bruxing

All posts tagged bruxing

Another new addition!!

Published February 5, 2013 by Kokomo

Wow. So suddenly the rat population in my house has doubled! Four rats are now happily residing here. I am not entirely sure how happy I am about it, takes some getting used to (more little ones means more attention and more worries when they make weird noises or have diarrhea), on the other hand I am so happy that I can give these two ladies a good old day.

 

So without further ado, let me (officially)introduce you to Maarit en Valo. The topfloor inhabitants of my Royal Suite:

Little Maarit nomming away

Little Maarit nomming away

Maarit; born November 2010
Black japanese hooded. She has had a little tumor behind her left front paw and a chronic sneeze, but besides that she is active, lively, still a little shy but NUTS about snacks and treats! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valo; aprrox. 2 years old. Not sure when she was born but she has been in the shelter for over a year. Valo is also a hooded Japanese, but I haven’t defined her color yet. I am guessing it is a mink/pearl combo. Valo’s behavior is still quite unpredictable. She can be playful one moment and scared the next. She is a little more active then Maarit but also a lot more shy, although she has less trouble with being picked up then Maarit has.

Valo posing (or better said, pooping)

Valo posing (or better said, pooping)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most important though, is that Maarit and Valo get along. No terrorising, no stealing from one another, no pushing the other in a corner, no dominant behavior what so ever. They might not always sleep together, but mostly they do and I have caught both of them bruxing and boggling, so I am a happy camper!

 

In the Sputnik together <3

In the Sputnik together ❤

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

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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! 🙂

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 🙂

 

 

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 🙂

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:

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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 😛

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:

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

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Left side. Koko is posing how to escape.

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Right side cage. Yeah, it’s full! 🙂

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

Rats vs kids

Published November 17, 2012 by Kokomo

Are pet rats just like kids? In some aspects, YES THEY ARE!

1. All candy will be stolen and eaten or hidden away.

2. Any wet surface can and MUST be licked.

3. Things aren’t hot until they burn themselves on it.

4. No glass with a drink in it can be left untouched.

We can ALL share

5. Rubber duckies are the best thing ever, especially for putting in your mouth.

6. They never see danger coming.

7. When they fall, they always double over and it looks like they are breaking their necks. 😦

8. They eat, poop, sleep and get into trouble basically.

9. Flinging poop can be SO MUCH fun.

10. Anything breakable must be tested.

11. If it smells like chocolate, it is chocolate and they will eat it.

Tomato? what tomato? I smell chocolate!

12. If it’s quiet for longer then 5 minutes, you KNOW they are up to something.

13. Plastic makes the best sound in the world.

14. EVERYTHING must be tasted.

15. Whatever part of the house you just cleaned, they find it and mess it up.

16. Smartphones are a whole world of fun.

17. Sitting still for a picture is the hardest thing in the world.

Nice and blurry

18. If they can see through it, they can squeeze themselves stuck in it.

19. If they can’t see on top of it, they must climb on top of it.

20. Medicine and chemicals are candy, right?

21. Bath time is fun time.

22. New toys are the best to destroy.

But, we can’t deny it, we love them like crazy! ❤

Why everyone should get pet rats!

Published November 10, 2012 by Kokomo

Giving my human kisses!

 

Following up on my post about bad habits, this post will be about how wonderful and funny and smart and sweet my ratties can be and why they make great pets. I could write on and on and on and on and well, on about it forever, but

Sweet Ruma grooming herself.

instead I have decided to give you a top 5. Sorry, couldn’t stick to just 3, I had to make it 5. Enjoy!

5. Grooming 

Studies have shown that rats spend 1/3 of their day grooming themselves. That is twice as much a cats do! To that time you can add the time they spend grooming each other. Depending on the size of your pack, that time can vary. My Ruma also likes to spend time grooming me and on a lucky day, Koko will start fishing around in my hair. Rats are clean. Cleaner than cats, WAY cleaner than dogs. If your rat smells, you need to clean the cage, simple as that. They smell bad, because the cage smells bad.

4. Tail wagging

I am sure most of you have never heard of this behavior, but it exists and it is damn cute! This site has dedicated a well 2 lines to this behavior as it is not well researched and no one knows for sure why they do it. I have caught both my ladies doing it and strangly, they were both sitting in nearly the same spot, facing in the same direction. Ruma does it more often, but I have also spotted Koko doing it. Now it’s nothing to be compared to dogs or cats wagging their tales. It’s a quick, almost nervous movement that makes the tail wag quickly and shortly. It’s just so darn cute.

