animal affection

All posts tagged animal affection

A new beginning

Published May 9, 2013 by Kokomo

–crap I thought I’d already posted this! —

 

Of course our goodbye to Valo was sad. It was very hard losing her after trying so hard to keep her healthy and feeling so powerless when she had those attacks. But after she passed, Maarit stayed behind alone. I tried putting Ruma with her, but the poor thing just fled and started pooping immediately. I knew this wasn’t going to be a match, so I had to start looking for a new buddy.

At first I had my mind set on a castrated male, because I really wanted to give a male a try. After some emails and phonecalls I found out that there may have been 1 male (c) available but he was very large, and contact with the shelter took a long time. I hadn’t gone to the shelter that Valo came from yet, because she was closed and in quarantine for a while, because she had a virus going round. I figured I didn’t want to wait forever to find a buddy for Maarit, so I had contacted another shelter first. But since she was a little slow in responding, it was decided that on the Monday that I had to go back into surgery for my left hand (this was last monday), I was going to bring over Maarit and she would try to match her.

Well, she tried a few options and then one of them turned out to be a match! I went over to visit her wednesday, to see how they were doing, and the intro was going so well, what when my dad brought me back to my own house that night, we picked up the ladies first. SO without further ado, I’d like to introduce y’all to my new lady-friend; Lumi (snow in Finnish)

(yeah, try and take good pictures of a white rat when it’s already dark and you’re using a flash…)

Yeah, white and shiny! ;)

Yeah, white and shiny! πŸ˜‰

Lumi is white, with red-eyes. She was ‘rescued’ from a lab in Austria in december 2012, together with about 20 other rats and estimated at about 1 year old at that time (same as Koko and Ruma).

Very curious little girl!

Very curious little girl!

Lumi was quite sick during the period the shelter had a virus, her eyes were infected and swollen, but she has recovered now.

Did you put food here?

Did you put food here?

Lumi didn’t have a name yet, as she had come in with quite a few wite red-eyes. I went looking for another Finnish name and I really liked the Finnish word for snow.

This smells YUMMY!

This smells YUMMY!

Lumi is, even though she’s a labrat, very human-oriented. She shows up the door right away when she hears me. he’s not a big fan of being picked up, but once you have her with you, she sits with you quietly and comfortly πŸ™‚

Togetha

Togetha

Yeah, so better pics will be posted soon! But for now, a nice first impression!

Advertisements

A proper farewell

Published May 2, 2013 by Kokomo

It seems like ages ago already, but it has been 3,5 weeks now, since I had to let go of my sweet Valo.

On Sunday, after I posted, the attacks got worse, with, late that evening the worst bloody nose ever. The poor thing was covered in blood, her snout, her face, her belly, her paws, everything was bloody and the poor thing cleaned it all up after the attack had passed. I felt so bad for the poor thing, I gave her some painkillers and left her in the Duna, and put Maarit with her so she wouldn’t be alone. I knew that there was very little left to be done for her, but I didn’t want to go to the emergency animal hospital again, as they are extremely expensive and really not that able with rats. So, I managed to contact a co-worker to ask her to work for me the next day and tried to get some sleep with the ladies right next to my pillow.

They had a quiet and peacefulnight, but around 7am another heavy breathing attack woke me up. I couldn’t do anything to help the poor thing. I had to wait until 8am (which turned out to be 9am) before I could call the vet and luckily they could see me as the first patient. But that did still mean waiting untill 10.30 am. By the time I arrived at the vet’s, Valo was barely breathing anymore. The vet listened to hear and could hear her lungs had filled up with moisture and her breathing was very shallow. There was nothing left to do but to let the poor baby go.

For me, this was the first time in 10 years that I had to have a pet put to sleep, and the first time I had to do it all on my own. It’s not an easy decision I can tell you. Not so much choosing what is best for your animal, but realizing you have their life in your hands, and the emotional impact that has. I found it hard and I cried her a river or two. Luckily I have a great vet, who’s an expert in rats and she handled her very respectfully. I trust her with my pet’s lives ;).

I left Valo at the vet’s because 1. I don’t have a garden and 2. I don’t think my dad would feel up to burying her in his garden. I decided to donate her body to science, in the hope the vets working at the emergency animal hospital would learn something from her.

When I got home I cried and cried and cried and wrote her a goodbye on the forum where I first found the lady who runs the shelter I got her from. After a while I decided to get Ruma out of her cage, and she licked the tears right off my cheeks. Those were the last tears I cried that day. It’s amazing how much comfort a still living pet can give. I cuddled the crap out of my three remaining ladies, and kept on doing so for the next days, until it was time to come back to reality and start looking for a new friend for Maarit. More on that in my next post.

