Yes, I know it’s a little bit scary when Adso and Uncle Pepper turn into a screeching ball of rage in the carrier on the way back from free range. I’m not quite sure why they did that either. But I would like you to know that you are not allowed to give Daddy a minor heart attack by apparently disappearing from a completely bare cage on a night when every window in the house is open, nor indeed to consequently force me to run round the house calling your name and looking under things for most of an hour. Especially not in my stupidest pyjamas. And you are absolutely, definitely not allowed to subsequently reappear from behind the &$*%ing litter tray looking utterly bemused at why I’m in such a panic. As if that wasn’t bad enough I’d already set up a makeshift Fingermouse trap, so thanks to you my useful bucket now smells like Nutrical. You’re a pain.
So after many delays and interruptions, I’ve finally started click training with the Zephyr boys. With Salt ill and only four rats in total my free range arrangements are complicated just now – I can’t let both Salt and Adso out together, or Adso tries to drive off the sickly risk-to-the-colony rat and beatings ensue. So I either let them out in two pairs separately, or put Pepper and Fingermouse in the bathroom and swap Salt and Adso in shifts. I’m trying to keep Pepper and the Zephyrs familiar with each other so that I can put him back in the big cage without issues as and when Salt passes on.
Today is a shift day, and I thought I’d start the training with Adso in the attempt to address his attitude problem with being caught again at the end of free range. Continue reading
All I wanted to do was get in a shower while the boys bounced about in the bathroom. It’s been a revolting, hot, sticky day and I’ve had a migraine.
Smokey the hamster: *in the lounge, frantically chewing her cage bars*
Fingermouse: Dad, why are you all wet? Why do you smell funny?
Adso: …dad? *sniff sniff* I’m *almost* sure that’s you… can I pee on your foot to make sure?
Me: NO – oh, for… just when I was clean.
Adso: Daaaaaad! Pepper’s hitting me!
Me: And whose fault is that, you belligerent little brat? Now Fingermouse, let go of Daddy’s towel –
Salt: Ow! Adso, get off me!
Me: YOU LEAVE MY POORLY BABY ALONE!
Adso: Ner ner, can’t catch mee – oh. You can. *hangs there looking silly*
Me: *dumps Adso back in cage with a cursory lump of watermelon*
Smokey: *is still frantically chewing her bars*
Well it’s been a stressful week or two here at Ratbag Towers. Not only have I got a bunch of impressively scary stuff to deal with in my personal life, but poor old Salt went whiter than his own belly fur last Wednesday, and on Friday was diagnosed with a lymphatic tumour. I’ve been in a whirlwind of medications and cage rearrangements and supervised free-range and breaking up who’s-the-alpha-now arguments, and it’s only just beginning to settle into a routine.
As things stand, I’ve split the boys two and two for the sake of giving Salt some peace. Salt and Pepper are in the old cage but have been relocated to the floor, and the Zephyrs are having a great time ricocheting around the slightly larger and far stronger new cage I’d been planning to replace it with anyway. (The weight of the hamster cage on top was making their 100cm Mamble buckle, so I’ve retired it as a hospital and holiday cage.) Continue reading