How I got into rats is an interesting story, to say the least, and as I look back on it I realize that I made several mistakes as I went along. But my intentions were sincere, which is why RIA is such an important organization. People with sincere intentions make critical mistakes if they’re not informed.
Any way, Bobby came into my life because of my little corn-snake boy, Whiskey. At the time I got Whiskey I was unable to find frozen food for him in my area, which resulted in my then boyfriend feeding him live pinky mice. As much as I loved my new snake, I hated the thought of killing such an adorable little animal for him. My boyfriend would come home with one or two little pinkies and Whiskey would never see them because I attempted to save them by hand-rearing them. Unfortunately, this never worked, and I could kick myself for continuing to try! But eventually I got sick and tired of my failures and decided to try a slightly bigger animal, a rat named Bobby.
I got Bobby just after his eyes had opened; I estimated his age at 3 weeks and fed him puppy formula for a few weeks. But there were a few things wrong with my approach to his care back then. Bobby was completely infested with mites when I got him, but because of my ignorance and lack of research I assumed the growths on his ears were due to extensive inbreeding by the pet shop. I also kept him in a smallish budgie cage, on pine shavings and fed him a sunflower based food.
I carried on like this for several months, and only now do I see the effects of the damage I did then, but that story will be kept for a later entry. Eventually my boyfriend stumbled upon Ratanooga and I got completely hooked on learning more about these little critters and was completely entangled in the community. So getting involved with a forum such as theirs is something I highly recommend for any potential rat owners.
I have since had the privelage of getting to know a total of 8 rats, 5 of which still survive today. I am very fortunate to still have Bobby with me, he is such a special little character, very loving and very dependent on his mom. Sometimes I swear he thinks he’s more human than rat :P
My other fur-kids include Lily, my first and only girl, a Sable Siamese, Ribbi, a big agouti sweetheart, and the twins, Disya and Dima, Disya is a Siamese hooded and Dima is a very big sable Siamese boy.
In the last 6 months I’ve had to say goodbye to three of my ratties, something that still breaks my heart today. They are Captain, James and Sven.
I fully intend to share the lives of my ratlings with you here, hoping that there may be something you can learn from what I’ve experienced, and what I continue to learn on a daily basis!