For now; goodbye dear Valo. You weren’t with me long, but you were special and dear to me and Maarit. I have learned so much from you in the 2,5 months that you were here and I will never forget. Have fun on the bridge!

 

In the Sputnik together

In the Sputnik together

 

Valo posing (or better said, pooping)

Valo posing (or better said, pooping)

Valo being a little acrobate as che found the goodies!

Valo being a little acrobate as she found the goodies!

A new addition!

Published February 2, 2013 by Kokomo

About 4-5 weeks before Christmas time, there was a topic on the forum about rats that I frequent, that had a link to a christmas-charity website for rats that are in shelters. There was a long list of pictures of rats in several different shelters, with the option to either send a care-package, financially adopt or officially adopt one of the rats. Not all rats were adoptable, but my eye happened to fall on a little girl named Marit. The picture they had posted of here was too adorable to pass. As you all know, I had been considering getting a new rat (or two) for quite some time, and after mulling it over for a few days, I sent in an adoption form and from then on emails went flying all over the place and before I knew it, I was allowed to come pick her up, an hour’s drive away from where I live, the first weekend of December.

Look at that litte cute faced girl <3

Look at that litte cute faced girl ❀

She was already 2 years old, had been in the shelter for over a year, and spent the first months of her life in a cage that was WAY too small, in a cold garage where she got no attention at all. Poor thing.

But then, two days before I was about to go pick her up, the lady from the shelter sent me a email that she had found a lump, which could mean she had a tumor and if so, she would need surgery. So we postponed my pick-up date and I told her to give Marit a good deal of time to heal after surgery. Luckily, surgery went very well and Marit recovered quickly. But, by the time this had all passed, it was almost time for my surgery on my hand. So I didn’t want to have an introduction going on when I couldn’t intervene with my sore hand. We postponed my pick-up date again, until after my surgery.

Then, the day of my surgery, I came to the hospital and it turned out I was misinformed and I wasn’t going to get surgery until the second week of February. Once I got home, upset and frustrated, I emailed the lady from the shelter and I made plans to pick up Marit that Saturday, and I did.

When I first saw her, I was a little shocked at quite how small she is. She is even smaller than Ruma and weighs less as well. She is a little hunched, like in the picture, has Japanese hooded fur and dumbo ears. She was VERY scared when I picked her up and I instantly got covered with poop. But she was so adorable. Only one of her stitches was still in place, the rest had dissolved neatly and her fur was growing back in the area of the surgery. She still had her fur standing up, from either discomfort or stress, not quite sure, but the poor thing surely wasn’t feeling too good. And then we started the long journey home. I stuck my hand in the carry-on basket every now and then and talked and sang to her the whole way back. Once I got home, I instantly put Ruma with her and the two hit it off right away.

Marit has been here for a few weeks now, but it hasn’t been easy. I started introduction with Ruma, in a small cage, called a ‘mini-duna’ which I had purchased for this purpose and also for when one of them would get so sick they’d need to be separated.

(mine is blue though)

(mine is blue though)

Ruma and Marit went great together. They sniffed a little, but very soon were lying in a corner together, bruxing and boggling. Marit’s fur went down very quickly and I knew these two would be great together. I kept them in there for about 3 hours and then added Koko to the mix. This seemed to go just as well, and impatient as I was, after only another hour, I moved them back to the RS. Even still, things seemed to go fine and the next day I made the cage twice the size. That’s where I went wrong. Suddenly the fighting started. I had never heard a rat scream and squeal like a little pig, but Marit did. On the forum they advised me to quickly make the cage smaller and after some hesitation (took me a few hours to get it ready), I did and besides a bed and food and water, I took everything out of the cage. Nothing left to fight about.

The next day I got a visit from a friend, for dinner, and for a while, things seemed quiet. But then again, the fighting started and it was BAD. Hair was flying around and Marit and Koko were rolling around the cage so fast I could barely keep up. One time, Marit even fell from the little floor that was in there (about 25 cm high) and got a nasty cut on her back. I decided it was enough and put them back in the mini-duna. They ended up staying in there from Monday-night until Saturday-morning. No more fights luckily!

