like I had some sort of power over the customers that walked in the door & it gave me the confidence to be friendly & outgoing, & I was genuinely good at it. I realize not everyone has the ability to almost have a second personality like that, but don’t limit yourself & say “Oh, I could never, ever work anywhere where I had to deal with people!” because that might not be true, you might find that you’re much more comfortable in an actual work environment than you think you will be.
Have a good financial plan. *Months* before you move out, start looking at the cost of living in the area you’re going to be moving to. Check rent prices on Craig’s List. Calculate what bills you’ll have to pay. Round everything up when estimating. Save up as much money as humanly possible before moving out—moving is not cheap. When I first moved out of my mom’s house, I was going four hours away & it cost around $1000 total in deposits, moving costs, & various fees. I moved across town last year (15 minutes from my old house) & it was around $500 in fees just to get my utilities accounts’ addresses changed, plus a $600 deposit on the house itself. You never know when an emergency could come up (health-wise, pet-wise, or car-wise, to name a few), so try to keep a comfortably padded savings account. Most landlords will do credit checks, be prepared to have a cosigner if you have no credit or bad credit. In most states, every person on the lease is responsible for rent, so if you’re living with someone you thought was your best friend & they suddenly bail out on you midway through the lease, you’re still responsible for 100% of the rent.
Know yourself—know your capabilities, what makes you feel better, & what stresses you out. Lots of people aren’t ready to live alone, at least not at first, so it’s perfectly okay to want or need a roommate. However, I know that I have major trust issues & that I have a ton of trouble relying on people, so for my sanity, even if I’m living with someone, it’s best for me to always have a rent cost that I’m capable of paying by myself each month if necessary. That’s not financially feasible for most people, especially if you’re at an entry-level job, but definitely try to make sure you trust the person you’re renting a place with.
I don’t actually make a budget for myself because that stresses me out & I’m self-disciplined enough to manage my money as it comes in. I live as spartanly as possible most of the time, & it means that I’m able to live on a meager income. People are always asking me how I save money & the best tip I can give is THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE BUYING!!!!!!! I have seen so, so many people complain about not having money & not knowing where it’s going & claiming that they’re trying to budget & then turn around & spend $1.50 on a candy bar or $5 at McDonald’s. Is that a lot of money? No, not really. But if you’re doing that on a regular basis, it adds up very, very quickly. My boyfriend has been trying to curtail his spending lately & I’ve been helping him keep track of it. He was buying an energy drink & a candy bar every day before work, which was costing $20 a week—that’s $80 a month he’s spending on food that’s not nutritious & isn’t even really filling him up. That’s literally his half of the water bill, gas bill, & internet bill, on basically nothing. Instead of doing that, he could eat a protein bar & water bottle every day for around $5 a week & save a ton of money, plus eat healthier. Fast food is very tempting, but it’s not cheap—eating out in general is a huge waste of money compared to what you can cook food for at home. Also, prepackaged foods are generally very expensive compared to the cost of buying ingredients separately. Example: a box of cheap storebrand macaroni & cheese is $.60, which seems very cheap compared to the $1 namebrands, but that’s maybe a serving & a half & it doesn’t taste all that great. You could spend a little more to get a box of elbow macaroni & some cheddar cheese & make waaaaaay more servings just by adding a little milk, & it doesn’t take any more time or effort than getting the cheap kind. I’m not saying cook everything from scratch, because that can be extremely time-consuming, but just cutting out one prepackaged meal a week (like, say, replacing a $2 box of Pasta Roni with pasta you simmered with a can of tomatoes, cheese, & garlic) could save you a lot of money in the long run, & you get much more food that way. Try to cook in bulk whenever possible, & portion out leftovers so that you have an easily-reheated meal for later (I use my freezer a lot!). Pay attention to the per ounce prices on store shelves, because what seems like it’s cheap may not be.
