Cookie, Bourbon, Coral & Clover

October 2004 - August 2006

Cookie, Bourbon, Coral & Clover

Cookie, Bourbon, Coral & Clover

We have adopted four new rats

Coral and Clover

Coral and Clover

We decided there was room in our home for some more little ratties. Instead of going down the pet shop we wanted to rehome some rats. Derek telephoned our local Wood Green Animal Shelter, they had twelve rats looking for a home, so off we went. Derek was hoping for some little girls, but I didn’t care. The twelve rats were all in an enormous cage together, the boys were all neutered so everyone could live happily together. Before we could choose our rats we had to prove we had a nice big cage for everyone to live in, as our cage is to big to fit in our car we used the pictures on this web site to show how much we love and spoil little rats. After seeing our web page the animal shelter assistant obviously knew we were push overs and pulled out two large brown boys, who had been with the shelter for awhile and needed a home. I took one look at the boys and fell in love, they were so friendly and gentle. Derek still wanted some girls and already had his eye on a baby cinnamon hooded rat who had gently placed his finger in her mouth to see what he tasted like. While the assistant was looking for her sister the cheeky little rat disappeared up Derek’s sleeve. So that was our four.

Naming the rats has been fun, at the homing centre the girls were called Rachel and Rosie and the boys Carl and Hammer. As each pair of rats looks pretty much the same we had no idea which was which. So we decided to rename them to make them part of the family. As Lindsay wanted the boys it was up to her to name them, so they are now called Cookie and Bourbon. Derek took a little longer to think of his names, with the help of Fancy Rats website he came up with Coral and Clover.

Our new arrivals taking in they new surroundings

Our new arrivals taking in they new surroundings

Unfortunately the new little ratties have found the whole experience very stressful. We are being very gentle with them, not taking them away from their cage and of course giving them yoghurt drops. It must be a shock to have come from the homing centre sharing with twelve rats, but we hope given time they will adapt and enjoy their new home and all the attention we have to offer.

An update on our cheeky rats

Coral and Cookie wanting attention

Coral and Cookie wanting attention

It has been just over two months since we adopted these guys and they have settled into our family really well. They took awhile to adjust to their new surroundings and family and the two girls nipped our fingers a few times. The biggest change we noticed was in the state of their fur. As the rats had just been treated for lice their fur was not in the best of conditions when we collected them. Bourbon in particular looked the worst out of the bunch, his fur was fairly thin in places. It only took a few weeks for Bourbon’s fur to return to it’s shiny healthy condition and he certainly is a very handsome rat.

All is not perfect though our new bunch are terrible gnawers and will chomp through anything we put in their home. I spent a long time making them hammocks and other cosy places to sleep, but this silly little bunch like to lie in them chomping their way through until it collapses, dropping them and whoever is napping in there with them onto the floor, what a silly bunch. I have made them lots more things to sleep in/chew up out of any old fabric I can find and as long as long no one gets hurt we don’t mind.

Cookie and Bourbon and Coral & Clover our and about

Cookie and Bourbon and Coral & Clover our and about

Bourbon has passed away

Bourbon

Bourbon

Our happy, fun loving, little Bourbon has died. For almost 2 weeks he had been having intermittent problems with his breathing. He would get in a terrible panic and not be able to get his breath, it was very horrible to see him so upset and distressed. He began to loose some weight and condition and became very depressed. We took him to our vet who gave him a very thorough check over. He was not suffering from a respiratory infection, but she thought it could be a problem similar to asthma. He was given an injection of steroids. We were warned that it may not help, but if it was going to Bourbon would be feeling better 24 – 48 hours later.

The next morning we got up hoping for the best and sure enough Bourbon was feeling much better. After seeing him feeling low, it was nice to see him enjoying himself again bouncing around and getting into mischief. Our vet advised us to bring Bourbon back again after four days for some more medicine, a slow release steroid that would last him four weeks and help him build his strength up. The first treatment was already showing signs of wearing off, so we took Bourbon for his treatment on the 26th March. Unfortunately his condition continued to deteriorate and he died peacefully in my hands on the Wednesday morning.

Cookie, Coral & Clover are all doing okay. They love being picked out of their cage and handled, especially if there is a treat in it for them. They are all even getting used to the cats and don’t mind when Custard gets too curious and puts his nose up to the cage. I do warn him though one day he will get it bitten. Things won’t be the same without Bourbon, he had a very special way of making sure he was everyone’s favourite rat.

Bourbon (right) with his brother, Cookie and Clover

Bourbon (right) with his brother, Cookie and Clover

Clover has passed away

Little Clover

Little Clover

It’s been a difficult year for our little ratties. Firstly we had our little Clover put to sleep in March, she had an inoperable tumour that had begun to interfere with her quality of life. Coral took the loss of her sister very hard. Loosing her appetite and being very naughty were just some of the ways she showed us her unhappiness. Worryingly during this time Coral lost quite a bit of weight and developed a respiratory infection, while her eating has returned to normal she is still on a course of baytril and we are hoping that we can get her back to full health.

Cookie has also been giving us cause for concern, by being a very naughty little boy. He always had a bad habit of nipping his sisters behind their ears and since Clover has gone he only has Coral to harass. As a result poor Coral has ended up with a bald head and she does look a little odd. There is nothing malicious in the way Cookie is towards his sister, she doesn’t squeak or even try to get away from him. If anything Coral is more than capable of beating Cookie up, even with her breathing problems. All we have been able to do is tell Cookie off whenever we catch him nipping his sister, but of course he never listens to us. He is a wobbly old boy now, we’re not sure exactly how old his is, but given what we were told at the homing centre and how long he’s lived with us he must well over two and a half years old, so he his no real danger to anyone but himself when he gets over ambitious with his climbing and lands on his bottom.

Coral and Cookie

Coral and Cookie

Another sad update

Coral

Coral

More sad news for our little family. We had our naughty little Coral put to sleep. She had seemed to bounce back from the loss of her sister Clover, which she had taken quite badly. But she never managed to put back the weight she had lost. That coupled with her breathing problems started to get her down, she also had started to form quite a few tumours. Our vet was concerned that one of these was actually responsible for her breathing problems.

We all miss her, but no one more than Cookie. He took the loss of his sister very hard and at first didn’t come out of his cage. If anyone tried to pick him up he would wiggle and squeak, he was not a happy boy. Fortunately he has settled down again now, though he still doesn’t like being picked out of his cage, we have to wait for him to come out of his own accord. He is still a wobbly old boy, though he doesn’t let it stop him getting about, he just takes more time in doing it. We have lowered all his beds and hammocks to make it easier for him to get to them and if he should have a fall, he is near the ground. Apart from being on his own, he seems happy and we are certainly giving him lots of attention and treats.

Cookie has passed away

Our lovely boy, Cookie

Our lovely boy, Cookie

We’ve had to say a sad goodbye to our gentle little Cookie. He had lost some use of his back feet, although he didn’t let it get him down or stop him getting around his cage. Unfortunately old age caught up with him and in the space of twenty-four hours his condition deteriorated drastically, he became very confused and his breathing very laboured. We made the very sad and difficult decision to take our little Cookie to the vet and have him put to sleep before he really began to suffer.

Bourbon, Cookie, Coral and Clover were our first experience of adopting ratties from a homing centre and while at times they were hard work, we really do miss them very much.

Bourbon, Cookie, Coral and Clover helping at clean out time

Bourbon, Cookie, Coral and Clover helping at clean out time