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Nancy (RIP)

   
Nancy at 24 months
Origin: Manchester Rodent Rescue
Born: 20 June 2010 (estimate)
Died: 24 September 2012: Aged 27 months
Cause of death: Worsening neurological symptoms not responding to steroids (PTS)
Colour/variety: Black hooded
Health: On/off resp infections, spayed for being very hormonal, possible UTI and undefined minor neurological issues from 25 months
Weight: 313g
Temperament: Busy, friendly but independent - not a people-rat. Spayed because of going mental when in season.
Nicknames: Nance, Birdy, Mummy-girl, Nancy-pants, Baby-face

24/09/2012: Nancy's neurological symptoms were no longer responding to steroid treatment and she looked very unhappy and tired; she very much felt like she's "done". On the way to the vets, she and Pepper curled up really sweetly in the carrier together. Nancy was quite an aloof rat and although she didn't mind human contact, she didn't seek it out and was perfectly content without a lot of fussing.

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We picked up Nancy from Manchester Rodent Rescue because we'd taken in Rae from a local rescue and she needed same-age company. Nancy was part of a large rescue of over 30 rats that had been found in a young boy's bedroom after he secretly bought two "females" from a petshop and they proceeded to breed! Nancy had a litter at a very young age (5-6 weeks) which was also handed in to the rescue, and she is in fact the grandmother of two boys who now live with one of my friends. Because Nancy didn't get the nutrients she needed during pregnancy and lactation, her own growth was stunted although she looks pretty normal as an adult - and it is a bit difficult to keep the weight off her since her spay. She is headstrong with a mind of her own, and had issues getting along with Busby and Dicey because she refused to submit to them. Whenever they sidled up to her, Nancy would lean back on her haunches and open her little mouth as wide as it would go and squeal extremely loudly! She looked just like a baby bird being fed. Nancy has a very bright and cute expression, and she's very pingy and fast - and the control-freak of the cage! For her first few months here she used to hate being picked up and squeak at us, but she's now completely tractable, happy to be held and comes to see us quite a lot during freerange, but she'll never be a people-rat.

Nancy was spayed in April 2011 because she went crazy nest-building whenever she was in season. She would bring ridiculous amounts of cardboard into the cube, and beat up anyone who got in the way of her. The spay went well and she recovered extremely quickly; the difference it has made to her behaviour is enormous and exceeded my expectations. She is still playful and pingy but calmer with the other rats and much more laid-back when it comes to hierarchy and group dynamics. Nancy is however a bit of a loner and I regret not also homing a couple of her daughters, as perhaps that would have made the transition easier for her.

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