James and Toby are dead. I really hate my life right now.
James and Toby are dead. I really hate my life right 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. :)
I caved. I brought home two adorable rex boys, and will hopefully be going back for the third one soon. The first one is Toby, and the second is Jonathan (EDIT: Renamed Peter).
I got them to hopefully be new roomies for James. James has been sniffing constantly since I brought them home yesterday, but he didn’t seem defensive. No puffing up. I got him out to see how he was doing last night, and he still seemed fine, but then he decided to chomp on my neck for some reason, which was not nice. And now it looks like I have a human bite mark on my neck, rather than a rat one. He didn’t break the skin, but it still hurt like a bitch. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again.
I’m a bit worried about his food aggression, and the new boys aren’t as young as I was hoping, but I’ll give it a shot.
I fed him some ensure and for a while it seemed like he was getting better, but he slowly got worse again. This is the second time I’ve watched a pet, specifically a rat, die. First it was Dean, and now Russell. It’s all I can do not to completely lose my mind and just snap.
I’m not sure what to do about James. I’d hate for him to have to live alone, but he’s such a jerk about food, I’m afraid of trying to introduce other rats. And I think he’s too old for a neuter, even if I had the money for one.
I went to feed the boys just now, and discovered that Russell is skin and bones, cold, and sluggish. Just a few days ago he was perfectly healthy. James, as usual, is perfectly fine, aside from the fact that it looks lie the overgrooming has started again. His fur is getting patchy.
I seriously am beginning to think that there is something in this house that is harmful to rats. Cas was never the healthiest, but Russell was always fine, and now I’m terrified I’m going to lose him too. I have lots of baby food and ensure, so I’ll give him some of that later. I just can’t handle losing him right now. I thought everything was fine. They stopped sneezing and Russell was even being more sociable with me than he’s ever been before.
According to Stacy from Rat Chick, James is probably fine, and this happens some times, so I should just keep an eye on him, but not worry too much.
I’m hoping that being back in their proper cage will help the sneezing. They seem fine otherwise, so I’m having the usual dilemma of rushing them to the vet over nothing, or waiting and having it turn out to be something really bad that could have been headed off early.
I gave Russell and James a toilet paper tube filled with cheerios and folded the ends over so they had something fun to play with to get the food inside. I still feel horrible about Cas, but I’m trying not to think about it.
I also did some googling, and I found two vets in the area that say they treat small animals. I’m going to call both tomorrow and ask a few questions (if my anxiety doesn’t get the better of me) to see if they’re any good. Because I know there are plenty of vets out there who will claim to treat rats, but don’t actually know the first thing about them.
I can’t fucking handle this. I knew he was getting skinny again, but I didn’t think he was going to die. I don’t fucking know what to do.
James and Russell are sneezing constantly, and one of James’s eyes has gotten all small and sort of cloudy and I don’t know what happened but I’m freaking out because there are no good vets in this area who treat rats and I don’t have any money anyway. And I was going to ask my parents for money to go see a friend this weekend, but that’s obviously out the window if I have to take the rats to a vet. Though I have no clue what vet I’ll take them too.