I try to think of everything in terms of what I’m working for to pay for it. I made minimum wage when I first moved out of my mom’s house—$7.25/hr. A $30 pair of jeans was over four hours’ worth of work—I personally did not feel that was worth my time, so I did not ever purchase $30 pairs of jeans. I’m not saying it’s necessary to make your life completely devoid of all pleasures—after all, I spend way more money than I should on my rats, but almost anyone’s spending habits can be trimmed if you examine them closely. The deal I have with myself is that I rarely spend money on a regular basis—I might occasionally buy myself a treat, but in generally, I’m pretty tight-fisted with my money. But I do love traveling & that makes me happy, so I try to take 1-2 trips a year where I can experience things I want to experience—that’s my “fun time” that I save up the rest of the year for. That’s what works for me, but if you feel more comfortable living slightly more lavishly throughout the year, that’s fine too, just try to consider your purchases carefully & don’t buy things without thinking, because that’s an easy way to spend more than you intend to.
This got really long-winded, as a lot of my answers tend to do, but I wanted to try to give examples. I feel like I probably wasn’t as clear as I meant to be because I went off on a tangent about budgeting, but I really do think that the most important thing is to know what stresses you out & try to avoid that. I know that the main thing that makes me start getting tense & depressed & hating myself is when I’m spending too much of my savings on every day living, so I try to avoid that whenever possible. If, say, not having enough time to get things done is what makes your anxiety worse, make a concentrated effort to work on your time management skills & alter your sleeping/”fun time” schedule so that you have time to get errands run & homework done or whatever it is that you need to do.
aaaaaah and now I’m worried you were asking about more basic stuff like “help, how do I wash clothes!?!?!” but I spent way too long typing this, so I will post it anyway.
Yup, I’ve got all the rats in my room, plus Bob the mouse.
I actually like hearing them as I fall asleep, especially if I’m at home alone. My rats pretty much sleep most of the night—as long as I feed them about an hour before I go to bed, they’re okay, they get ready to settle down once the lights go out. If I wait & feed them right before bed, I’ll have to listen to a few screams & a little bit of minor fighting for a bit before they finish eating & go to sleep. Rory likes to run on the wheel before he falls asleep, so I have to make sure I’ve greased it (I use cooking spray) so it doesn’t squeak, & make sure that everyone’s wheels are far away from everything else in the cage, because they will move sometimes when they run & they’ll slam into things & make thumping sounds. Courage chews on random bits of plastic in the cage sometimes & so that is a little irritating, but it isn’t all that loud & doesn’t bother me too bad. The little bit of sound they do make bothers Crawford more than it does me, so he puts a floor fan by the bed (not blowing near the rats) to cover up the noise.
As far as bar chewing, I’ve actually never really had an issue with bar chewers—I do have a couple that will chew on the bars if I’m nearby & they want attention or if they know they’re about to get fed, but in general, most rats that are not living alone & get attention spaced throughout the day don’t bar chew a whole lot.
I’ve had a few that chewed bars TERRIBLY when I first got them, but I was able to reform them by changing up their playtime schedule. If at all possible, try to play with them more frequently, because bar chewing is normally a result of boredom—I’d say a minimum of 30 minutes a day is best, but more is great, too. If you don’t have the time to play with them more than that, that’s perfectly okay, but it means they might be a little bored throughout the day, so instead of doing one thirty minute session, try two 15 minute times, or even three 10 minute times, spaced throughout the day, preferably when they’re awake & naturally more active (for mine, that tends to be between 7pm-10pm, but that will vary depending on the humans in your household’s schedule). Mine have not been able to come out a ton lately for free range time because I’m keeping a foster cat & kittens in my spare room, so I’ve been giving them much, much more in-cage attention than usual, & that helps immensely with alleviating boredom—to be honest, I think a lot of rats enjoy in-cage play more than coming out. Mine love it if I open the cage door & move a chair in front of them & just sit there petting them & talking & letting them lick me. Even just taking them out to sit on your shoulder while you’re on the computer or watching TV is something kinda out of the ordinary for them that will keep them from getting bored enough to chew the bars.
