I thought that I’d start the introductions with my old boy. Meet Howl.
Howl was one of our first two rats, we’re 99% certain that he’s what we call a chinchilla variety, though it took us a long time to work that out! Our breeder worked it out after we told her which breeder we had got him from, apparently that breeder was known to be experimenting with chinchilla varieties, so it made sense.
We got him in late January 2014, which puts his birthday in mid-December 2013. We picked him up along with his brother, Haku, who sadly passed away at the end of an operation in November last year. We had booked two girls, who were to be named Sophie and Sen, but the breeder messed up, so we took the boys and went with the male counterpart names!
Howl is a funny old boy, neither he nor Haku ever liked cuddles, they were happy being shoulder rats though and loved free range time. He’s had respiratory issues his entire life so we all got to know our last vets very well!
He’s also only got one eye, that is because [we think] his brother poked it out in freak play fighting accident when they were 3 months old, apart from delaying his flying lessons somewhat it never stopped him, within six weeks he was jumping back and forth between mine and Nick shoulders again! He used to be able to clear half a meter very easily when he was smaller, potentially more!
Unfortunately Howl is very old and he is nearing the end of his life. He has Hind Leg Degeneration, which is very common in older rats, but it is reaching a point where he is struggling, so I see a last trip to the vet in the very near future for him, sadly. But he’s had a great life with us and we’ve really enjoyed his company over the past 2 years and 9 months!