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Box of Batrats!


This is the site of my rats, who I've affectionately nicknamed the Batrats because of how they whiz around their surroundings and excitedly swarm around us. The information here is mainly about how my rats live and what rat-keeping is like (and has been like) for me personally, bearing in mind it's a constant work in progress as methods and practices - foods, medications, cages, etc - evolve and develop. Rats are amazing pets with great personalities and qualities, a lot of energy and need for social interaction. I enjoy photographing animals and building websites, and I obviously think my rats are brilliant, so this site combines three hobbies :-) Photos are taken with a Nikon D5000, for which I have the 18-55mm + 55-200mm kit lenses, a 35mm f1.8, and a Speedlight SB-600 external flash unit.

Updates & news 2015-16

(or see archives for 2010-11, 2012, 2013 and 2014)

27/03/2016:

Wow, long break from here (although I've been updating individual pages for a while without uploading anything until it's all done). I had an entirely atrocious second half of 2015 and early 2016 in terms of rat losses and can't even begin to go into it - I've been putting off updating this site because it's so heartbreaking moving so many of my wonderful rats into the 'RIP' file :'( I lost 13 rats over 6 months - heart rats, young rats, old rats, some unexpectedly and some less surprising, some longterm poorly and others seemingly healthy, at home as well as being put to sleep, and many times have had serious thoughts of quitting altogether. To make an awful time worse, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) in September after months of increasingly disruptive symptoms, so there has been a whirlwind of hospital appointments, scans and blood tests, and the docs are still trying to stabilise me on a medication with millions of side effects, so to put it mildly I've hardly been at my most resilient whilst all of this has been happening.

Enough of the crap now - meet my amazing little December keepers instead; Lightfoot, Winterlong and Nash. I've also taken in a rescue (hello Fog), and three wonderful rats who have now sadly passed on - two from a friend who was down to her last two rats, and an old lone lady from my fourth litter. RIP Fen, Talla and Totoro.

03/08/2015:

There's been some incredibly sad and untimely losses recently, but I've also welcomed three lovely little keepers from my latest litter who are keeping me on my toes - say hi to Tinderbox, Afterglow and Scuttlebutt! They went to their first show at just under 9 weeks and were not just entirely unfazed, but also made a bit of a splash with Tinderbox winning Best in Show and Afterglow third Supreme Challenge. Fingers crossed Tinderbox gets to keep her lovely ears intact during the intro to my big girl group...

The work on revamping the rat room continues and I have high hopes to get it to a point where the space works much better (in terms of cages and freerange) during the autumn.

28/06/2015:

I've updated this site several times since February, just never got round to actually uploading the files! I've had a number of sad losses, exciting additions, cage changes, new Lovecraft litters, and...life continues, really. More of the same, more of the same. I'll still need to upload a bunch of photos so hopefully that will get done over the next few weeks!

19/02/2015:

I'm now officially a buck owner, having been unable to part with Malone and Toad's little sons. Welcome Avanti, Echo and Renegade! They're living with daddy Toad and distant Brandywine relatives Skylake and Gaston, as part of the final step in an old master plan to help my friend Jemma's switch to keeping does. I also kept two of the baby girls, Tivoli and Rigmarole, with the other two girls moving to Jemma for a lifetime of being well and truly adored

In sadder news, Kazoo and Tusk have passed away at 27 and 31 months respectively. Both went at home (albeit Kazoo with considerably more grace) and are sorely missed.

I've been quite ill with a bad chest infection for a couple of weeks and not spent as much time with the rats as usual, but when the antibiotics started kicking in I was at least able to give this website a bit of TLC.

I should also mention that we went to the Burgess Small Animal Show in Harrogate on 24th January. My little Horsebus stunned me by winning Best in Show (out of some 90-odd rats) and then Delaney was Best Pet, so a completely surreal Lovecraft double whammy. I've still not processed it properly, and also need to get round to taking some pics of Horsebus with her amazing rosettes and trophys! For anyone who's interested, we're going to be in the March issue of Fur & Feather :)

18/01/2015:

Belated happy new year! Things are pottering along nicely here, with everyone being sweet, fun and happy - with a rather huge helping of naughty, of course, but I wouldn't have it any other way! We've not had any losses at all since June; I do have 6 rats now who are 26-30 months although they're all in good shape so hopefully we'll get a few more months together, at least. I spent Christmas mesmerized by Malone's magic little gang, who are four weeks now and utterly adorable. Next week I'll be stewarding at the Harrogate small animal show, and I think I'll be having a cage rejig over the next few months to see if I can make better use of the space.

 

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