Kapy, Powy, Mango & Chips

February 2012 - November 2014

Kapy (front), Powy, Mango & Chips

Kapy (front), Powy, Mango & Chips

Two super cute husky rats

Kapy

Kapy

As is becoming the story of my life, I was at the pet store picking up supplies when I caught sight of these two gorgeous husky rats. Next to Agoutis, husky rats are irresistible to me, especially when I have empty rat cages, and an old lonely rat missing his brothers, at home.

So, two super gorgeous little boys have joined our family. I’ve names our new guys Kapy and Powy, or the Kappow Brothers. There’s something about these too that makes me think they are going to be trouble when they get older, and their names seems to fit that. They both have very distinctive markings, so it’s nice and easy to tell them apart, and of course I am really looking forward to watching their fur fade as they grow.

I’m pleased to say introducing them to our old guy Panda has been incredibly easy. The new guys are more than happy exploring their new home, they’ve been to see Panda and he ignored them, so they moved on to more interesting things. At the moment Panda is trying to act all aloof, sitting up in his hammock while the new guys charge around the cage and explore everything – except Panda’s hammock – but Panda’s not fooling anyone, and I’m sure he’s actually quite interested in the little rats who are clambering around his cage. I do think the age difference is working in our favour, Panda is a bit too old to be interested in the crazy young rats, and they are to young and excitable to worry about Panda. The most important thing is there is lots of room for everyone to do their own thing.

Powy

Powy

Being the troublesome little spirits that I think they are, they have taken no time at all to settle in and are very adventurous. Only time will tell if I’m right about what little devils they’re going to be and whether they will grow in to their names. Whatever their personalities, Derek and I are going to have a lot of fun getting to know them.

Come on out boys

Kapy and Powy are wonderful little guys, with one exception getting them out of the cage! Don’t get me wrong they are very adventurous and playful rats, they just don’t seem convinced by the world outside their home. Not even our old boy, Panda who comes and goes freely is enough to get them out. They watch him go, rather longingly, but don’t follow.

Even more frustratingly the boys have started climbing up their cage when they come out, rather than on to the floor where they can run and play. We put their cage on the floor, next to the unit their cage normally sits on and they come out give a suspicious look at the floor then go up onto the unit and find nothing to do! Not even getting them out and popping them on the floor, near their home, can convince them.

It’s not that I mind their silliness, I just get the impression they don’t get it and as they grow bigger they need their world to expand with them. For now all we can do is encourage the boys and hopefully they will learn what fun the floor is!

Two more little boys to add to the fun

Chips

Chips

It may be hard to believe, but these two new arrivals are all Derek’s fault! He spotted them at the pet store and had to point them out to me. I was trying to be strong and resist them, so Derek, very helpfully pointed out they were like a mini Pepper and Pippin. Well, that did it and home they came.

As the new boys are miniature versions of our past boys Pepper and Pippin, we have named them, Mango and Chips, well it makes sense to us. The boys are settling in really well, and we’ve had no problems introducing them to Kapy and Powy. Mango and Chips are very sweet and gentle little boys, and from the looks of things they adore our two bigger boys. It is lovely to see them all interacting and there have been no signs of aggression at all, which is wonderful. To look at the four of them you’d think they’d known each other all their lives. I’m really thrilled for the boys, as they all look so comfortable together, and of course it’s great for me not having another cage to clean out.

Mango

Mango

Kapy and Powy have grown into their nickname of the ‘Kapow Brothers’ and are very rough and tumble with each other, but when it comes to Mango and Chips, they are so gentle and loving. It’s amazing to see. The biggest problem we have is Kapy and Powy are very demonstrative rats, they love to groom each other, and they are quite rough about it, pulling the other one about in the process. The boys have already turned their attention to Mango and Chips, and Derek and I will often rush into the room hearing squeaking only to find some vigorous grooming going on.

I am not anticipating any problems developing between the boys, but I will keeping a close eye on them as they get older to make sure everyone is happy and no squabbles break out, as can happen with maturing rats. The boys all look so content with each other right now, I think they are going to continue to be best of friends.

