Thursday, January 10, 2008

Breaking News: My rats think I'm neat, and the feeling is mutual

Like any new (adoptive) mother I feel compelled to be all obsessive and smug and regale everyone I know with stupid little stories no one cares about. So, forgive me.

The new baby rat playing on the bed.

Rats Flickr set, because I know you care sooooo much.

The new rats are settling in wonderfully. At first, the four-month-old baby was pretty unsocialized and afraid of me, but some gentle handling and hand-feeding of treats quickly got her up to speed. Same with the eight-month-old mama rat - she's naturally very placid, but wasn't sure about me at first. Also, she was pretty mouthy, gently nipping at fingers. Again, hand-feeding of treats did the trick. Now they both know the difference between "hand holding food" and "hand I shouldn't put my teeth on."

Now, whenever I pass by the rats' cages, they rear up and greet me, expecting treats. And they are happy to play on my bed and climb all over me like I'm a big, warm jungle gym.

Pinkie is still a very loyal and cheerful rat. Her tumor is growing every day, though it doesn't seem to be bothering her (not like one of my past rats, Blanca, that grew a tumor in her face). She has some nasty scabs, possibly because she has mites and she scratched her skin way too hard - but she was treated with Revolution when I adopted the new rats, and it looks like the scabs are healing.

The new rats are as-yet unnamed. I'm a big proponent of letting names reveal themselves; however, I'm also totally amused by non-sequiturs (how would everyone feel about rats named Gumby and Batman?).

I could do authors - Sylvia and Virginia for Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf, for example, or Charlotte and Emily for the Brontes. Or public figures (Condoleezza Rice / Janet Reno, heh.)

Or I could just pick names I like: Lucia, Adelaide, Ruby. You know, the names I gave my Quints dolls when I was eight. Ruby or Scarlet would be appropriate for the baby because her eyes are a deep red, but that's totally uncreative.

I could name them after nymphs, which would be especially appropriate for the mom because she's a huge hussy (seriously.)

Actually, I just thought of Satine - the name of Nicole Kidman's character in Moulin Rouge. It's one of my favorite movies and (this is really super lame) both of the rats have really satiny fur. Maybe I could name the baby Ruby Satine for a totally pretentious, overwrought name that only a yuppie would think of? And the mom would be named after a nymph?

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