The boys being the boys (Rygel, Ben & D’Argo)
The boys being the boys (Rygel, Ben & D’Argo)
I’ve been pretty busy recently, what with the baby, so I’m not being too hard on myself for not posting! 😉 The baby is doing well, she’s 8 weeks today and is cruising smack bang between the 91st and 95th percentiles, so she’s a big girl. She’s outgrown most of her 0-3mo clothes already! She’s smiling, cooing, playing with us and generally is ensuring that she has us wrapped around her little finger!
So, a generic update. I finished the sage green cabled cardigan which was posted about in this post, which I’ll post about when I’ve blocked it and got photos. I started working on the Carousel CAL by Stylecraft, using SSDK rather than Batik as it’s the SSDK I have in bulk and am trying to get rid of! I am also working on a dress for Artemis, which was supposed to be a Christmas dress but I never finished it in time. I’m almost done now!
Before the year was out we had to say goodbye to our beautiful Oreo, she had numerous tumours which got so large that they were negatively affecting her quality of life, and so we made the decision to have her put to sleep on Thursday the 29th of December. Kozu has been acting weirdly for a couple of months now so we think that she may have something wrong with her, she certainly isn’t her usual self. The rest of the rats are all fine though, we’ve not introduced the two groups yet but we’re hoping too soon.
The baby is stirring so that is probably my cue, not that I can think of anything else to update with right now anyway! Happy New Year!
This week I’m writing about my not-so-attractive girl, Chi. Bless her, my breeder originally intended to keep her as a Mummy rat, but due to her small squinty eyes and bumpy tail she decided against it and posted about her to the group of owners to see if anybody would like her. I couldn’t help but take her in, much to Nick’s dismay. I have a soft spot for rats who are a little special.
Chiana is a blue agouti variety and she is the youngest of my girls. We got her in March this year. I believe that she is also now the biggest (and if she’s not, she’s not far off). She thinks that she is the alpha of the cage and challenges Zhaan on a regular basis, ten minutes later they’re cuddled up together so I’m never too concerned when I hear them squawking at each other, and my goodness do those two bloody squawk. They’re the noisiest rats I’ve ever owned! I have a feeling that Zhaan will give up her title soon, Chi still has some growing to do and can be just as moody!
However she’s a sweetie too and is super eager to please. She loves training and currently stands, walks and comes to you on command (well, the latter is when she’s in the right mood but she knows what it means!)
As I said before, I have a soft spot for special rats and she certainly is a special one 🙂
I’m slightly embarrassed by this, once again a WIP Wednesday on a Thursday! I actually had the entire post written out and ready to go yesterday as well! I just needed a photo, which I was going to take on my nice proper camera after I had cleaned out the boys and before my younger sister arrived for dinner, then all hell broke loose! Our two younger boys decided to cause mischief, as rats do. They tend to free-range whilst we clean them out. D’Argo got behind the cage and decided to see the girls, he usually likes to wind them up by sitting where they can see him, but he decided to full on just cling to the back of the cage. So there was me reaching in trying to bat four girls away from the back of their cage and from nipping his hands and feet whilst also trying to stop Oreo from escaping out of the front and poking D’Argo’s fingers in an effort to get him to let go of the cage and jump down, my husband crouching down to try grab him from the back by the rump and Ben running around our crouched positions trying to work out WTF was going on. Having finally managed to dislodge D’Argo, he then decided that he was going to stay underneath the fecking cage whilst his young companion decided to hide. Cue me having to pull everything out from behind the sofa (our dumping ground) to see if he was there. He wasn’t, he was down the side of the sofa instead and only decided to let this be known after I’d emptied the space. Both boys then had a run around through the stuff that was all over our living space because it’s really funny to annoy the rat-parents after already annoying them. My sister turned up during all of this and the photos did not get taken.
The joys of pet rats! Cheeky little sods.
So, I digress, back to WIP Wednesday:
I have a new project on the needles! The jumper is finished and I shall post about that on Friday, and my new project is for me, not baby (though was chosen because of baby really!)
Back in May I asked a yarnie FB group that I’m a member of what pretty yarn I should buy myself as I received some money for my birthday, they suggested that instead of just buying pretty yarn, I should find a project first, and that with a baby on the way, nice cardigans and shawls are great. And so I found three projects that I thought would suit, two cardigans and a shawl. What I’m working on now is the shawl, which is lovely.
It is the Stitch Sampler Shawl, and I’m knitting it in Drops Big Delight, it’s a lovely wool, though I’m concerned about the slight scratchiness of it, which I know is normal but I’m a bit funny about things like that! But I figure that over a cardigan I won’t really feel it on my skin so much so I should be okay.
I also messed it up last night and had to slowly unpick almost an entire row *sobs* I was too busy chatting and not concentrating!
As you can see, I now have instagram as well! Just checking it out for the time being but I may stick with it.
This weeks Rialto and SSDK totals come to:
Rialto: 4,304g/4382g left (54g this week)
SSDK: 12,017/12,255g left (0g This week)
Sikozu was my compromise rat. I have always coveted silverfawn rats, they are a lovely orange colour with red eyes, I love them. In the summer before we got Kozu our breeder successfully bred two litters of silverfawns and intended to breed more from them; Nick and I agreed that I couldn’t have any from those first two litters but I could have one from the line that was supposed to follow later that year. Unfortunately they didn’t have any interest in making babies, but a litter of ‘buff’ coloured hooded rats were born to a rescue that our breeder had picked up, and Kozu was one of those buffs. After much ‘discussion’ it was agreed that we would have one instead of the silverfawns which weren’t going to happen and she was the one who charmed Nick by falling asleep on him in the shop
something she never did again! We got her at the end of October last year, it doesn’t feel like it was that short amount of time ago though!