Most rats kept alone will bar chew, because it’s not an natural environment for them to be in & they’re not as happy as they could be living with a friend or friends, like they should be. Unfortunately, a lot of obsessive behaviors can become learned, so if you have a rat that’s lived alone for a long time (or been in a neglectful home in the past), it’s entirely possible that they’ll continue to bar chew even if you’ve got them with a friend & they’re getting plenty of interaction. :(
EDIT: I was rereading this & I wanted to clarify that I didn’t mean to make it sound like anyone that had bar chewers was neglecting them or anything, because that’s not what I meant at all. I’ve found that it’s usually more an issue of spacing out the playtimes more than anything else, you could have a rat get out for three consecutive hours a day & it could still bar chew from being bored the other 21 hours. IMO spacing out the playtime is more important than the number of total minutes.
I’m going to assume you are in that boat, so first off, I’m very sorry. :(
In my case, I don’t know that I would have been a whole lot happier with most degrees, to be honest. I’m not very good in social settings & I’m not very good with people my own age. I do think it was particularly worse because I was in business school at a large state school that was almost entirely very wealthy, very privileged “normal looking” white people, many of whom had never had jobs, whereas I come from a middle class home, was not getting any financial support from my parents, had pink hair, had been working since I was 16, & was working full-time at a dollar store while going to school. I’m not saying that in a “wah wah poor me” way because I know that there are plenty of college students in similar situations, but I had very little in common with most of those people.
I didn’t participate in any extracurricular things & wouldn’t have even if I had the time to do so, & I think I only had non-classwork related conversations with three people the whole three years I was there. I don’t really recommend going through college that way because I am sure most people would have a better time talking to people & whatnot, but I had a really, really rough time of it mentally. I listened to a lot of music on my iPod (not in class, obviously, just like, waiting for class to start, riding the bus, etc.) & I was scarily obsessed with this guy that was in most of my classes. I spent a lot of time obsessing over him—I’m not recommending it or saying it was healthy, but it’s not like I was hurting him in any way & it made me feel a lot better to have this sort of pretend relationship in my head, I felt like he was my friend even though he didn’t know my name or probably that I existed. I brought my laptop so that I didn’t feel so alone in between classes & I found things that made me happy—I loved going in the gardens when I had spare time & taking naps or reading. I also liked wandering through the libraries. I always picked electives that were things I enjoyed instead of things relating to my degree, which I only picked because it was broad & general enough that it’d help me out in most jobs.
I tried to take the things that I enjoyed & concentrate on those even if I really, really hated all the rest, which I think is a pretty good way to go through most things in life. Like I said, I’m really sorry you’re in that situation. That was probably the most unhappy time in my entire life. It’s kind of weird, though—that school made me absolutely miserable, but now that I’m not there, I remember the good things much more vividly…I guess that’s just how it is when everything else is bad, it makes the good things seem better. I’ve walked around campus some since graduating & it always makes me feel so indescribably weird…it’s very bittersweet because I have so many regrets, but I don’t even know what those regrets are—yeah, I wish I had been somewhere with people that were more “different,” but that’s such a broad generalization, & it’s entirely possible I would’ve been miserable there, too, so I don’t even really know what I wish for. But I do wish I had done it differently & I guess been more, I don’t know, immersed? or at least made a friend or two.
I’m really sorry. :( I don’t know how old she is, but it sounds like she could be on her way out. Mammary tumors are often benign, but sometimes tumors can be indicative of other issues going on internally. Rats definitely get a lot lazier with aging, so it’s entirely possible she’s just getting older, but if she’s over 2, I’d say she’s probably nearing the end of her lifespan. Try to keep her comfortable & if it’s at all possible, have her euthanized if she starts showing signs of discomfort or the tumor gets large enough that it’s affecting her mobility. I have experienced several body tumors & the rat always passed away peacefully before the lumps got big enough to affect them in any way.
Oh man, I got so panicky reading the first line, & was cracking up at the end. I think I could leave my cage open for a week & I don’t know that Courage & Wesley would ever leave or even notice the door was open, lol. Alan & Pax would leave, but it’d only be to go try to get into the girls’ cage.
