So, today it’s time you hear about these little deviants from my point of view. Let’s start at the beginning. I had rats many years ago when I lived in a dorm and, as much as I loved them, didn’t know the first thing about raising them. I did a little research on what bedding they need, fed them standard rat-food and treats, but that’s about it. needles to say, the rats, as well as me, lived quite cramped and for some reason I never got them completely tame.
Last February I had a bad day and decided to go to the pet store and get me a rat. I had been mulling over the idea for a few weeks now and I just needed the comfort of an animal around me. I went to the pet store and they had 2 rats left. One was already quite big and looked ill, not too strange if you consider the rats were living on hay (at a pet store no less!). The other one was small and active. The only thing was that she sneezed a lot. But she looked healthy enough for me and so the little creature was taken out of her cage. Put in to a box big enough to hold a whole cage and I drove her home. It took me a few days but I eventually named her Koko, after my own nickname, given by a friend of mine. The whole night Koko was up, gurgling and rattling and needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep either. I took her to the vet the next day and they prescribed an antibiotic. Only one issue; the doses said 0.10 mg per 100 gr of bodyweight and Koko only weighed 88 grams. She was so small and helpless and I decided that I needed to get her healthy before I would get her a companion.
I spent the biggest part of the week doing research on how to care for rats and picked up a bigger cage that I had in storage. After a week of intensive attention, fresh food and twice a day antibiotics, I went back to the pet store to get some accessories for the cage. There, in the rat ‘cage’ was a new nest. The babies were all quite big and as I knelt down to watch them, from the bottom of the pile suddenly the runt appeared. Not only was she the smallest, but also the only one with dumbo-ears, a new feature to me. She came to the glass and put her two paw right where my face was. I opened the cage at the top and before my hand was well in there, the little thing had crawled up my arm into my neck. I was in love for the second time in a week. she was so ugly, I had to take her with me.
Looking back, it might not have been the smartest decision I made, because within 24 hours both ladies sounded worse then before. Sneezing, gurgling and rattling. Again, a lot of loving care, fresh foods and antibiotics cured the two and within a matter of hours they had become friends for life.
This time it took me less then an hour to think of a name. I opened google translate, typed in the word ‘ugly’ and hit every language that was in the window. When I came to Finnish it said ‘Ruma’. It felt right. I then, just for fun, translated the word ‘Koko’ from Finnish, which turns out to mean ‘size’. So I guess in my cage they are ‘size’ ‘ugly’. In retrospect, Koko (size) turns out to be the perfect name for my little glutton girl who is growing to a size beyond proportions. Whereas Ruma is still significantly smaller (too small for her age).
By now maybe you have figured out those weird words at the bottom of the last two posts; they are words in Finnish!
It’s quite obvious to see which one of them likes to exercise in the silent spinner wheel and which one doesn’t :). Koko nevertheless runs around like mad and climbs whatever she can pull her weight (still under 500 grams) onto. Besides that she can projectile jump as far as 3,5ft! (Only horizontally). Ruma is still quite small for her age, but this is quite in her advantage as the holes she needs to make in things are smaller and she can very easily fit into pretty much every small space. (she still fits completely in my cupped hands – she weighs around 350 grams).
Well, so much for the beginning. Stay tuned for more adventures!