Now they're all at it

Climbing up the cage that is! Four boys all refusing to run around on the floor, I don’t know what to think – sigh.

Kapy's little accident

Our clumsy boy, Kapy

Our clumsy boy, Kapy

Poor Kapy has hurt his foot, it’s very swollen and he doesn’t like standing on it. I’m pretty sure nothing is broken as he is managing to hobble round and he is still able to climb up to his favourite bed at the top of the cage.

We can only guess he twisted it climbing up the bars to bed, or maybe he fell off one of their wooden ledges. They are meant to help them get around the cage, but Kapy has gotten a bit large of bottom and struggles to fit on them, so he could have fallen off one of those. Either way I’m going to have to sort something out.

It’s hard to say whether the brothers are clumsy or a bit lazy, because I’ve noticed they don’t always take care when getting up to their higher beds, choosing to scramble up the last bit rather than get high enough to step onto the shelves. Mango and Chips do fine, but they are smaller boys so I guess it’s easier for them. The boys already have two large corner shelves and some wooden ledges in their home so I’m not sure what else I can do. My thinking at the moment is a new cage – just don’t tell Derek!

A new home for my boys

Not all rats suit the same cage style and this is proving true with my boys, particularly Kapy and Powy who have developed into rather large and clumsy chaps. Their old cage was a tall one, with lots of shelves and hanging beds it to encourage climbing and adventure. Unfortunately my guys just didn’t get on with it, and after Kapy hurt his foot I was worried someone was going to end up having a serious accident. So, I’d been looking around for new cages for awhile when I saw a two storey rabbit cage at our local pet shop, and I knew I’d found the perfect cage for my guys.

The new cage is a Ferplast, Rabbit 100 Double. It is a two tier cage designed for dwarf rabbits and guinea pigs. As with so many pet cages, it doesn’t seem very suited to its intended inhabitants, not that I have to worry about that, because my rats love it. They look great in it too.

The boys new home

The boys new home

The boys have actually gained more space with the new cage, as its a bit wider than their old one and about as high. My only concern is the wooden ramp between the two levels. It’s nice and smooth so I’m not worried about splinters, but if it gets to smelly I’ll have to sort out an alternative. For now the ramp provides some great exercise for them, as their main sleeping area is upstairs and their food and water is downstairs. I’ve added all their old beds and shelves, minus the wooden ledges that were a bit small for the larger boys, so everything is pretty much the same for them, and all their sleeping areas are linked by tubes so once up there they can get around, hopefully without falling.

Its tiring moving house

Its tiring moving house

When I first put them in the new cage there was some confusion, they couldn’t figure out the whole upstairs downstairs concept. It was quiet funny watching them wondering why their home had shrunk, but with a bit of encouragement we got them upstairs and they were up and down like it was a great game. Things have gone a bit quiet now though, I think they’ve worn themselves out so we’ll probably be giving playtime a miss tonight.

No doubt the new door arrangement will be another challenge. For some reason our boys like exiting their cage through the top door. On their old cage the whole top section opened and they’d pour out of it. This cage doesn’t work like that, there is a nice big sliding door downstairs and then upstairs the whole front opens up. The boys love coming out though, so I’m hopeful they’ll figure it all out. I guess I’ll have to wait until they’ve had a big sleep to find out though.

Some shocking news

I am very sad to say that our beautiful boy Powy has passed away. We don’t really know what happened, Powy was a happy, healthy, if slightly nippy rat and he slipped away without warning. We found him yesterday curled up in his bed like he’d just fallen asleep and not woken up, he was such a lovely guy we really are going to miss him.

Powy in his favourite place

Powy in his favourite place

Rattie wrong doing

The guys were pretty down after the death of their brother Powy, but I’m really pleased to say things have slowly got back to normal with them I’m sure they still miss him, as do I, but I think they’ve sorted themselves out and I’m pleased to say much silliness has resumed in their cage.

It’s not the greatest picture in the world, but it shows the love the boys have for each other. Rather than fighting with Chips, Kapy is actually grooming him and Chips is one of those rats who rolls over at the slightest provocation.