I definitely vastly prefer boys & if I could only keep one sex, it’d be boys, but I know a lot of people love girls. I hate the generalization that all boys are lazy & cuddly & all girls are hyperactive & wild, because I’ve had plenty of boys that remained active well into adulthood (Pax is 2 & he’s just as active as my females whenever we’re playing), but most boys definitely do tend to be a lot more laid-back. I think it’s worth experiencing both sexes just so you can do it.
Keep in mind that boys will fight sometimes & it may be necessary to get one or both neutered—it’s not incredibly common & I don’t mean to make it sound like it’s something you necessarily need to be super-concerned about, but I’ve experienced severe aggression issues plenty of times…I’ve had 28 adult males total—most were fine without neutering, but three had very, very bad aggression problems & three others had minor issues that were solved with neutering, & I’ve had two others that probably would’ve benefited immensely from a neuter. I’ve got a big group of young males right now & at least one is more than likely going to need a snip due to aggression. That part can be a little stressful because it is a big expense & it’s frustrating to have to deal with them fighting.
Aww, I’m sorry. :( Feel free to vicariously enjoy mine!
I have no idea why you’re not able to get them, like if it’s due to health issues or family reasons or money or you’re in a dorm or whatever, so I don’t mean this to sound patronizing at all, but if you know you’re not able to get them, just remember that you’re doing the right thing by not having them at the moment. I have seen way too many people that get pets even when they don’t have the money or the time & that always makes me sad because it’s not a good situation for the animal & it’s upsetting for the person when they realize they have to give them up. I hope your situation changes soon & you are able to have them again one day!
Hi! Are you talking about like in between her toes? I guess it could be a fungus of some sort, but I wouldn’t be too concerned unless it seems to be causing her pain or there’s some sort of wound or something. I’m not really sure what you mean without seeing it, so I hate to even give any advice on it, to be honest. I’d take her to the vet if it starts spreading or if she isn’t walking properly or is biting at it excessively.
I always preface any question I ever get about rat deaths by saying that I don’t really have a typical reaction to death in general—my dad was a hospice nurse & so death was a huge part of my life growing up. He’d bring home “how to grieve” coloring books for me, my favorite game was filling out death certificates, I’d constantly ask how many people died each day, etc. I also think that it’s easier to deal with pet deaths when you have a lot of pets, because I cannot get absolutely devastated when one of my rats dies—I have way too many others that need to be cared ofr. I don’t usually feel like playing with them for a few days after one passes away, but I still have to interact with them for feeding/cage cleaning, & I’ve found that to be really therapeutic, because seeing how excited they are to see me even when I’m upset makes me feel better.
A lot of people hear that rats have 2-3 year lifespans (which to be honest, I think is pretty misleading even though it’s constantly quoted & considered the norm…I’d say a far more likely average is 1.75-2.75, with the occasional one making it to 3+) & immediately go “Oh gosh, I could never deal with that! That’s so short!” and yes, it is, compared to a cat or a dog, but stop & think about your life for a minute & consider where you were two years ago. Maybe I just have a faster-changing life than average, but two years ago seems like AGES to me. I was in a completely different house, I didn’t have my current boyfriend, I was working at a different job, I was still in college, I didn’t know people that I’m now very close friends with…virtually nothing about my life is the same as it was two years ago. It sounds like a short amount of time, but it’s really not.
I have to be careful how I phrase the next part because I don’t want to make it sound like I think they’re interchangeable or I don’t appreciate them as individuals, but I think that as far as my relationship with rats as a species (vs. my relationship with individual rats), their short lifespans are an absolute godsend. If I wanted to devote my entire life to giving dogs a good home, realistically, I’d probably only be able to have 5-10 dogs over the course of my lifetime. Obviously, I could decide to foster dogs & adopt them out to good homes, & I’m not saying that’s not rewarding, but it’s not the same—you don’t have as long to develop a relationship with the dog & you don’t get as good of a sense of its personality as you do if you actually own it for any length of time. But I’ve had rats for just five years & I’ve personally given a good home to 40+. I keep way more rats than most people do, so of course that’s not a number that everyone could or should strive for, but even if you’re only keeping three rats at a time, you could still have had 6-9 rats during that period, rats that would not have been very likely to have had a good home otherwise. I’d estimate that probably 95% of rats are kept in conditions that are basically akin to abuse, it’s easy to forget that when you see people on Tumblr that have blogs devoted to them, but that’s NOT the life of most rats. Most rats are kept in tiny cages or tanks on improper, dirty bedding, often alone, with no toys & very little outside time. Check out an average “rats for adoption!” Craig’s List ad if you don’t believe me. That’s not even mentioning the high percentage that are going to be snake food. Rats that are adopted by any good owner are automatically going to have it better than the vast, vast majority of rats out there, so I find it incredibly uplifting that I’ve been able to provide a good home for so many.