Kozu soon turned out to not be a buff hooded at all, but actually a Himalayan (or siamese, I can never remember the difference). She’s also the smallest of our rats bar Rygel. It’s strange to look back on the early pictures of her as she doesn’t look the same at all! Kozu is mad. Absolutely, positively mad. She bounces around like a kitten, scales the furniture in seconds and is the fastest rat we’ve ever had, she’s ridiculously fast. Her first party trick was running up us and onto our shoulders in a ridiculously quick time with no warning what-so-ever, and then going back down leaving us wondering if we’d imagined it! She is still very quick and fun but can be very troublesome too. Her and Aeryn like to tag-team to see who can get into the most mischief each time they come out. She’s also ready to come out 90% of the time, sits at the door of the cage watching us and making it clear that she wants out NOW. A sleeping Kozu is a rare Kozu to be seen.
Malt Paste and dried fish are about the only food items that can convince her to do tricks, even then, they aren’t reliable!
Oreo was a rescue who we got in March 2015, when she was around 6 months old. She’s a generic black hooded rat with a broken line down her back. We were her third home after the pet shop, so likely at least her fifth ‘home’ if you count the breeder of her and then the pet shop, poor thing. As a result she has always been a little bit of a Scaredy-Rat, but she’s a very lovely Scaredy-Rat! She loves cuddles, as long as you don’t pick her up first 😉 She also likes her cage, she’ll free range for short periods but will often take herself home after 15 minutes or so, which is quite sweet really. I think she just enjoys having the cage to herself!
Oreo is now over two and unfortunately she is quite lumpy, when her first tumour appeared a few months ago we decided not to operate and to see how it progressed for the time being. We are glad that we made that decision as it has become a case of her having multiple tumours which are growing at different rates, so we are now in a position of keeping her happy and comfortable, which isn’t too difficult as she’s such a wonderful girl!
For the next Mischief Monday, I thought that I’d introduce you to our alpha girl, Zhaan, and her sister Aeryn. I’ve paired them up as I can’t really say much about one without talking about the other, they are a pair!
Zhaan is a big girl. She’s also the next oldest along with Aeryn. They were two in June. Aeryn and Zhaan came from a breeder who was local to us in Brighton, the breeder has a line of Big Rats and these two are part of it. Their Daddy was well over 800g and the boys from these litters generally are just as big as he was, that’s without being just fat as well amazingly! (Though a few are a tad podgy, like our Zhaan!)
They were our first two from that breeder and we’ve gone on to have 5 more from her too, all of whom have been wonderful additions to our Mischief and super friendly from day one. We actually had two female rats booked from the same breeder that we got Howl and Haku from and we were to pick those up a few weeks later, but we popped into the Brighton Breeder’s pet shop and she had a cage of baby girls there waiting to be taken home. All but two of them had been reserved and she told us to open the cage and have a play with them. Funnily enough, the only two who wanted to come out for a play were Zhaan and Aeryn and they were perfectly content running between us and being super playful. When we inquired as to which two were needing a home still and she said these two, we knew that we couldn’t leave without them! It felt like we had been Chosen by the girls to be their new owners!
If it wasn’t for A&Z I don’t think that Nibbles would have been so tame once her companion died a few weeks later. A&Z really calmed her down and put up with a lot of being dragged around the cage to nests Nibs had made! They were really good with her once Ruby died. At first Aeryn didn’t get along with Nibbles and Zhaan didn’t get along with Ruby, so we paired them off during intros and once each of the older girls had a baby they were all fine. A&Z would cuddle up to ‘their’ older rat and all was well, and by the time Ruby died they were all getting along fine anyway.
Aeryn is a big softie and has the most perfect derp face. She’s extremely cheeky but can be very cuddly as well. We have a soft spot for her as she had a period of six weeks a few months after we got her where she kept getting injured and needed to go in the hospital cage, so she was out with us in the snoods a lot of the time or just resting in a little nest we made her on our desks.
Zhaan is also quite cuddly when she wants to be, but usually just wants to explore when she’s out with the others. She’s also a bit of a bitch with the others and she gets really sulky when we leave her. Our poor rat sitter got the brunt of it whenever we went away, the only time I’ve ever known Zhaan (or any of my rats from Brighton Breeder actually) to nip has been when with our Rat Sitter, who is utterly lovely but Zhaan just does not like her. I think it’s more because we’d left her rather than being personal, until the last time in which I think Zhaan knew exactly where she was and apparently made it quite clear that she wasn’t to be disturbed until we got home. Little git. We get a couple of days of attitude and being ignored from her before she lets us start cuddling her again when we get home too! Luckily I don’t think that any more holidays are going to happen whilst Z is still alive, given her age and the fact we don’t want to travel with a small baby!
Aeryn and Zhaan are both quite intelligent girls as well actually. They’re both very quick to pick up new tricks and I regret not starting training properly sooner. We did hints of it on and off but life often got in the way, so they weren’t getting much out of it. We’ve only started regularly training them since July really, and we only really train our girls as the boys weren’t interested in it. Kozu is just not food motivated, Oreo doesn’t really enjoy it and Chiana loves it but is just a bit stupid so it takes her a long time to get a trick down, even then she struggles, bless her. A&Z are naturals at it though and absolutely love it. They’re great for teaching Chi how to do tricks as Chiana will copy anything they do. I do love my big girls!