Kapy and Chips being silly

Kapy and Chips being silly

Kapy's under the weather

Our poorly rat Kapy enjoying some cuddlesWe’re taking extra special care of our guy Kapy at the moment. He’s always been a bit of a scruffy boy, he lost some condition after his brother died and he never really got it back, but lately he’s taken a sudden decline. There has been no real noticeable drop in his appetite, but he has gotten very thin and his fur even scruffier. We’ve been feeding him baby food, which he loves and hopefully it’ll help build him back up and give him the strength to get through whatever has made him poorly.

For now though we are spending lots of time cuddling our poorly boy and hoping all our love will help make him feel better soon.

A double blow for our family

In the space of three days both our lovely boy Kapy and his sweet little brother Mango have passed away. Kapy had been a bit under the weather for awhile, but with lots of love, attention and baby food his condition had started to improve. He was back to spending more time with his brothers and getting about his cage more. We honestly thought he was on the mend, but sadly on Saturday we found he’d passed away. Bless him he looked so peaceful laying on his side in bed, like he’d slipped away dreaming happy dreams.

Unfortunately during Kapy’s illness little Mango had taken another turn for the worse. I don’t know if it was due to all the time Kapy was spending away from the cage as we cared for him, or just a horrible coincidence, but Mango Mango’s condition deteriorated very quickly until we had no choice but to take him to the vets and let him go. Mango has struggled on and off with respiratory problems since we first had him. Usually a strong course of Baytril would sort him out and he’d be okay for a few months then it would hit again. He was usually quite bright and happy, though not impressed with his medicine, but it never affected his enjoyment of life, and had become one of those things. This time though we could see he was in terrible difficulties and we knew we had to take care of him.

Chips, Kapy and Mango our beautiful boys

Chips, Kapy and Mango our beautiful boys

It’s been a difficult few days, more so for our gorgeous boy, Chips who has lost his two bothers and looks terribly lost in that big cage on his own. Right from the start the four boys were incredibly loving with each other and despite their size, different personalities and little Mango’s health problems they loved each other deeply and always slept together in a rather smelly rattie pile up.

We shall keep a close eye on Chips and see what we can do to get him through this difficult time.

Some new rattie friends for Chips

Chips on top of a rattie pile-up with his new brothers

Chips on top of a rattie pile-up with his new brothers

After a few days by himself, we could see our sweet guy Chips wasn’t happy on his own. We tried to give him lots of attention, and treats, but nothing could make up for the loss of his brothers. What once was a lovely big cage looked so lonely and sad, with little Chips wandering around like he was looking for some company. I didn’t think putting him in a smaller home would help, he’d still be by himself and probably wonder where he was. So there was nothing for it – I started the search for some new brothers.

Knowing I wanted mature rats I started my search at the RSPCA, but the two boys they had were very poorly and I could not risk Chips health by adopting them. It was on a visit to the pet store I discovered some rather large boys who needed a home. While I only intended to get Chips two, maybe three brothers, we ended up with six new rats! Not that Chips cared, he was just thrilled to have some new ratite company. It’s great to see our sweet guy looking so happy and most importantly always in the middle of a sleeping pile of rats.

A peaceful end for our scruffy guy Chips

Our gorgeous rat, Chips curled up asleepAfter a wonderful two and a half years with our scruffy, characterful boy, little Chips has passed away quietly in his sleep. Over the past month or so we have seen a general decline in his mobility, not that it stopped Chips getting into all kinds of mischief, but there was no missing the fact he had started dragging himself along when he came out to play. As was the way with Chips nothing stopped him exploring or clambering up into his favourite beds in his home, and he was always the first at the door at dinner time.

He had joined us for dinner today, having his fill of his favourite treat pizza crust before disappearing to bed with his younger brothers. Then about threeish he came down for some rat food, before clambering into one of his downstairs beds and settling down for a nap. I was sitting in the dinning room and didn’t hear a peep out of him until Derek went over to see the boys and Chips he saw that Chips had passed. Though we are sad to say goodbye to our wonderful little guy, knowing Chips passed so peacefully is very comforting and suits Chips laid back personality beautifully.

Kapy, Chips and Mango enjoying life and each other

Kapy, Chips and Mango enjoying life and each other