playtime

All posts tagged playtime

Good news!

Published April 13, 2013 by Kokomo

Oh me Oh my. I have been one shamefully absent blogger these past weeks! Most of that is due t the still medicating my rats every single day, and the decrease of energy from going back to my normal work-routine, which is still costing me energy as my hand hasn’t properly healed yet. It’s on the way though, and I suspect that before my next operation (left), I will be capable of almost everything I was before again.

Luckily, in rat land, peace has been restored. For now. I haven’t actually been to the vet in at least three weeks and the ladies seem to be doing fine. Two weeks ago, after all the bad news we had gotten, emergency visits to the vets, another cure of antibiotics for Valo AND a de-licing cure for all four (yes, we had lice), Koko started waking up with red eyes. Now I now what porfyrine is, and I know that’s what is was, mostly, but underneath, the skin was also kind of reddish and it seemed somewhat swollen on her right eye. Poor thing. For a second there, I again saw myself running up and down the vets office twice a week, again. But on the forum someone gave me the smart advice to give my ladies echinacea in their drinking water. Their immune system was probably a little low, making them also susceptible for the lice. So I did. Koko loved the water with echinacea, funnily, Valo and Maarit were not so charmed. And after about 6-8 days, no more red eyes. Yesterday I noticed something going on with Maarit’s good eye (the one that was infected is now ruined, she is clearly blind on that eye and it never went back to normal size), that looked quite the same as Koko’s eye. I had stopped giving them echinacea after a few days as they really didn’t like it, but I have now put it back in their waterbottle. That’s quite an issue though, because they seem to barely drink now. Going to try to give it to them in babyfood later.

But besides a little red eyes, the ladies are doing really well! They are eating well, sleeping a lot 😉 But all four are playfull at night, dying for attention. Maarit and Valo are well on their way to fully trusting me and Koko and Ruma are their insane selves. Ruma insists on climbing on top of the cage everytime she is let out, to observe who’s living in the top part. It has given her a few sore toes over the weeks, as Valo can get defensive when Ruma is being the nosy peeper. Koko on the other hand is very content with just waddling around the room, scouring for food or anything that smells interesting, or just roaming around in her paper nest or gnawing on an old plastic bottle that is hidden somewhere under the bed :).

So, without further ado, I will now bore you with some more pics of tha ladies and hope to be back to regular blogging soon!

Little sleepy ball <3

Little sleepy ball ❤

 

Sweet face! (this was before her eye went bad)

Sweet face! (this was before her eye went bad)

 

Arrrr, why's ya wakin' me? (my attempt to piratlingo)

Arrrr, why’s ya wakin’ me? (my attempt to piratlingo)

 

Nap time in the mini-duna

Nap time in the mini-duna

 

Ya can't see me!

Ya can’t see me!

 

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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 ❤

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:

IMG-20121208-03525

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

IMG-20121208-03526

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

First bleed

Published December 2, 2012 by Kokomo

I have to shamefully admit that lately my time has been swallowed up by something that has everything to do with my rats, but absolutely nothing with blogging. I found a rat-forum that I am absolutely addicted to. Every 2 minutes I click it and refresh to see if there are new messages, it’s pathetic, even by my own standards ;).

There are SO many adorable pictures, amazing ideas for toys and decorations, tips, funny stories, sad stories, secondhand accessories, and you-name-it that is keeping me absolutely mesmerized :). I could share the link here but I wonder how many of you can read Dutch and understand :).

This week has been not very eventful at all. The ladies have been eating, sleeping and pooping as usual. I have been busy working mostly, so we didn’t really have any adventures, until this morning. All seemed well as the ladies were roaming free, until Ruma came passing by with a big red blooddrop on her ear. Good mommy as I am, I only panicked on the inside and very calmly wiped the blood off her ear. Just a few minutes before they had been playing a bit rough under the blankets with me so I figured that would have been the cause.  Ruma herself didn’t seem very bothered with it, she was just her busy, adventurous, mischievous self and kept licking me as if I were the best treat ever. I realized this is actually the first time one of the ladies bled since I got them in February. How lucky am I!

I have been reading many a horror story about injuries and healthproblems on the forum, so I am happy I’ve only had to deal with this so far. I’m keeping a close eye on her ear to make sure it doesn’t get infected (reminds me of poor Casper!) and besides that I am giving her just a little bit more love than usual. Will keep you updated on the state of her ear.

 

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My sweet, darling, innocent Ruma ❤

Kamikaze Koko!

Published November 25, 2012 by Kokomo

Today, a rare free Saturday, I woke early since I had been getting up early all week. I got up to make coffee, turned on my laptop and let the ladies out. As I sat down with my coffee and started playing an online game of Catan, Ruma and Koko were running around and playing.

Suddenly I heard a familiar noise. Alarmbells went off in my head. That is the sound of a strip of Advils… For some reason, they have been nibbling on these strips before. There was one in my purse and Koko got it out. I was just in time to see her disappear under the bed backwards with the strip in her jaws. I was quick and pulled it out on time. Relief spread through me. Until I noticed there was a place where the back was unopened, but the pill was missing. CRAP!

In blind panic I janked my bed from it’s place so far it almost ended in the kitchen! Pillows flew everywhere and I managed to grab Koko, who obviously squeeled like a little pig because she new I was going to steal her ‘snack’. I grabbed the pill, which had been damaged but not really emtpied (they are liquid caps) and with that saved Koko from a peaceful, but WAY too early death.

Really Koko? Advil for a snack? I know rats have weird habits but Advil? Needless to say, the pills are now safely hidden away and I might switch to Aspirin as this might heal the heart disease Koko caused in me today….