I have a much easier time personally dealing with older rats’ deaths, even if they are ones I loved very much, because realistically, if they make it to much over 2, I can’t ask much else out of their lives. I don’t have any regrets because I know they had a great time with me, & to be honest, most of the time, by the point that they’re at a little over two, they’re usually afflicted with a variety of maladies (arthritis, hind end degeneration, respiratory issues, etc.) that make death not so bad. I’m not saying I think older, sickly rats are unhappy—it’s definitely an individual thing, some are fine with not being as mobile & some are so miserable that I get them euthanized just a few weeks after they start having difficulty getting around. Buuuut at the same time, I wouldn’t want Wesley to live another six months—he is very happy & seems to enjoy his life, but he’s having trouble with ladders, he has difficulty breathing in some positions, & he has to be separated to eat because he is so slow about it. I don’t think that his quality of life has deteriorated to the point that it’s cruel to not have him put down, but I wouldn’t want him to continue declining indefinitely, either. I’ll miss him when he’s gone, but it’d be awfully selfish of me to want him to live for another year just so I could be with him.
With all that being said, it can be heartbreaking when they die. I’m not big on talking about things I find extremely upsetting, so I don’t post very much about some of the animal deaths that really hit me hard…I try not to dwell on them, but there are some that were really, really difficult for me. I still have nightmares about Wyatt dying & that was 2.5 years ago. I can’t look at pictures of agouti hooded dumbos without tearing up because of Darcy, I have a friend of a friend with a rat on Instagram that looks a lot like him & I literally started bawling when I saw a photo of him the other day. I can’t talk about him without getting really upset, & I still can’t watch videos of him even though he died seven months ago. I’m not planning on getting any more female mice for a while after my current group has passed away & that is entirely due to the death of my favorite one, Pie, who died a few months back. I don’t think there’s any way to sugarcoat it or make it seem better some things are just hard.
This always makes me feel better, the entire book is magnificent if you have never read it, but that chapter is my favorite. I have “it has done me good because of the color of the wheat fields” written on my desk & I always look at it when I am missing my Bug.
Join the club! I haven’t eaten meat in 16 years & it feels like I cook chicken every freaking night. My ex loved chicken also, so I cooked it a lot for him, & that is seemingly all that Crawford likes to eat for dinner.
I found out that apparently the reason the chicken I’ve been cooking is so disgusting is because it’s the really cheap gross kind, & that nicer brands are not this nasty/bloody/feathery. My ex also loved the cheap kind, so I’ve never made organic chicken or any of the namebrand kind. I used to work at a grocery store & the cheap chicken was the only kind that would leak blood all over the checkouts, I always assumed that was because the packaging was worse…but now that I think about it, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of the nicer brands have blood in the package & the cheaper kinds are always in red-tinted water. The feathers gross me out more than the blood, there is always at least one little feather I have to pluck out in each bag. ::shudders::
It sounds like it’s buck grease, which is normal in adult, unneutered males. Some have it a lot more than others—I’ve only had a few where it was so bad that you can see orange on the fur, but many have orange flakes on the back like that if you peel back the fur & look. In my experience, it’s MUCH worse in “manly” males (by that, I mean ones with aggression issues or larger or bulkier or just more dominant in general), which makes sense because it’s a hormone thing, so you may not notice it nearly as much on less dominant rats. It’s what makes boyrats feel gross & coarse instead of soft & fluffy.
