RIP my little furball – take 3

On Saturday the last of our rats passed away.

We knew it was coming, but we didn’t expect it quite so soon. The other 2 had died in the past two months because they were ill but Luxor was fit as a fiddle. We had read that rats can become depressed when they are left alone so we tried to give her extra attention and keep her occupied by letting her run around the house more freely. But in the end, it just wasn’t enough and couldn’t replace her cuddling up to her sisters.

In the last few weeks, we knew she was a bit less lively but we really didn’t know how bad the death of her sisters has hit her.

With her not being as fast as she used to be, we let her have a run around in the garden which she loved. We had a moment last week where she got so giddy running around my bedroom that she tried to jump into my glass of ice cold water, effectively soaking me and a pile of books, and then had a little bath in it. I couldn’t get mad. It was adorable.

I’m always happy to defend rats as pets and I’ll continue to do so even though I no longer have any. All they want in life is a cuddle and some tasty treats.

Well, they’re all buried next to each other now. We still have Joe’s gecko who is alive and kicking despite being asleep for a good few months! I’d love more pets and I would love love love to get more rats, but because they don’t seem to live that long, I think it would be too painful to get any more. I become too attached. For now, we’re going to donate the cage and the food/bedding for some other ratties to enjoy.

One day, when we’ve got married and finished our work on the house, we will introduce some more furry creatures to the family, but for now I’ll just have the memories of my little furballs. We’ll miss you you nutters.

Karen x

Where’s Pebbles?

I’m thinking about creating a book called Where’s Pebbles? – It will be just like Where’s Wally? but a bazillion times easier. Let me explain why. I’ve previously spoken about the neighbour’s cat that just wanders into our house and makes herself at home. We don’t mind it at all! She’s good company and all she wants is a cuddle. But from time to time, I genuinely don’t know how she got inside!

Here’s a few snaps of Pebbles popping up unexpectedly this month.

I’m sure I made the bed this morning…

No Pebbles, you cannot get in the bath.

Waiting for me to get home…

Just chilling on the windowsill. We see you cat!
Mmm bathmat!
She’s a stealthy one. One minute I look outside and she’s in the garden, the next, she’s rolling around by my feet. Ninja cat.

Karen x

RIP my little furball – take 2

On Saturday, Joe and I said goodbye to our pet rat, Shee-Ra.
She has been suffering for a long time with a tumour under her arm, and more recently, one in her face. It was interesting because, although she had a tumour, she was the most active and playful of all three of our rats. But, the last few days, she got very quiet, and started to lose weight rapidly.

I remember when we got the girls. They were all terrified of us the day we brought them home as they hadn’t been handled before, and they were still very young. They had a little cardboard box in their cage which was given as a bed for them, and they all hid in there for a good hour or so. I sat for about half a day by the cage with some treats on my belly and my arm in the cage door, hoping that they would get used to my smell. We had bets on which one it would be to come out of their box/bed first. It was one of the twins with the dark tail. She suddenly turned hyper and ran furiously around her new cage, and encouraged her sisters to do the same. We named her after He-Man’s twin sister – Shee-Ra.

I don't like crusts on toast, so we would share.

I’m glad she’s not suffering anymore. We’ve buried her next to her sister who only died a few weeks ago. Luxor is the last one standing and she is fit as a fiddle. I just hope that she stays her happy self, as I know that rats can die from depression and loneliness, and she’s always been so used to cuddling up to her twin, Shee-Ra.

You see that tail in the biscuit packet? Yup, that's Shee-Ra.

After Halloween, she would sit in our pumpkin and watch TV with me

I feel that the house is a little bit less like a home with the other two girls gone. I know once our house is fully decorated , we will be less inclined to let animals run around on our nice floors/furniture. But, I’ll always have that hole under the couch where they tried to make a hidey-hole and nearly gave Joe a heart atttack. Funny little furballs.

Karen x

RIP my little furball

I know this doesn’t have a lot to do with my normal posts on this blog, but I truly believe pets complete a family, and a home. And today Joe & I lost our first pet.

I’ve had loads of animals as a kid. When I was born I was given a dog and two cats and they stayed with me up until I was 19. They lived a long and good life.

Two years ago, not long after we first moved in together, we decided we wanted some pet rats. I have wanted rats for years but because we’d had every animal under the sun as a child, my mum had said “If you want any more pets, you should wait until you move out”. So I did.