The ‘murder weapon’

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! ❤

A new addition, or not?

Published November 17, 2012 by Kokomo

So as you have read from my last post, I am considering getting a new addition to the family. Preferably two because I feel with three pets in one cage, one of them can become the third wheel and I wouldn’t want that for any animal. The point is to make their lives better, not worse. I have several reasons to consider getting 2 more ladies into the mix.

I got this pic from google, I think these are males, but aren’t they cute?

1. I am away from home more and more lately, as I took on a second job and will also be starting school in a few months, so less playtime for Koko and Ruma.

2. I have a GINORMOUS cage that would easily house up to 8 rats, why not use the space to it’s full extent?

3. There are so many poor ratties stuck in either bad situations or shelters because people didn’t know how to care for them or didn’t want them anymore.

But before I can actually go out and get me some new ladies, there are so many factors to consider, even more than I thought of at first.

1. Space; do I have enough space for 4 rats? (Yes, I do). It’s very important that you keep rats in a BIG cage, they need a lot of space to run around, explore and keep themselves busy. Also they need to be able to avoid each other now and again. The cage needs to be in a place where they can see what is going on, it can’t be in a draft or too hot and never in direct sunlight for the whole day (a few rays now and then are fine, they love to sleep in the warm sun).  I will do a whole topic on proper cage set-up soon!

Also from Google, since my pics are either to dark or too light 😦

2. Cleaning; cleaning a rat cage is QUITE a project. First you have to take the whole thing apart, take out all the loose (and tied up) elements, clean everything separately, clean the top (bars) part ( I usually just put it in the shower), throw away the used litter and clean the bottom thoroughly. Then, once everything is dry, you have to re-assemble the cage and try and mix it up every 2-3 weeks so the rats stay challenged. With two rats I can clean every 7-10 days ( but I take out the litter every 4-5 days), with 4 rats I’d have to clean every 4-7 days. Cleaning the whole cage takes me about 1,5-2 hrs.

yeah, another google image 🙂

3. Food; Rats eat. Rats eat ALOT. You have to make sure you have the time to feed them everyday, feed them properly and that you can buy their food as well. I feed my rats a mix of veggie/fiber blocks, with dry catfood and fresh veggies/fruit on a daily basis. As treats I give them millet, yoghurt treats, or small dog treats. Besides that they often get some fresh wood in the cage to gnaw on. Fresh water everyday and during the summer I give them icecubes and frozen fruits (and sometimes shrimp) to keep them cool.

All different kinds of rat-food

4. Vet money; You need to make sure you have enough money to cover the vet costs in case all of your rats get sick at the same time. In case of an infection, costs won’t be that high since you can give all of them the same antibiotics, but the costs of operations can run quite high! You need to know before you begin what you are willing to spend. My policy is that if they need operations that will cost more than eight times what I paid to get them, I am not willing to invest, Operations often  have such a major impact on rats. When they return, if they return, you have to keep them separate from the others for a while so they can recover and the wound can heal. This also means cleaning their recovery cage every day! I love my rats very much but if it comes to that point, I might choose to let them go easily.

5. Attention (time); rats need playtime everyday if you want to keep them tame. You need to handle them everyday, make sure they know your smell and the sound of your voice. Start doing this the first day you get them and they will become very tame. They also need free ranging time every day, depending on how much cage-space they have this varies from 45 minutes to 2 hours. You have to not only have the space to free range but it has to be rat-proof and you have to stay with them. My ladies run around my single room apt for at least an hour a day and thank heavens do not seem to have that much interest in power-chords (unless it’s my laptop), but they manage to get into trouble every single day, so I have to be there when they run free.

Runnig around freely is da bomb!

6. Toys; rats are very intelligent creatures and they need to be challenged one way or the other. Most rats like wheels for exercise (not my Koko though), they like wooden toys to gnaw on and sometimes you can train them to play fetch. If you really have a lot of time, you can train them to do all sorts of neat tricks, just like dogs. If you don’t have that much time or patience, you need to keep them entertained. Toys can be: gnawing toys or wooden toys for birds, balls, tubes to run around in, ladders and other climbing gear. I’ve tried a ‘hamster-ball’, that worked so well it is being used as their current nest (and has been for several months).

Rats like to play too!

7. Where to get them; Koko and Ruma both come form a pet-store. NEVER AGAIN! Both girls were so poorly when I got them and I had to put them on antibiotics when they were still so small, not even 2 months old. This was very stressful for them and not contributing to making them tame. If you get rats from ebay or something, from people who want to get rid of them, you never know what you’re gonna get. Even though I may feel bad for the little critters, they might be sick and infect my other girls. The best places to get new rats would be either a shelter (where they make sure the rats are very healthy before they are adopted) or a well-known rattery. But this usually also brings quite a few expenses along as well.

Poor thing!

8. Socializing; when you already have rats and you add more to them, you need to take time to socialize them. With Ruma and Koko this was dead-easy as they were very young and Koko was still alone (only for a week), so very happy to get a companion. But now, they have their own hierarchy and if I add new ones, this needs to be settled again. This can often be accompanied by a lot of squeeling, some fighting and in some cases even biting. So you have to be there to monitor the process. First put them in a small cage together so they can’t avoid each other. Once peace seems to be restored, they can be put in the bigger cage which needs to be cleaned first, so no dominant smells will be present. But what if they don’t get along? Then the two sets will have to live separately in different cages. I don’t have the budget or space to get another one of those monster cages, so I’d have to divide this one up into to smaller cages, still more than enough room, but completely past the whole point of why I wanted two new ones in the first place.

Very common behavior to see who is dominant.

So all-in-all a LOT to think about. What do you think, did I forget other things I should consider?

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