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Because searching ‘rat’ is too unlikely according to Facebook, I'm being presented search results for 'ray'.

Because searching ‘rat’ is too unlikely according to Facebook, I’m being presented search results for ‘ray’.

 

When Facebook autocorrects your search from ‘rat’ to ‘ray’ it can feel very lonely, having pet rats.

Of course, this is just one of their predictable algorithmically calculated assumptions – and it’s working badly at that because I have ‘rats‘, ‘pet rats‘ and ‘wild rats‘ as my interests.
But it shows how the majority of Facebook users tick: They misspell ‘Ray’ with ‘rat’.

Pity they never get to find out that rats make great pets. 😮

 

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Peaches is so adorably cute. :)

Peaches is so adorably cute. 🙂

 

I’m happily #RattieSitting and decide to give a round of treats, which also gives me an opportunity to check up on everyone.

 

During the day pet rats sleep most of the time, so they’re all hidden away in their nests.

 

A #RattieTreat is a welcomed addition to a lazy sunny afternoon.

 

I portion the treats and place them in each cage. The ratties smell the new food right away, but some of them only slowly wake up, yawning and stretching their arms.

 

As one by one comes out to take their share, I watch and count: Peaches, where’s Peaches?

 

I look in every box, nest and hammock, which is now possible as they’re all empty. I can’t see Peaches. I look again.

 

A slight panic is starting to creep up as my mind races: When did I last see Peaches? When did I last open the cage? And: Hang on, wouldn’t she be close by anyhow?

 

So I call her: “Peaches!”

 

Behind me, inside the cage, a box rattles that I had forgotten about, it’s a flat cereal box, tucked away right beneath the hammock.

 

Out comes Peaches.

 

🙂

 

 

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Rats typically own the place. You’ll find quick enough that pet rats have no qualm being in charge of your home if you let them free roam – just make sure you ratproof your place first.

 

And as they go about their daily duty to check up on their territory, they get to know your place inside and out. This includes – and I guess we all, including the ratties, agree on this – the best place to sleep: The bed!

 

When I see ratties running about on the bed, I want to be a rat!

Just imagine this giant duvet that when you jump about it just lets you sink in like a fluffy cloud.

 

However, there is a downside to it: Rats gnaw.

They can’t help themselves, they have ever growing teeth and need to grind them down regularly.

 

And if your sheet gets in the way it simply gets shredded:

That’s why when I’m #RatSitting I put on the rattie duvet – the sheets that have already been perforated by my pet rats. ;)

That’s why when I’m #RattieSitting I put on the rattie duvet – the sheets that have already been perforated by my pet rats. 😉

 

So make sure you put on some old sheets when you want your ratties to have access to your bed. You might also be lucky and your rats don’t shred.

 

Either way you’re going to be in for a treat: Ratties snuggling up to you under the duvet is just too adorable to miss!

 

 

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Pet rat Rosie decides the quickest way is straight up the wall. ;-)

Pet rat Rosie decides the quickest way is straight up the wall. 😉

 

Pet rats are clever little munchkins and stubborn, too: There’s hardly a place they can’t get to, especially if they’ve set their mind to it.

A lot of my pet rats particularly like climbing up and sitting on top of the highest piece of furniture. The way to get there varies and can include all sorts of interesting stunts.

One option to get up is simply running up the wall, and as most furniture sits slightly away from the wall, the space in between makes this feat quite possible for rats.

 

One of the most enjoyable pastimes with pet rats is simply watching them:

Their acrobatic skills are impressive, their clever tricks to overcome hurdles inspirational, and their sheer will and determination are humbling.

Rats make great pets! 🙂

 

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I love photography. I love rats.

 

So I do #PortRATure: www.flickr.com/photos/trulyjuly/collections/72157675420886104. 😉

 

I take portRATures of my own ratties, when I ratsit, when I get commissioned.

 

And every now and then I do a proper photo shoot with props and all:

Rattical Valentine's

Rattical Valentine’s

 

And every now and then I get a wow awesome shot:

Rattie Sisters

Rattie Sisters

 

But does anyone actually have an idea how hard it is to take photos of rats?

 

Because, my gosh, these guys are fast! And they are curious! And they are skittish!

 

The only way to get a good shot is to gain their trust and get them to relax, which in rattie world is still only a fraction of the time actually needed for a good photo.

 

For every one picture that is acceptable, there are multitudes of photo bombs, blurs, moving out of frame or completely disappearing, accidental pees or poos, dismantling of sets and props, and general chaos.

 

But of course, that’s why we love our pet rats: Because they have their own mind and do their own thing, and often end up in funny or surprising situations you couldn’t have made up: Rats make great pets! 🙂

 

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Hey Missy Bean, how do you like your freshly cleaned cage?

Hey Missy Bean, how do you like your freshly cleaned cage?

 

I actually enjoy cleaning the rattie cage.

 

Maybe it’s because the ratoots are so very interested in everything that’s happening in or around their cage, this interaction alone makes me happy.

 

But it’s also the opportunity to escape everyday life and all its worries and enter the rattie world.

 

And because in their world ratties are boss, a lot of things are determined by them. For example, how the cage is structured:

Who sleeps where, who eats first, where is the toilet, what material is being used, which nest is being moved, who gets to choose their favourite spot and who has to stay out, is all being decided by the rats.

 

These are entertaining dynamics which change and evolve all the time, so it’s like watching a soap opera.

 

The creativity how to build and revamp your rattie cage is endless. There are even rat cages made from cupboards or doll houses, so you get a chance to play architect, too.

 

This is where the analogy to the zen garden comes in:

Even if my world is in chaos, in rattie world I can easily achieve order. It’s a confined space I can manage to overview and maintain.

Cleaning is an accomplishment and because rats are so interactive, I get feedback, or at least acknowledgement, right away. I can make changes and I can make improvements.

I can come up with new clever ideas for toys or things to gnaw on or other little entertaining gimmicks.

 

And then I get to see how much fun the ratties have with it.

 

And because rats have their own mind, their reaction is often different and unexpected, so there’s always an element of surprise.

 

As with this scenario, where my ratties were not impressed with my cleaning attempts and sent me a very clear message to stay out:

They dragged toys and stones from different levels of the cage into their box to build proper obstacles and then pulled the lid of the box shut.

I find this hilarious!

And it is these moments that make even a daunting task such as cleaning the pet cage a fun story to experience: Rats make great pets! 🙂

 

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Beautiful but deadly: Beware the Lily!

Beautiful but deadly: Beware the Lily!

 

We got lovely lilies, they’re beautiful to look at. Just losing a lot of pollen.

 

So I go over and start cleaning up the orange dust, and as I’m doing so, something creeps slowly back into my mind:
Lilies… Wasn’t there something about lilies?

 

Yes: Lilies are poisonous and can kill your pet!

 

It is often only communicated that lilies are poisonous to cats, but they are also lethal to rats, and can even harm toddlers!

 

I’m realising what I’m doing with a shock, because on my shoulder sits my pet rat Mielie!

 

And her reaction is pretty immediate: She almost passes out.

 

I support her head with a tissue pack, put her in a sunny spot to stay warm.

 

Poor little munchkin Mielie mouse! She looks so peaceful, but she's battling with poison!

Poor little munchkin Mielie mouse! She looks so peaceful, but she’s battling with poison!

 

Her breathing is very shallow. But she does pull through.

 

I am shocked that lilies are so easily put into our homes if they pose a deadly risk to our pets, and also a real danger to children.

 

Lilies should only be used where they traditionally belong: At a funeral. Now we know why! 😮

 

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