Little hunch-backed Marit

Little hunch-backed Marit

IMG-20130116-03660

Sleeping together in the Mini-Duna

From another shelter that I had visited to do a donation (another story), I was able to borrow a bigger Duna. The normal sized one, to take the next step in their introduction. I put them in there on Saturday and as things went well, I slowly started adding things to the cage, like a hammock and later a Sputnik XL.

They seemed to have become friends, so on Tuesday, I moved them back to half a Royal Suite. I slowly started adding things to the cage, one a day, like the Silent Spinner, and more hammocks. I started noticing they didn’t always sleep together, but that didn’t really worry me too much. Marit seemed to warm up to me, she would also come running to the door when I opened it, not as fast as the others, but always ready to receive a treat. I still couldn’t take her out of the cage much, because she would run and hide as fast as she could, but I figured this would just take time and patience. When I did take her out, she still had the habit of pooping all over me :(. The first days went great. They ate, pooped, drank and slept (together) and it seemed to have been a successful introduction. But then, everyday, I started noticing things. There would be a fight, Koko would have her hair standing up and threaten either Marit or Ruma, Marit would always be sleeping alone and more little things like this. On the forum they told me to be patient, maybe take out some beds from the cage and see what happened.

Marit nibbling at the hedgehog, ot a good pic, but you can see how small she is.

Marit nibbling at the hedgehog, ot a good pic, but you can see how small she is.

Then the other day, I had them all on my bed. Marit was happily exploring under my blankets and Koko came to join her. Instantly, Koko put her fur up and started pushing her. Marit would just make herself as small as possible and not move, hoping Koko would go away, but she didn’t. Eventually, Marit crawled into my shirt. Koko came towards us and then I caught her BITING Marit!!! I was so shocked! My Koko, biting! She wasn’t wounding Marit, but very clearly showing her disapproval. Obviously I didn’t let her and I instantly stopped this. Marit was so frightened after this. I kept her in my shirt for a while, until she felt safe enough to peek out again, and then returned her to the cage. Later on, I seemed to notice that Koko was locking her in the ball (they sleep in it as mentioned before). I wasn’t sure, so I moved the towel that Koko had been sleeping in, which was right in front of the ball, to the corner and checked again the next day. The towel was back in the same place, but I couldn’t be sure who did it, because Marit was always pulling it into the ball as well. So I left it like that.

In the mean time I had emailed the lady of the last named shelter, who loaned me her cage, to ask for her advice. What to do, because I could see Marit wasn’t happy, nor were Koko and Ruma. She told me I could come by and we could see of there was another rat there that Marit did click with. We made plans, but then I realised my surgery is coming up and I couldn’t be having an intro again here. She very sweetly offered to keep Marit for a while, if we were able to find her a friend there. I was to go over there on Saturday.

Then, last (Friday)night, when I let the ladies free range again, I noticed something that made me worry even more. Marit was on the bed with me, and Koko was nowhere to be seen, but Ruma came to say hi. Marit again made herself as small as possible and started pooping instantly. It was obvious fear-poop. Ruma, as far as I know, has never hurt her, she only grooms and cuddles, so I was quite shocked to see Marit behave like this. I realized she was just simply scared out of her mind for both my rats and I couldn’t put her back into the cage with them. So, I put her in the Duna, since it was just going to be one night anyways. I am going to the shelter today, and hopefully we will find Marit a new friend so she can spend her last weeks/months, maybe even year, happily together with her new friend.

Marit in a hammock in the RS. Love this sweet pic.

Marit in a hammock in the RS. Love this sweet pic.

This does mean I will have 2 groups of 2 rats, instead of one group of 3 or 4, as I wanted, but if this is best for the rats, this is what I will do. Either way, the RS will be in full use. I have enough to fill the cage, so it shouldn’t be an issue (except for the bottom plate that I need to get…). Not the way I would have liked to see it, but their happiness means more to me. So, I will keep you updated on the new developments!

P.S. Sorry for the endless post! πŸ™‚

The cuddles, the cuddles!

Published February 1, 2013 by Kokomo

How very often I get the sweetest cuddles from little Ruma. She climbs into my clothes (especially when I lie on my belly on my bed), licks my hands and my face, loves sitting in my lap and washing herself and on occasion likes to explore my ears (the weirdest tickle you’ve ever felt!). Whenever she has done something she shouldn’t, which is about every 10 minutes, or one of her adventurous actions fails and ends in her falling off something, she comes running to me to get some reassuring cuddles. I really love it when I sit on my bed, legs crossed, laptop on my lap, there’s a hole under the laptop where she can sit for fifteen minutes if she’s calm enough and just wash herself and relax. I can always count on my little Ruma to come and give me cuddles.