I don’t recommend trying to wash it off, as that tends to make them overproduce it. You can supplement with a little olive oil in their food, that helps, even though it seems like it should make it worse.
Great job, anon! Thank you for this helpful tip. The website again is Pet Food Direct. I have bookmarked it with that code in the title so that I shan’t forget for next time I go to order.
YAY I AM GLAD SOMEONE LOVES JEAN LUC!!!
He doesn’t play dentist any more now, I guess all of his cagemates forced him to quit his job, lol. He is such a sweet, active boy, & so curious!
I think that is gonna be a really nice group. Worf still needs a lot of work, he isn’t mean, but he bites very bad pretty much any time you go to touch him, & Turnip is slowly coming around (he’s not at all aggressive, just scared). The others are all absolute dolls though, & easily the most playful group of rats I’ve ever had.
Hi! That’s a good sign that they’re fine in the cage with you. If you have any larger pets, like dogs or cats, make sure to get them away before you bring them out. Even if they’re not even remotely paying attention to the rats, some rats are really sensitive to the presence of other animals. I’ve got a few that constantly nip at my cats or Cece to try to play with them, but others that I can’t take out even if the cats are asleep across the room, because they’re out of the cage that they’ll leap to the floor.
A really good way to start is to open the cage door & let them explore around it/on top of it, if you’re able to do that. I have a ton of timid rats that don’t like being very far from their cage & are extremely uncomfortable if I try to take them out to the couch or bathroom—if a rat’s that scared even after I’ve had them a while, I’ll usually just alter their outside time to be more cage-based interaction.
On a related note, if the cage is small enough, taking it into whatever room you want to play with them in is practically a surefire way to get them okay with outside time. Most new rats get kinda freaked out if you’re staring at them or grabbing for them, I definitely prefer to leave the cage door open & let them crawl out while I’m reading a book or something (obviously, I keep the door to the room closed so they’re not wandering through the house while I’m engrossed in a novel, lol). If your cage is too large to move, opening the door & putting your arm up as a kind of bridge is a good way for them to get used to you. I’ve been doing that a lot with Turnip lately because he’s so shy…I’ll keep my head close to the shelf he’s on so he can sniff at me & play in my hair, & I’ll let him crawl on my arm or shoulder as he likes. He’s still very bad about jumping off when he’s scared right now, but once he gets a little better, I’ll start slowly walking around the room with him on my shoulder until he realizes that I’m a safe place to be.
I dunno if it’ll reappear or not, but anyway, the person asked if black stool was normal after a rat had been on antibiotics. If it’s just one or two bowel movements, I wouldn’t be that concerned (assuming he’s acting normally), because I have noticed changes in rats’ poop color & consistency after diet changes, which meds could also affect. but then I edited to add that if it continues for more than a day or so, I’d probably call the vet to make sure it’s okay. The color changes a LOT fresh vs. dried, so it might be that you just saw it more “wet” than usual. Definitely call the vet immediately if you see any blood in it.
Oh no, I didn’t mean just because of the Easter thing, that’s definitely part of it, it’s also that probably 50% of the people there previously worked in churches (or currently have part-time jobs in churches). That seems to be all ANYONE talks about, is what church they go to or what church they volunteer at. That doesn’t really tell me too much, though, because I’m in a small southern town, church/religion is always a big part of any conversation. There’s also no cursing at all…admittedly, this is more professional than anywhere else I’ve worked, so maybe that’s why. But I haven’t heard anyone make a joke that was even slightly off color or mention anything sexual at all & that seems kinda weird, it’s an office, so we’re not dealing with the public or in danger of being overheard by anyone. It’s kinda hard to tell for me because most of my other jobs were pretty vulgar & I’ve had plenty of inappropriate relationships with my managers (I’m dating a former manager right now!), so maybe this is just a normal workplace environment & I’m just a pervert.
I looked through the handbook & brochures & stuff & I never saw any mention of God, so I can’t really tell. They say a prayer before all meetings though, which definitely seems to indicate it is at least leaning towards the religious side, I don’t think that’s a usual protocol in secular organizations? I don’t know though. I’M REALLY PUZZLED BY IT!!