I know for many this sounds ridiculous, but to clarify, pet rats are a different species than the rats you find as pests in abandoned warehouses and feasting in the city alleyways. Fancy rats are some of the cleanest animals you can own and really, all they want in life is some fresh veggies to nibble on and a good cuddle.

(I’m not trying to convert the world into getting a pet rat. They’re not for everyone. For example, I am scared of rabbits. Not sure why. But they just don’t float my boat. I just don’t like the stereotype that rats are ‘disgusting, filthy animals’)

We spotted a grey dumbo rat in the pet store in April 2010 – about 10 weeks old. (Dumbo rats have larger ears than normal fancy rats. Adorable.) She was absolutely tiny and we knew we wanted her straight away. We told the spotty teenager on shift to box her up; we wanted to make her ours.

He did as he was told and then a few minutes later said: “Do you want both grey ones?” “I thought there was only one?” said Joe. She had already eaten her way out of the box and gone back to play with her sisters. Her cheekiness and love for nibbling boxes/furniture started early. I’ll never forget that. We went on to take home two more, the ones she was playing with.

We named her Jean-Grey. Yes, after the X-Men character. We nicknamed her Jeany.

In the past two months or so, she lost almost all of her weight, and could only walk around in circles. We believe it was a brain tumour (they are really common in rats). She could only eat if we hand fed her, but generally speaking, she was still in good spirits and still loved her spinach, sweetcorn, and cuddles in my dressing gown.

I know that we gave her a great life and we’ll continue to do so with her two sisters. But two years with her just wasn’t long enough.

I’ll miss you Jeany, my gorgeous little furball.

Karen x 

Operation Cuddles: why we still let “that cat” in

If you read this blog often, you will know that we have pretty much adopted one of the neighbour’s cats, Pebbles. Not stolen though. Absolutely not.

(We thought about it! But living only two doors down from the owners, it was a flawed plan.)

Quite frankly, I think Pebbles prefers it more at ours. A lot of mine and Joe’s friends ask us if “that cat” still comes around and if we still let her in. To be honest, it’s rare that she’s not here. In fact, early this morning, not long after waking up, I opend the curtains of my bedroom to find Pebbles moaning at the front door wanting to be let in.

(Apologies for my annoying voice!)

So, to answer your question, yep, she’s still around. But she’s a cutey, so it’s fine by us. I had to chuck her out today after a cuddle because I was about to start painting the bedroom and she’s one of those cats that just gets in the way.

Example: On Friday night I spent a few hours organising my bedroom of junk and getting some filing done (I know, rock ‘n’ roll eh?). Pebbles came in for a visit. Within five minutes of me pouring a glass of wine, she had rolled around in all my paperwork and I had to start over. Oh well, you live and learn!

Karen x

Wishlist Wednesday – 22nd Feb 2012

I spotted the below image last week on a blog that I’m following. Quite simply, I thought it was the cutest thing I’ve seen in ages.
So I thought:
If there’s ever anything that I want to add to a wishlist, it is that!

How adorable!

I can’t think of a single room in my house I could get away with it, but I thought it was endearing all the same. I do have pet rats and perhaps I could be super geeky and take pictures of them next to their new door in a tophat. (And if you don’t believe me that this exists, I insist you check out a website called Rats in Hats!)
Perhaps for now I’ll keep it on the Wishlist.

Thanks to Rochelle at Inhouse Mum for introducing it to me!
You can read her blog entry here.

Karen x 

Where’s the cat gone?

Some people have been asking me lately: “Where is Pebbles? Does she still visit you? I’ve not seen her on your blog!

Don’t worry, she’s still around! In fact, she’s at the house everyday! I often wonder if she’s ever at her ‘real’ home. She’s waiting for me when I get home from work, and she’s sat by my car in the mornings, hoping to get a feeding and a cuddle before I leave for the day.

Her new favourite thing is our carpets (which she initially thought was her clawing toy. Honestly thought i was going to have a breakdown the first time I saw her pounce on it!) as well as rolling around in newspapers. She’s very easily amused.

Here’s some recent snapshots of Pebbles continuing to make herself at home.

She likes to sit underneath Joe’s head! Anything for the attention!

Karen x