Ruma kisses <3

Ruma kisses ❀

This is also one of the reasons I got these two. I had just lost my job, a new job that I actually liked, and I knew I was going to be at home, looking for a new job. I had spent quite some time home alone just months before recovering from a burn-out and I knew I needed something other than my laptop to keep me entertained. I remembered the great times I had with my old rats and went out and bought Koko on the day I got laid off. Still no regrets. Most of the time…

Koko on the other hand; I think she is not as smart as her little sister. I really do compare the two to pinky and the brain most of the time. Koko was always more held back than Ruma, even in the beginning she didn’t like to sit still. Now obviously, her weight is causing her to be slower than Ruma, although she manages to escape when I try to grab her to go back into the cage more often than I like. Anyhow, she does not like to sit still and be cuddled. But, lately, she has been getting better about it. The other day, I picked her up and flipped her over on her back into my two hands (she can’t sit on one), because I just wanted to rub my check against her ADORABLE fat belly. It’s the softest EVER. She let me turn her over, she wasn’t too keen on the belly rubbing, but when I started massaging her little shoulders and ears, she quite complacently just laid there. Slowly her little eyes closed and her little mouth widened. I did my best not to burst out in laughter because the view of a rat on her back with her mouth open is hysterical I can tell you! (Alas, no hands left to take pictures) She seemed to thoroughly enjoy getting a little backrub and so I have found a way to cuddle my Kokomo! ❀

Trying to cuddle with Koko

Trying to cuddle with Koko

Hopefully we’ll have many more cuddles to come!

P.S. Sorry for the crappy quality pics. I guess we have established the cam on my phone is awful, but alass, no money for a good one…

Birthdays!

Published January 17, 2013 by Kokomo

Yeah, it’s that time of the year. Or so I think. Since I got my cuties from the petstore, there is no saying when they were actually born. If they came from a good breeder, they were about 7-8 weeks old when I got them. if they came from a breeder who also breeds rats for snake-food, they could have easily been 4,5 -5 weeks old.

I am guessing Ruma was probably 4-5 weeks old when I got her, since she was SO small. Only 72 grams, which is officially 30 grams too light to be taken away from the nest.

Baby Ruma

Baby Ruma

And even Koko probably wasn’t the full 8 weeks, as she weighed 92 grams, also underweight.

Baby Koko

Baby Koko

(I have to say, looking at these pics makes me want rittens again, but that’s beside the point)

I got Koko on February 2nd and Ruma a week later on February 9th. So taking the 8 weeks into count, I decided their birthdays should be around Christmas. Thus, on december 26th (2nd day of Christmas over here in the Netherlands), I made them a birthdaycake and tried to love them juuuuuust a little bit more than usual ;). The cake was highly appreciated, Koko was schlepping pieces of avocado around in no time, and the whole thing was eaten within 6 hrs, but besides that, they weren’t more festive than other days. Nor was I as I was so tired of working the days before Christmas. But yeah, my ladies have turned one now! Yay! And here’s how they celebrated:

Whole wHeat rusk with goat's cheese, avocado, dried cranberries, almonds and honey. What a treat!!

Whole wHeat rusk with goat’s cheese, avocado, dried cranberries, almonds and honey. What a treat!!

Look at Koko focusing solely on the food and Ruma noticing the camera. I only managed to snap one pic with the both of them, after that Ruma took off into my sweater πŸ˜‰

Well, let’s go for another year! ❀

Picture time!

Published December 30, 2012 by Kokomo

Because my phone is overloaded with silly, sweet and mostly blurry pictures of my two little cuddles, I decided I wanted to treat y’all to a little gallery! Here goes nothing, a few of my favorites:

Big nosed curious Koko

Big nosed curious Koko

My dumbo girl <3

My dumbo girl ❀

This is tasty! Can I eat this?

This is tasty! Can I eat this?

Yummy fresh mint. nommerenomnom

Yummy fresh mint. nommerenomnom

Were doing our door-dance, what do you think?

Were doing our door-dance, what do you think?

Wazzup? Y u wake me?

Wazzup? Y u wake me?

Is this new? Not sure I like this....

Is this new? Not sure I like this….

 

Nice view from up here!

Nice view from up here!

Snoozing

Snoozing

Squeezin' about....

Squeezin’ about….

I'm pretending to be a possum, can you see?

I’m pretending to be a possum, can you see?

I MUST eat this!

