Biscuit, Badger & Willow

October 2002 - August 2004

Our rats Biscuit, Badger & Willow

Biscuit, Badger & Willow

Biscuit, Badger & Willows Rattie Diary
Badger’s Own Page – How our cute little Badger turned into a husky rat!

Two adorable baby rats have joined the family

We had been planning to take a little break from rat keeping, but I had to pop into our local pet shop for some bunny food. I admit it I was very naughty and couldn’t help peeking at the little rats asleep in the cage. That night I told Derek about the cute little rats, having no idea of official rat colours, nor am I any good at describing colours. Biscuit coloured seemed a perfectly reasonable explanation of the rat. Derek was not so impressed, “What kind of biscuit?” he asked, “Cookie coloured, bourbon, ginger?” Somehow this confusion over what colour the rats were lead to them being named Cookie and Bourbon!

The next morning off we went to look at the baby rats I had seen. They turned out to be two little girls. We were both unsure as I had wanted boys again, I love the big puddings they turn into ;-). We were also unsure about one of the rats looking like one of our previous rats, Pipsie. After much agonising we decided to pop out to another pet shop, where our girls Pipsie and Chockie had originally come from. They only had two rats, both boys about eight weeks in age, and it was love at first sight.

Biscuit & Badger

Biscuit & Badger

Once home we left the little chaps alone to settle in. There was no way Badger could be called Bourbon, he looks like a Badger (to me anyway) and somehow Cookie became Biscuit. Just going to prove that you can’t name a little animal before you’ve met them.

Unfortunately within minutes of being home Badger started sneezing and by the end of the day Biscuit was sneezing too. They had both seemed fine at the pet shop, well they were a little grumpy at being woken up. We will be taking them both to the vets tomorrow and hopefully it is nothing serious.

Our little baby rats are feeling better

Two baby rats peeking out of a little cardboard boxWe took our new babies to the vets as planned and got them thoroughly checked out. Other than a possible allergic reaction our vet isn’t sure what is wrong with them. Our vet has advised us to clear out the rats cage and keep them on paper and try to keep their environment dust free, which we have. She has also given us Baytril just in case they do have some sort of respiratory infection. As well as that she recommended some human medicine, to be given in very small amounts, to try and sooth their nasal passages and make them feel a bit happier.

Biscuits sneezing had started to settle the day after we got him, but Badger is really poorly. He gets very bad sneezing fits and it is quite worrying. If he is eating and starts sneezing he will just drop what he was eating and go back to bed. Because he is feeling poorly and down Badger isn’t that keen on exploring at the moment either.

I think Biscuit is the shy one out of the two and he likes to stay hidden in bed, only popping out to grab some food before disappearing with his stash. Badger is slightly more confident, but unfortunately his bouts of sneezing aren’t helping him gain his confidence around us.

Of course we are going to love the little guys no matter what and take extra special care of them. Its very difficult to see such sweet tiny little guys having such a tough start in life and not being able to do anything for them.

Our cheeky babies out and about

Our cheeky babies out and about

An unexpected addition to the family

We had not planned to increase the rat population in our home, especially with Badger being poorly, but it was one of those things.

Our new baby rat, Willow sitting in my handI had gone a walk to some nearby fields to see the horses that live there, when some young boys walked past me. They were carrying a shoe box with air holes punched in the top. I asked them about the box and they told me they had a rat in it, which they were going to release as their mother didn’t want it in the house. When I asked the boys to give me the rat they looked at me like I was bonkers, but they did agree.

The poor little guy was so frightened by his ordeal that, once home, I put him straight in a cage and left him alone. I didn’t even know if he was a boy or a girl, or what Derek was going to say when he found out we had got another rat!

When Derek came home from work he was understandably surprised by the new arrival, and my tale of how I got him, but he took one look at the frightened little rat hidden in a corner of the rat cage and knew that the little guy belonged with us.

Very carefully Derek got the little guy out of his cage, we needed to check him over and make sure he wasn’t hurt. That is when we found out our new arrival was a boy, and we decided to name him Willow.

Happy rats

Our three rats sitting in Derek's hands

With the dramatic way Willow joined our family, him being a little boy, roughly the same age as Biscuit and Badger, and the fact he is such a sweet little chap, it seemed only right that we should introduce them.

Grumpy Biscuit

Grumpy Biscuit

We had been keeping Willow separate from Biscuit and Badger, in case he had any illnesses he could pass on to them. Incredibly despite all Willow had been through, he is very healthy. Badger still has his sneezing problem, but we are sure that is some sort of allergic reaction, to what we don’t know, but we are sure its not an illness.

