tunnel

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Clean and redecorated cages!

Published March 23, 2013 by Kokomo

Ok, today I managed to gather enough energy and willpower to clean two cages after each other. Also both cages were pretty much RIPE with pee-smell 😛

 

I realized I have taken so many pictures of the cage and things in it lately that I just wanted to add a photo post about the clean cages and more.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

Bottom -Koko and Ruma; 2 hammocks, a cube-hammock, 2 houses, 2 tubes, a fortress (the greenbox), a cover/hide out, a silent spinner and a toilet.

Bottom -Koko and Ruma; 2 hammocks, a cube-hammock, 2 houses, 2 tubes, a fortress (the greenbox), a cover/hide out, a silent spinner and a toilet.

 

Top -Valo and Maarit; 3 hammocks, a sputnik, 2 baskets, 1 long tube, 2 little hide-outs, 2 ladders, a wooden chew-toy thing, a silent spinner and a toilet.

Top -Valo and Maarit; 3 hammocks, a sputnik, 2 baskets, 1 long tube, 2 little hide-outs, 3 ladders, a wooden chew-toy thing, a silent spinner and a toilet.

 

Whole cage

Whole cage

 

Koko and Ruma napping in the mini Duna as I was cleaning their cage.

Koko and Ruma napping in the mini Duna as I was cleaning their cage.

 

Before cleaning; Koko and Ruma had chewed a hole in the back of the cube-hammock and then pulled the inside into their ball-house, which of course is way more comfortable ;)

Before cleaning; Koko and Ruma had chewed a hole in the back of the cube-hammock and then pulled the inside into their ball-house, which of course is way more comfortable 😉

 

Ruma, first time in the cube-hammock (she lost her nose :P )

Ruma, first time in the cube-hammock (she lost her nose 😛 )

 

Ruma, loving the cube-hammock (this is before they wrecked it)

Ruma, loving the cube-hammock (this is before they wrecked it)

 

Koko doing some re-con

Koko doing some re-con

 

Valo doing some re-con

Valo doing some re-con

 

The sputnik can be quite tight when you're sis is squishing you XD

The sputnik can be quite tight when you’re sis is squishing you XD

 

A close-up of this darling little face. When her eye was still good

A close-up of this darling little face. When her eye was still good

 

Maarit doing some re-con

Maarit doing some re-con

 

Hello big hand, whatcha doin?

Hello big hand, whatcha doin?

 

can't see me!

can’t see me!

 

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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:

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 😛

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! 🙂

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

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?

Ruh roh!

Published October 18, 2012 by Kokomo

I have been VERY absent here and it has not made my ladies proud. But in my defense they have gotten waaaaaaay more attention than normal because I couldn’t give all my attention to the laptop. See, my little deviants, they were so done with me sitting behind that square screen every night, they gnawed through my powercord. Ohyeah! One of their more proud days. And they managed not to get themselves electrocuted. But sadly for them, it took me only 5 days to replace my powercord so now I’m back on.

They have been keeping themselves very busy in the mean time. They have managed a bunch of new escape attempts and some of them they nailed perfectly! One night, Ruma escaped 4 times and Koko managed to escape one more time around 6 am. She crawled into bed with me and woke me up! HAHA! Serves me, they need ATTENTION! ALL THE TIME!

They are now, once again, properly locked behind bars, although Ruma spends a good part of the day, and night, pulling and dragging on the chains that cover our one and only escape hole. She is quite the Houdini, so one day…. all they need is patience and perseverance. Ruma has a bunch of this. Mostly persevereance I think. As I am typing I am watching her pull the chains and once again… escape! ruhroh! It’s time to redesign the tunnel and once again keep her behind bars!

Don’t get me wrong, I love cuddletime with little Ruma. But her getting out whenever she wants, not so handy! Either way, weekend’s on it’s way, so I promise more adventures by then!

Urhm… WE are very innocent, can’t you see?

My plan to take over the world…

Published September 17, 2012 by Kokomo

Everyday I get a little closer… everyday my owner finds another way to hide me back in that cage. But I will prevail, I shall NOT give up. One day I will make my great escape and then not get distracted by all the cool things in my owner’s house that I can sniff, climb on, steal, pee on or destroy. One day will be my day.

Today, I was quite succesful  in the escape from the cage. After spending most of last night pulling on chains and rattling these against the cage bars like madness, I managed to move a piece that held the tunnel in place, then squeeze my head through a 1 sq cm hole and well, once my head was through, the rest followed easily. I am not as fat as my sister. I knew running in the wheel every night for hours was useful for something!

Once I escaped first of course I had to scour for food and rubber duckies. I know my owner hid the rubber duckies somewhere. I will find them and once again kidnap them back to my secret hiding place. I don’t know how they manage to escape every time. When I couldn’t find any real food, just a few dishes to lick, I decided to see if I could get online. I must have accidentally hit the wrong button because suddenly, music started playing from the computer and I couldn’t shut it off anymore.

I tried going on google, but my typing skills still leave a lot to be desired for. This is all I got : ‘za4ivi’\i,]iiiiiiiiiii’ So I gave up on going online and started roaming around a little more until suddenly I heard the key in the lock and my owner entered the room. I knew there was no more time to make my great escape so I pretended to be playfully awaiting her and ran onto her bed, cheerfully greeting her and jumping around.

She has me on lockdown now. I was stupid enough to climb out of the cage once more when she was noticing and so she secured the chains and the holes and I am once again locked in. But no worries, I will try again soon!

Sinnikkyys kannattaa!

Ruma

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