I MUST eat this!

noms together :)

noms together πŸ™‚

 

 

Allright, eough with the nonsense. More for later! Thnx for viewing!

NEW CAGE!!!

Published December 8, 2012 by Kokomo

Yes, as a follow up of last week’s post about what cage to get; here’s the new cage post. We are so delighted! I know Koko and Ruma are too because I caught them bruxing and boggling this morning πŸ™‚

What happened was, I bid on a Royal Suite ( click here for my post about cages) but the girl didn’t respond to my bid. So I also bid on a Furet Tower. It had gotten to the point where I had made arrangements to pick up the Furet Tower. Then I e-mailed the other girl about the RS again. She said it was reserved but if they didn’t pick it up, he’d let me know. I’d bid €80,-, but the furet tower (a lower quality cage) had a bid of €100,- on it. Then on Wednesday, I got news from the girl who owned the RS. She wanted me to pick it up the next day for €80,-. I told her that was fine and went home really excited. Then on Thursday she emailed me if it was possible to pick it up on Friday as that day wasn’t possible for her. Sure, I could wait another day. And then yesterday, it was finally time. I sat home after work, anxiously awaiting a message from the girl when I could come and pick it up.

I went to pick it up. I petted her cutest rats (3 ladies and 3 gents -oh my those gents are big! – but I didn’t see any balls…) and took home the RS, dismantled in many loose (and heavy) parts. Back home the assembly puzzle began. She didn’t have a description and told me it took her 5 hrs the first time to put it together. Within 45 minutes, half the cage was up. It scared the crap out of me. The cage is BIG! No, not big, HUGE! I decided to leave it there, half a cage was enough for now. As one of the bottom plates was missing, which would mean I would have to put in cardboard or something, I just built half and put the other half away. YAY for separate parts!

So here’s the cage after 45 minutes of hard labor yesterday:

IMG-20121207-03520

Look at the IKEA expedition case behind it to grasp it’s size…

The only plate that was left with the cage was actually the one that belongs on the top half, it has a hole in it to make room for the ladder, but I put cardboard below the plate and a towel on top to cover it. So I started putting in the thingamagiggies from the other cages and at the same time disassemble the old cages.

Let’s say Koko and Ruma weren’t as excited as I was with the new arrival… They kept trying to climb out of the cage and on top of me, even though I put the old hammocks in, so things would have a familiar smell. After a while and a lot of treats, they did settle in and went to sleep in their ball. The night passed quietly and this morning they seemed VERY content when I stuck my hand in the cage, Koko put her head on it and Ruma put her head on top of that and they both started bruxing and boggling. They were so cute.

This afternoon I went shopping because even with all the things I had in the old cages in there, it still looked empty. I told myself I could spend a maximum of €60,- and I managed to go just about €20,- above that amount :$. But here’s the result of my shopping spree:

Toys, food, a travel basket, yup, I went all out. And teddy is posing :P

Toys, food, a travel basket, yup, I went all out. And teddy is posing πŸ˜›

I woke up my creative mind and for an hour I was putting rings through holes and hooking things into the cage. And here is the (crappy) result. I say Crappy because it’s dark now and so the quality of the pictures is horrible. I shall take new pictures tomorrow when there is daylight again. But for now; the new paradise:

IMG-20121208-03525

The whole cage (old cages are still stacked on top)

IMG-20121208-03526

Left side. Koko is posing how to escape.

IMG-20121208-03527

Right side cage. Yeah, it’s full! πŸ™‚

So all these changes are happening because of a good reason. What reason? I’m saving that one for a new post. Stay tuned!

Kokomo

memories

the long road home

Silly lovestories

Because we all love them

Phil - Refuelled!

That Firefly Phil bloke, still knocking out photography and other stuff.

eternal Domnation

Will Write for Paper

Photobotos

Daily adventures of my two deviant rats :)

shane for president

drinking in the morning / politics / jerking off (now with 20% more kittens!)

Naandika

Naandika means I write in swahili. This is a site with poetry, short stories and rants

H.L. Pauff

I write stuff

shadetheraven

Up and coming right out of the realms of sanity

CatrionaIsCrazy

Botulism doesn't pay the bills.

rosfromscratch

Well, someone had to say it.

castelsarrasin

The work and activities of a writer/bargee

myothervoices

Human, animal and other voices not my own

Happy Bluebirds

Fond memories of a Bluebird group- all grown up.

Hearing His Voice

Learning to hear & recognize God's voice

BjΓΆrn Rudbergs writings

Poetry and fiction by a physicist from the dark side

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site