As Biscuit can still be a bit shy, we introduced Badger to Willow first, and it was amazing. Badger and Willow were like long lost brothers. They really were so happy to see each other and the most amazing thing was the whole time they were playing Badger didn’t sneeze!

After the success of Badger and Willow’s meeting, we felt it would be cruel to split them up and so we let Willow move into Biscuit and Badger’s cage. Biscuit wasn’t that interested in the new arrival. He has claimed a little hamster igloo as his own and it seems as long as Willow doesn’t try and move in with him, Biscuit is happy.

Willow's accident

Our agouti hooded rat, Willow leaning off the edge of his cageLittle Willow gave us the fright of our lives, we got him out as usual for breakfast, as nothing starts the day better than ratties helping themselves to your breakfast. Willow was very dazed and unresponsive, he also seemed to be breathing heavily. By that night he was no better so we made an appointment for the following day at our vets. The next morning he was a little brighter though we did notice he was limping. Willow is a very excitable little chap and he loves nothing more than charging around and not planning were he is going to land.

We can only assume he had a fall in the night and landed badly. Throughout that day his overall condition improved except for his limp. I still took him to the vets to make sure he hadn’t broken any bones. Our vet gave Willow a thorough check over and gave him a clean bill of health apart from the limp. It is just a matter of time to allow Willow’s leg to heal and hope he will recover fully. We can only hope he will take a little more care with his antics in future.

A happy update on Badger

Our beautiful husky rat, BadgerWe are very pleased to say Badger is 100% better, his snuffles and sneezing are all gone. We had several worrying months while he was a baby and at times it seemed like he would not recover, but our beautiful little Badger kept fighting. He didn’t grow much at first but as his snuffling subsided he put on a growth spurt and has turned into a very large happy healthy chap.

Now Badger is older and bigger his body is much stronger to fight his infection and it has now been a month since we had any sneezing from him. We do keep a very close eye on Badger to make sure he stays healthy. Plus the home he shares with his two brothers is cleaned out twice a week, because living in a clean and happy home is the most important thing to keeping little ratties healthy, oh and lots of food!

A shock for our family

Our little rat, Willow, checking out a potted ivy plantOur dear sweet baby Willow died. It was a terrible blow for us, even though he had been poorly for a week, we just weren’t prepared to loose him. The previous weekend Willow had fallen in his cage and hurt his leg, not being able to get around made him quite depressed. While he was feeling unwell a respiratory infection took hold and our beautiful bouncy Willow just couldn’t shake it off. We took him to the vets and got him special rattie medicine, we also fed him lots of baby food to keep his strength up.

Sadly nothing we could do was enough. Willow was a very special bouncy little rat and his time with us far too short, we are both heart broken at his passing. While we love Biscuit and Badger dearly and Willow wasn’t even a planned addition to our family, things just won’t be the same without him. Biscuit and Badger are still just as spoilt as they have always been, but even so we can see that they miss Willow. He really was a special little rat who made a big impact on anyone who ever knew him with his happy outlook. Our family was very lucky to have known him, if only for such a short time.

3 images of out beautiful rat, Willow and his brother Badger

Biscuit has died

More bad news I’m afraid just after Christmas we noticed Biscuit had some weakness in his right hand side. He started to become a little clumsy, we took him to the vet who gave him a thorough check over. Unfortunately the diagnosis wasn’t good, our vet gave us some antibiotics just in case, but she felt as we did it was probably a tumour.

Our rat, Biscuit hiding in a dark corner

Our grumpy boy, Biscuit

Brave little Biscuit carried on enjoying the yummy baby food we gave him to keep him strong. Sadly Biscuit began having difficulty eating solid food and we knew it was time and we took our beautiful little Biscuit to the vets and said goodbye.

Sweet little Badger has passed away

Our husky rat, Badger snuggled in an orange fleece hatOur amazing and precious little Badger passed away. Old age just caught up with him and he gradually became weaker and started to loose his appetite. We agreed with our vet that any treatment they could offer would only be more distressing for Badger and it was best for him to let him go peacefully.

Badger had such a difficult start to his life, being so poorly as a baby and needing so much attention. He became very spoilt and expected rather a lot from us, not that we minded he was such a gentle little soul it was a pleasure to be around him. He grew into a very bossy little chap if we tried to get him out of bed when he didn’t want to he would wiggle and squeak until we gave in. He loved running around on the floor in the evening and if we didn’t sit on the floor with him he would get very cross and even nibble our toes. He had us so very well trained and now he has gone he has left a very big hole in our lives. We miss Badger so very very much, he was a cheeky little chap, who ate far to much of our dinner.

Willow, Biscuit & Badger enjoying some dinner

Willow, Biscuit & Badger enjoying some dinner