Aww, she is in the kitten one! I need to get a video of her outside, my camera doesn’t take the best inside videos, they always come out a bit yellow because my lights are really dim & I have to lighten everything a ton (I need to buy brighter lightbulbs). I have a few cell phone videos of her, I will try to upload those this weekend, maybe!
Aww, thank you!!! You didn’t miss too much, I shaved it just a few days ago, so it’s not like I’ve been bald forever, haha.
That is fairly common—it’s a very nasty-tasting drug. I usually hold the syringe (plunger side up) in between my teeth whenever I grab a rat to give it to & it’s awful if I get any on my lips. One of my boys, Darcy, absolutely loved it, he’d go crazy if anyone in the cage was getting medicated, but as a whole, I’d say most rats don’t like it. I’ve heard that too about yogurt, mixing it with dairy can apparently mess it up. I don’t like mixing meds in baby food if it’s something that strong-tasting because some rats refuse to eat it & then you’ve wasted a dose. I like dipping the bottom of the syringe in honey once the medicine’s been sucked up, because then they jump in for the honey & you can kinda squirt in the meds before they realize what’s happening.
My vet told me that “cooking” one dose at a time into some strawberry jello works really, really well (she said she had talked to a few people & that strawberry seems to work best). You can use a medicine cup to just make a tiny little amount. That’s probably what I’d try if I had one that was being a complete asshole & impossible to medicate any other way.
EDIT: jessicaw48 said their vet compounds Baytril with flavoring for a small fee, so that might be something to ask about, too!
Haha this made me laugh a lot! Don’t worry, Courage’s eyes are gross enough for all the rest of my rats put together. It bums me out I can’t really post pictures of him any more, because I know a lot of people like him, but his eyes are sooooo gross looking now. He acts pretty much like he did before he had eye problems, so I know he’s not in any pain, but it’s absolutely disgusting to look at him! And I also have poor Pax who is blind in the one eye.
I have had a few that get a lot of porphyrin when they get older, Wesley is kinda like that, but his is mostly on his nose. He is healthy, little bit of lung scarring & increasingly bad hind end degeneration, but for his age, he’s in great shape, so it doesn’t really worry me too much that he has so much drainage from his nose sometimes. I usually try to avoid posting pics with excessive porphyrin, even if it has an explanation like Wes’s, because I don’t want people to think that it’s normal, because in most cases, it’s not. I’d say the main thing is to just know your rats—I have had some young rats (I assume yours are young since you didn’t mention an age) that have always had slight breathing issues or porphyrin, even though they’re perfect healthy, but in many rats, that’d be a really bad sign. I think it’s probably similar to how some people have allergies or asthma that give them problems that for them are normal, but for other people would mean they had an illness.
I have a Canon 7D now, which is pretty top-of-the-line, but before this, I had a Rebel XS & I LOVED it! I don’t think they make them any more, but it might be worth checking eBay. I had it for I think four or five years before I felt like I outgrew it & wanted something better. That was the barest entry level SLR that Canon offered at the time, I’m not sure what a comparable model would be now.
Before that, I had a really nice Canon Powershoot—I haven’t done camera research in years, so I don’t know what’s available now, but at the time, I had only owned Powershoots previously. I started with two entry level small models & then got the S2000, which I was so proud of. I had it for years & loved it to death, I was so excited about it & you would’ve thought I had some professional camera with how I’d rave about it. It was awful in low lighting, but it had a lot more ability to change settings (like an SLR) than most point & shoots would.
I definitely recommend getting what’s appropriate for your skill level. I’m really glad I didn’t start out with the nicest camera available, because I learned a lot from my crappier cameras & it helped me out a ton as far as learning how to edit or how to avoid certain problems, especially with lighting.