3. Companionship

Rats are, like cats, very independent, they will decide what they do, when they do it and no human can change that. Like dogs, they can learn quickly and if you reward them, but also very much on their own. But they differ from dogs and cats in that they like to be together. I mean, sure, lot’s of people have 2 or more dogs or cats, but those animals do fine when they are alone in the family.

Sharing my drink together

Keeping a rat alone, not such a good idea. Rats live in packs in the wild and even though the domesticated rat is hardly to be compared to the wild one, they still like to be in a pack. A pack can be two, if, like me, you don’t like cleaning the cage every 3 days and don’t have a fortune to spend on food. It’s so adorable to see them together, grooming, playing, sleeping.

I am going to help you type this, so you don’t make any mistakes.

2. Playfulness

Rats are nocturnal by nature but very adaptable in this rythm. They don’t need as much sleep as hamsters for instance, so they will wake up during the day, according to your rythm and are ready to play whenever you like. I’ve played with my girls during all times of the day. It doesn’t really matter what time I get up, as soon as they hear me scurrying about, they come out of their sleeping mode and greet

I’m up, I’m up!

me warmly. Day and night, they are ready to come out, play, cuddle and explore.

1. Bruxing and Boggling

To some people this may seem scary, because of the eyes bulging out of their sockets (see a video here) but to a true ratlover, there is nothing better. It can be compared to a cat purring and it means the rat is very relaxed, and very happy. It’s not behavior they show everyday, so when I do catch them doing it, it makes me so happy because it means I am taking good care of my ladies.

So there you have it. Now if this hasn’t convinced you to buy rats, perhaps you should see some adorable pictures here.

Like birds of a feather…

Jus’ chillin’

Olemme niin söpö

Napping close to my human.

C(r)atty behavior!

Published October 11, 2012 by Kokomo

Soooooo, I havn’t been a good blogger lately. So sorry! It’s not that I lack funny or sweet stories, I lacked the mood to post about the ladies. See, last Sunday I returned home from a birthday where I spent a good part of the afternoon with a kitten on my lap. I played around with the little critter and obviously got catsmell all over me. When I got home, the ladies were ready to cuddle as I had been gone all weekend. But as soon as they smelled me, they freaked.

This has happened before, and I knew it was going to take a day or 2 for them to trust my smell again. So, I didn’t spend a lot of time with the ladies, or at home and soon decided blog time was future talk.

What also ruined my mood is the fact that I have discovered a MOUSE! It’s running around when the ladies are caged up and doesn’t seem to be intimidated by their smell at ALL. I just stuffed a really dirty and stinky towel I got out of the cage today in the corner where I know the mouse enters my room and I am HOPING that will keep it away. It sucks because thanks to the ladies, there is food everywhere for mice. In the past, the smell of my rats had always kept the critters away (even when I lived in a mouse infested house), but this one seems to have a mind of it’s own. Now it’s quite hard to distinguish rat-gnawing or mouse-gnawing on my food. I know people may think: what’s the difference? Well, my rats are domesticed and bare NO infectious diseases or bacteria at all. Mice are yucky!

But, back to the reason why I got back to posting. Today, the ladies were running around freely and as Koko was being her annoying and destroying self, Ruma had other plans. I am not sure if she was tired or maybe she’s not feeling very well, but the little madam, after climbing through my clothes twice, sat down on my right hand, right in the palm and started washing herself. Not a big exception, she does wash herself 2/3 of the day, but today was different. She washed and washed and itched and scratched and occasionally licked my hands and when she was finished, after about 7 minutes, she curled up and settled down. IN THE PALM OF MY HAND!

We’re talking a female rat here, infamous for not being able to sit still, and above that Ruma, who never likes to sleep in an open space.

To top all of this off, madam starts bruxing and boggling. With her little paws she grabs my thumb and holds on tightly to it and I manage to grab my phone with my left hand and capture this amazingly endearing moment. I managed to keep her there, and Koko away, for about ten minutes until my hand felt like it was going to fall off. I tried switching hands but I disturbed her too much and after some time, she buggered off on her own.

These moments remind me why I love rats. They are as stubborn as cats but when you get their affection, it is SO well deserved. Someone is going to have one good night’s sleep tonight! (despite of that STUPID mouse). <3<3<3

Curled up and ready to nap

Holding my owner’s paw tight!

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