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Monthly Archives: December 2015

The variety of pet rats: Both are fully grown ratties, but Peaches is so much smaller than MJ!

The variety of pet rats: Both are fully grown ratties, but Peaches is so much smaller than MJ!

Whenever you hear a story about a wild rat encounter, the rat seems to grow in size.

I’ve had pet rats for over 20 years, including a wildie, who is not bigger than your typical fancy rat. I’ve also had my fair share of wild rat encounters, especially as I’m actually watching out for them.

From a wild rat running alongside me as I cycled on the London canal to the most recent encounter of a female wildie on our construction site: I’ve never encountered a rat that was as big as they’re made out to be.

However, I did get a good perspective on the size of rats when #RatSitting Louna, Peaches and Rosie.

Rosie is still a baby so understandably small, but she is so tiny, she looks like a mouse!

Cutsie Rosie is a baby rat, but so tiny still, she could be a mouse!

Cutsie Rosie is a baby rat, but so tiny still, she could be a mouse!

Louna and Peaches are both fully grown pet rats. I haven’t seen ratties this small before. Of course they’re nothing short of the big personality so typical for rats. Especially Louna carries an air of grandness around her, as she’s the alpha rat – in her clan at least.

The question was: would MJ accept that, as this is her territory.

Usually after some time of sharing the same space, there’s a good chance pet rats from different backgrounds get along just fine.

But when I realised the size difference between MJ and Louna, even trying to see if they behave friendly was out of the question: I was too worried Louna could get hurt, even if it’s just play fighting – MJ is twice her size!

I never thought of MJ as particularly big, she has the most velvety, soft and thick to nuzzle fur and is great to cuddle.

Seeing her next to Louna I realised why people think of rats as such big animals:

– Where a mouse looks small enough to pass as cute, a rat looks big in comparison.

– And I guess while it’d sound really lame to be afraid of a mouse, having a shock story about a huge monster rat is totally acceptable.

However, there’s always some truth to rumours, and it seems rats, just like humans, are increasing in size thanks to junk food.

So when you come across a wild rat, remember that however big or monstrous you might perceive them, this too is our fault, the human’s, not the animal’s.

#GiveRatsAChance #RatsMakeGreatPets

Follow RatsMakeGreatPets: 🙂

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The ratties really enjoy chilling on the stack of magazines stowed away in the side table.

The ratties really enjoy chilling on the stack of magazines stowed away in the side table.

Every rattie loves free roam time.

But when it gets too quiet, it’s time to check up on the little rascals.

Once they start settling down, they might as well be in their cage, as any ‘let’s get ready for nap time’ notion can come with nest-building activity.

So when I realised I had only one participant left in my morning play session I went to look for the other two. Louna is the explorer and Rosie follows along.

Where did I find them?

On the stack of magazines in the side table of course. Like all the other rats that have been exploring this room before.

What is it about magazines that ratties like so much?

Is it the sleek feel of the high gloss cover?

Could it be the perfectly harmonic sound the pages make when getting ripped apart?

Maybe it is the warmth of the paper when shredded into tiny little pieces?

Whatever it is that attracts rats to magazines: The magazine won’t survive it.

It’s like an inevitable death sentence has befallen your magazines once your ratties know of their existence.

And it’s not even in bad intention: They like them just as much as you do. 😉

That’s why the ratties can chill on the stack of magazines, but once they start settling down, they better go back to the cage! 🙂

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#RattieSitting Daily Entertainment Programme

#RattieSitting Daily Entertainment Programme


As we’re busy with our house, we won’t go away on holidays and I thought I might do others a favour by doing some rattie sitting over the festive season.

I’m lucky enough to look after three most adorable rattie girls for 10 days.

It can never get boring with pet rats! There’s always something new to explore, amazing experiences to be made and lots of love to be shared!

To keep our rattie visitors happy I created this Daily Entertainment Programme. 😉


Follow Rats Make Great Pets on Facebook and on Google+. 🙂


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Professor Wilmot James gives a passionate talk on 'Liberal Education and the Biology of Race in Human Societies'

Professor Wilmot James gives a passionate talk on ‘Liberal Education and the Biology of Race in Human Societies’

My eyebrows raise up instantly when I see the words ‘human’, ‘race’ and ‘biology’ too close together.

So I was keen to attend a talk called ‘Liberal Education and the Biology of Race in Human Societies‘ by Prof Wilmot James at the Cornerstone Institute. Apparently his talk the day before ‘Why some people get AIDS and others don’t’ had already stirred some discussions.

Looks like Wilmot James knows how to pick a controversial title for his presentations, as the talk turned out to be on evolution and why it must be taught in school.

Right at the beginning he clarified that there is of course no race distinction between skin colours, we all belong to one race: the human race.

To appreciate the diversity of humankind, he actively promotes teaching evolution in school for these simple basic reasons:

  • The purpose of education is not to get a job, but to get an understanding:

  • There is a moral obligation to teach the most modern knowledge available:

Prof James pursued in giving a concise history of human evolution, quasi a teaser of what Darwinism is about.

His sensitivity towards people who ‘object’ the theory of evolution (I put this in quotation marks, as it is actually impossible to object a fact…) shows in his approach towards this much debated topic: Evolution theory versus Creation myth.

He suggests that the two don’t cancel each other out, addressing the issue that while science and the medical industry take evolution for granted, biology lecturers around South Africa still fail to teach the theory of evolution.

Instead the tension between religion and science can be good as observed by Francis Collins, the scientist who deciphered the human genome.

But for this to happen evolution needs to be taught in the first place. As Professor Wilmot James emphasises: It’s the biology teachers’ responsibility to expose pupils to Darwin.


Bad idea: Not only is this washing machine noisy in an open plan kitchen / living room space, it's also sitting on cheap laminate that just looks ugly very quickly.

Bad idea: Not only is this washing machine noisy in an open plan kitchen / living area, it’s also sitting on cheap laminate that looks ugly very quickly if there’s any leakage.


In most cases’ scenario, you move into your new home and have little option where to put your washing machine, as the connection points are already provided.

However, when you build your own house, you get to build around wherever you want to put your washing machine.

But with great power comes great responsibility, or, in our case, with many choices come many decisions.

So where is the best place to put your washing machine?


Washing machines pose two nuisances:

1. Noise

Less than 50 decibels indicates a quiet machine. But during spinning, it can go up to 80 decibels. That’s the noise level of city traffic or a vacuum cleaner.

So, unless you’re into white noise, you better prevent your washing machine from spinning noisily.

2. Leakage

Maintained right, water leakage should not occur. But then there’s Murphy’s Law: What can go wrong will go wrong.

So, unless you love watching the washing machine, you better prepare for and prevent any possible leakages.


These two factors leave for me only one logical conclusion:

The bathroom.

Even in an open plan house the bathroom is behind closed doors and since we’re most likely to be least often in the bathroom, a noisy washing machine is of no bother there.

A bathroom is generally tiled and thus equipped for water overflows.

Often houses have the washing machine in the kitchen. This is understandable if the bathroom cannot accommodate it, e.g. because it’s too small.

But our washing machine will sit in the downstairs bathroom, built-in so it’s proper silent at all times. Enclosed in tiles, so no leakage can come as a bad surprise.

There you go: a washing machine hassle free home. 🙂

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