Aww, I am sure it’d look great! I think it is mostly about confidence, which I don’t have a lot of, so I walk around stores with my head held low hoping no one notices me when I’m out in public alone. :P
I don’t feel like mine looks all that great now & I definitely preferred the pink, but I don’t regret doing it because I have always wanted to & I figured now was as good of a time as any to try it. I LOVE the way it feels, it’s so nice walking outside with it when the weather is good, & I can’t quit touching it. I think I’ll like it a little better when it gets longer & I can start dyeing it pink again. I’d love to have a little mohawk! I’m trying to estimate when it’s gonna be long enough to start putting gel in, I’ve never done any sort of styling with my hair & I’m excited. I really like Miley Cyrus’s cut & I might end up trying something like that later in the summer, I dunno. But you should definitely go for it assuming you don’t have a job or anything else that would get in the way! You can always wear hats if you don’t like it. :) Mine is growing back really fast, I shaved it Saturday & it’s now Wednesday night & about twice as long as it was. I think it’ll probably be a respectable (as in, a more socially acceptable short cut for women where people don’t automatically assume I’m lesbian) length within a month, maybe even a little less.
I have, mostly in rats with hind end degeneration. It’s a good idea of making a habit to check their groins frequently, especially if they’re older or have mobility issues, & clean off with a rag or tissue. You can also use a q-tip to kinda clean around it.
I miss him too! I don’t have any grumpy-looking dumbos now & that makes me sad. I am constantly on the lookout for an agouti hooded dumbo boy like my dearly departed Darcy, but I’d probably end up getting a happy-looking, friendly one, & that’d be all wrong. I need a grumpy mcgrumpypants like Jag or Bug.
(PS: ARE YOU THE GIRL WITH THE REALLY NICE BOOBS?!?!?! I don’t remember her name, so I feel super skeezy for remembering her that way, but she was British & had nice boobs & liked Jag a lot! I think her name was Max maybe. She quit Tumblr I’m pretty sure.)
re: people in Walmart about my hair
THANK YOU YOU GUYS ARE SO SWEET!!! I wish there were more people like y’all at my local Walmart, lol.
Haha! I saw the little girl the day after & she ran up to her saying “She is a very nice dog!” I felt bad because she wanted to pet her & play with her & Cece’s still pretty scared of strangers.
I don’t think she’s really ugly, I just don’t find her to be particularly attractive, other than in an “all puppies are cute!!!” way. I don’t really like black brindles much, to be honest, so that is probably why. Everyone that sees her seems to think she is either gorgeous or really ugly, so I suppose it just depends on whether or not people like the color!
I buzzed it yesterday! I had always wanted to & I figured no time like the present. I like it a lot, but I’m really nervous about going out in public!! Crawford’s brother & friends are coming over today & that’d normally be pretty anxiety-inducing, but today it’s just an absolute nightmare, I think if one of them said anything even jokingly insulting, I’d burst into tears, so I’m just gonna head out to Walmart in a hat.
I haven’t ever read any manga, sorry. :( I have read a few graphic novels & seen a couple of anime shows (I am in the middle of Attack on Titan now & love it!), but just haven’t ever dabbled any in manga.
It’s possible they were older than you thought when you got them—it can be difficult to predict rats’ ages sometimes & I’ve found that it’s easier to just assume they’re 9mths-1yr when they’re fully grown & then count backwards from there. Rio was unusually small until she hit about a year & she hasn’t grown any since then, but Vera was her full size around 8mths, so it can definitely vary. But I’d say if they haven’t grown any at all in five months, they were older than 3mths when you got them.
Hi! If he’s not showing any other symptoms that would indicate a respiratory infection, it’s entirely possible it’s just some sort of mild eye infection or eye irritation. I’d try getting plain saline (available in the contact lens cleaning section of most stores, it’s usually only a couple of dollars) & try rinsing his eye out with that. It’s usually only when it’s from both eyes or excessively from the nose that it is a sign of stress or illness (& if it’s an illness, you’d see other symptoms). It is possible there’s some sort of tumor/abscess behind the eye, but that is a lot less likely.
I had another ask (I assume they’ll know who they are when I say that, but just in case: it mentioned the hamster) & I don’t wanna post it because I don’t want to cause drama or have anyone misunderstand me, but I definitely do largely agree with you, anon! I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you or offended if I didn’t say anything at all. :)