Sorry about the radio silence, folks – it’s been a hectic few months. However, I am now delighted to announce that two gorgeous young men from Zephyr Rats have joined Salt and Pepper, bringing me up to a proper mischief of four rats in total 🙂
Zephyr Adso of Melk is a very handsome chocolate dumbo, which for those of you who don’t speak rat-fancy means he’s been carefully bred to be brown and have silly-looking ears. He’s a laid-back personality who always has time to come and say hello, and if the size of his feet (among other parts of him) is anything to go by, when he’s all grown up he’s going to be huge. He was named for the character Adso from Name of the Rose, because his ears make him look like a monk whenever he stands up.
Zephyr Fingermouse is a colour known as quicksilver, which is a pale even grey with ruby-red eyes. He’s a stunning-looking rat, and although at the moment he’s still very much a baby it’s easy to see what a looker he’s going to be. He was named Fingermouse because of an amusing photo Mary the Zephyr breeder posted of him investigating her finger, which gave me an instant earworm of a kids’ TV theme I remember from my youth. He’s very rapidly acquired several nicknames – in the following order, he’s now more usually known as: Fing, Pingermouse, Ping the Merciless, and the Ping from Outer Space. Ping is another piece of rat fancy slang – a “pingy” rat is excitable and never sits still, and Fing is the definition of pinginess. I’m almost looking forward to him growing out of it.
These two have been long awaited – the reason I got Salt and Pepper at all was because Mary had such an immense waiting list for her litters. Although having done that I found my rescue boys so rewarding that I know I did the right thing. Introductions between the two pairs haven’t gone completely smoothly; partly I rushed things a little due to inexperience and put them in the big cage too soon, and partly Pepper has seen quite a bit of the seamy side of life and doesn’t have an enormous amount of patience with Fingermouse’s antics. In any case, whatever the cause it all led to me finding Fing with a large patch of fur torn off behind one ear a few days ago, so all four of them got plonked back in a smaller cage without any toys or hammocks to force them to focus on each other and sort their ideas out. As of the last couple of days there’s been a contented heap of varicoloured fur in the corner of the introductions cage each morning, so now I move on to a cautious hammock and once that’s OK, consider putting them back in the big cage.