A trip down memory lane

Published October 22, 2012 by Kokomo

As I was cleaning my house this weekend, sorting through boxes and making more room for all my rat-related-shit to be put away, I found my old micro-sd reader, complete with an sd card from an old phone. Oh joy, I LOOOOOOVE discovering things I thought I had lost. This time, I got to discover pictures of  my second set of rat ladies; Bear and Tiger. I got them in 2007, whilst still living in my dorm, but had to give them away to a friend’s aunt when I moved to the US in July 2008. I never got to see them grow old (nor did I see the 1st pair grow old as my dorm-landlord had banned all pets and I had to find another home for them), but then again, I never had to endure the heartache of seeing them die.

I remember I got Bear first. She was white and very docile. She would sleep between my pillows on my bed or under a blanket with me when I would take my study-naps. All of that changed when I added Tiger to the mix. They were at least 4 months apart. (Yes I had Bear alone for a while, but all the nests I had looked at in the mean time had sick rats). Tiger was not even half the size of Bear (I wish I still had pics of that time), and had a black hood on her head, with a stripe going all the way down her back. Sadly, Tiger was sick when I brought her home (I had looked so good, never heard a sneeze in the pet-store) and so she infected Bear.

Tiger on my shoulder, young me 😉

Back then, I hadn’t done much research on rats. The first pair were given to me by a roommate who had bought them for her boyfriend who didn’t like them. The two had started fighting each other (looking back this must have been a consequence of too little space), and she wanted to get rid of them. I separated them in two cages, gave them lot’s of love and taught them to be nice to each other. All was fine within a few weeks. But then they had to go. About a year later I got Bear. I didn’t have an internet connection in my dormroom, nor easy access and, to be honest, no idea there actually was any research. But the first pair ( called Star -first Cruella and Scabbers) had made me fall in love with the species. Can you believe I actually wanted hamsters first?

Bear, peeking out the cage. She used to ‘center’ a lot.

It took me a while to notice that Bear and Tiger were getting worse. Bear actually developed an abscess, or so it looked. So after two weeks, I took them to the vet. The vet wasn’t very hopeful. He told me rats are very viable to cancers and tumors and Bear’s days (by then probably 6 months old) were counted. He gave me antibiotics for both (the same as I got for Koko and Ruma) and told me to hope for the best. Just 5 days into giving them their cure, Bear’s abscess started disappearing. Soon, she was back to normal eating, and playing with Tiger.


The girls cuddled together. Bear in the front. 

Tiger was way more active and feisty than Bear. She was always running around, playing, trying to go places she shouldn’t, stealing things and gnawing through EVERY thing. Always pulling things into the cage too. Weirdly, as she grew into adulthood, her hood turned white, with an odd dark hair here and there.

Eventually, this was left of Tiger’s black hood…

I have to admit, besides this, I don’t remember much of the bunch. It was quite a while ago and I didn’t know half as much as I know now about keeping rats. (Their caging was actually quite proper – the straw was only temporary, I was experimenting). So, just enjoy the (very blurry) pictures below. It makes me reminisce.


Lazying about


Tiger again.


Sleeping in a self-made nest.



4 comments on “A trip down memory lane

  • Looks to me like Tiger was a roan, rather than a hooded – their colour fades as they age, so they can end up almost white. I had two roan girls, Cora and Clarice, and they had really dark coats as babies but lost nearly all the colour as they aged – I think there are some comparison photos on my blog somewhere but I can’t find them!

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