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These are my first pictures of my foster rat, who was named Mozart when I got him. The family who gave him to me seemed very sad to see him go. The little girl whose pet he had been even started to cry as she gave him to me.

So far he seems to have no fear of humans at all. He did an odd sort of humping thing, where he sort of dug with his front claws and sharply nibbled with his teeth, but nowhere near hard enough to break skin, and when I made squealing noises, he immediately stopped. I’m thinking it’s a male hormonal thing.

Overall he seems to be very people friendly, and I’m thinking his incident of biting was simply a case of owners not knowing how to properly handle a rat.

I’m starting his handling very slowly, as he has been subjected very suddenly to the shock of a new home and new people/animals to interact with. My dog has had interactions with rats before and generally leaves them alone, but the cat has never seen one, so I’m trying to monitor his interaction and observance with Mozart.

Mozart is in a cage much too small for male rats his age, so I will clean out one of my old cages very soon. He seems to be on some sort of shredded paper type bedding. They gave me his food, which is a typical rodent mix from kaytee. I plan to switch him over to fleece bedding and HT2016 (HarlanTeklad) lab blocks.


I will continue to update as I learn more about him. I’ve only had him a few hours at this point, but he seems very sweet and tame.



Peter is gone too.



I give up.

Julian is dead and Peter looks like he’ll be going soon. I won’t be getting any more rats after this. Definitely for a long time. Possibly forever. I just can’t handle losing them like this.



Julian and Peter (formerly known as Jonathan) are skin and bones. I can’t figure this out! I’m going to give them some baby food and maybe some ensure, but honestly, I’m not hopeful, considering what happened to Toby. They’re still very active and curious, but so was he, up until a day or tow before he died. Fuck.

My mom let the dog in my room while I was at work, and he ate the entire brand new bag of yogies I had on the shelf beneath the CN. -_- Those were the only treats I had.



James and Toby are dead. I really hate my life right now.



missnouveau said: Are you getting rats from a breeder or the pet store? The wobbling walk and such makes me think stroke, which is common in older rats but shouldn't be happening in young kids. It sounds like you're doing everything you should, I'm sorry that this keeps happening. I hope he makes it past this and thrives.

Button and Peep, whom I only mentioned briefly, came from two different breeders. Sam, Dean, Cas, James, and Russell came from Rat Chick Rat Rescue, so I’m not 100% on their original origin, but I am friends with the woman who runs that rescue, and they couldn’t have received better care. I actually even met the mother of Sam, Dean, and Cas, as they were born in the rescue, and the woman who runs it adopted their mom. They had SDA when they were little, so I know they already had compromised immune systems, but all the others were healthy throughout their lives until this happened.

It’s not so much a wobbling walk as lacking the strength to hold themselves up. They’ll loose a bit of weight, which will be the only preceding symptom, then all of a sudden they’re lethargic, weak, and usually die a few hours later. But James has always been a rather big rat, due to food hoarding and such, so I thought his weight loss was a positive sign, until now.




I decided that I would start intros, so I opened the CN to get James. He didn’t come out to see me when I opened the door, which I immediately knew was a bad sign. So I lifted up his hut and he hobbled over to the door, shaking, hunched up, and barely able to walk. He fell over several times, and would have fallen right out of the cage if I hadn’t caught him.

Just yesterday, he was completely fine. He was alert, curious, and scrambling all over the cage for attention. This has happened with several of my rats now, with seemingly no warning signs, and it’s fucking heartbreaking. James is a little over a year old. He should not be dying.

I’ve owned rats for years, and have just recently had this start happening to every rat I’ve owned. I even deleted this blog and couldn’t bear to own any more rats after it happened to Button and Peep. The worst part is, back when I was a poorly informed newbie, keeping my rats alone in tanks and feeding them cat food, they lived for four years most of the time. But now I’ve got groups living in a critter nation and eating harlan tek, and they rarely make it past a year. I don’t understand why this is happening, but I can’t help blaming myself.

Please, if you’ve owned rats and have any idea why this is happening and how I can prevent it, I’m begging for your help. I have three sweet new boys now, and I can’t stand the thought of them being ripped away from me like this again.



The new dumbo boy has been named Julian. I heard the name on the radio and I liked it. Apparently I have a thing for J names. Julian, Jon, James. And Toby. But his name came to me right away and fits really well, so it’s staying. I’m still not 100% about Jon/Jonathan. That may change. Peter? That could fit. I got Peter Pan (the book) free on my new tablet, so the name is in my head.

I’ve been working night shift the past few days, so I haven’t had time to start intros. Tomorrow I have off, so hopefully I’ll get to it then. Wish me luck! I’m nervous about it because of how not young they all are.

But in other news, Toby is super curious and always comes out of the cage to see me, which is awesome. Even Julian is becoming less shy!



I brought home Jonathan and Toby’s brother today! I knew my dad wouldn’t be able to resist when I told him the poor thing was all alone. I’m thinking of naming him Rufus, after Rufus Turner from Supernatural, even though he doesn’t seem anything like that Rufus. I’m also considering Ryan, and another R name I forget. I’ll just see what sticks.

I promise to post pictures soon, though I have a friend coming over this weekend, so it might not be right away. He doesn’t look hugely different from his brothers, except that he’s a dumbo. I had to educate the Petco employees (Yes, I know. Petco bad. Don’t judge.) because they had no idea what a dumbo was, or why the boys had funny curly fur and whiskers. The tank they were in had them labeled as dumbo, even though only one of them is, and it didn’t say that they were all rex. (But that’s okay. If they knew, they’d probably charge more!)

I haven’t started introductions with James yet. I wanted to wait and see if I ended up getting the third one, then give them a few days to get used to their new home. I’ll probably have to do some rearranging soon, because right now there’s no space to put the huge Critter Nation and the old Martin’s side by side so they can start getting a look/smell at each other.

I’m also not feeling Jonathan’s name. For one thing, I keep calling him James, and it also just doesn’t seem to fit him as well as I had thought. But I’m afraid it’s stuck. I’ll bounce around some other names though, like Kyle maybe. Toby is definitely a Toby. I figured him out pretty quickly.

EDIT: The new addition has been named Julian. :)