Troy - born December 1995, adopted January 30, 1996, d. January 18, 1999. (Photo taken May 20, 1997) Troy is a black berkshire. He has a slight head tilt, which is a souveneir from an ear infection he had last winter, but that doesn't stop him from running around like a maniac, and enjoying the digging box. He has a very laid back personality - nothing fazes him.
Simon 66kb JPEG file
Simon - born June 1996, adopted June 30, 1996, d. September 24, 1997. (Photo taken May 18, 1997) Simon is a mismarked black hooded. He's a hyperactive, squirmy ball of energy, and has been known to make serious attempts to empty the digging box onto the hall floor. His favorite speed is flat-out!
After finding and joining the RMCA I became aware of how important is is for a rat to have other rats as company. That was the spring of '96. As a result I got Simon when he was 4 weeks old to be a companion for Troy. When Simon was tiny they got along fine (although Troy seemed slightly miffed at this small furry thing crawling all over him and pestering him constantly). I couldn't keep them together full-time until Simon was big enough to stop squeezing through the bars of Troy's cage. By that time there were a few problems developing. Mainly, Simon was not willing to be beta rat, and Troy refused to be anything but the alpha rat!
Their disputes never progressed to the point where blood was drawn, but several times after they encountered each other I gathered some clumps of white fur off of the sofa. As you can tell from the pictures, it had to be Simon who was losing the fur. I never did find a bald patch on him, though. Never figured out where Troy was pulling it from.
I began to do a step-by-step, slow introduction, which may have worked if I hadn't called it off because Troy developed his ear infection. Then he got a respiratory infection. Then, well, you get the idea. The introduction process was never restarted. Next time, I think I'll just get half the litter. Then I won't have to worry about introductions except when I add a new member, and I suspect that may be a simpler process than introducing two loners. For some helpful hints, see Introducing Rats by Angela Horn
Sadly, Simon was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor on September 6, 1997. Within a week he had lost the ability to feed himself, and was totally dependant on me. Although handling him is like handling a rag doll, the little fellow still trys to brux & click when he's cuddled and petted. So I'm hand feeding him until he's either in too much pain to enjoy being handled, or stops eating and drinking.
During the evening of September 23, Simon appeared to develop acute pneumonia. He passed away during the night.
At 26 months of age, one of Troy's favorite pass-times is sleeping. Since we moved last fall he hasn't been very interested in exploring. Maybe it was because when we moved Simon didn't come with us (he died just before we moved). Maybe it was the lingering odor of dog and cat, maybe he was just overwhelmed by a new place. No matter what the reason, he's never explored this house, and often doesn't come out to play when his cage is open. This also means he doesn't get as much exercise as he should, and has put on too much weight as a result.
Troy 35kb JPEG file Just love dog biscuits!
Simon 20kb JPEG file Well! Some people...do you mind?
Troy 39kb JPEG file Oops! I slipped!
Simon 36kb JPEG file A computer book! My favorite!
Here's Troy doing one of the things he loves most in one of his favorite spots.
June 7, 1998 - Troy started having trouble jumping between the levels of his cage this past month, so yesterday I gave him a new one-level home. Check out
Troy's new one-level home, with privacy cover.
Without cover, complete with Troy enjoying Baytril cream-of-wheat.
Chewy is a 14-month old rex boy I adopted June 7, 1998. I think he's a chocolate self. He seems to be a sweet little guy, and took the car ride home right in stride.
The Wererat thinks they're clever enough for her award, too!
Visit the Wererat's Lair, and meet Bess, Ty, Buzz and Woody.