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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Play Place Results

In my last post, I wrote about the play place I built for our two rats. At first they were afraid and spent their time trying to find a way out. Both were able to jump to the window screen and hold on, but Fiona could actually jump to the top of the largest box and walk around on the inside flap. I had this box held shut with a heavy paint can, but she continued to try to squeeze her way out. So far she has not been successful.

With nowhere else for them to go, I just kept putting them in this box and adding a few nibbles of treats. They eventually explored further to the box on the opposite end. One day I saw Sugar in nowhere near the wheel, yet I heard it spinning around. I was astounded to find that Fiona was running on the wheel. One time I caught her with only her front feet on the wheel and she would make it go around that way. She must have gotten the courage to get on up there because it wasn’t long before she was on a full run. Whether she learned this from watching Sugar or just from shear boredom, I don’t know, but I’m glad she’s getting the exercise she needs because she was starting to get a little plump.

Poor Sugar now has two mammary tumors and may only be with us for a few more months. So far, she’s acting and eating fine, but she’s looking a little thinner than usual. The bigger the tumors get, the harder it will be for her to move around. So sad.

I’m probably going to take a break from keeping rats for a while. I won’t replace Sugar and we’ll likely have Fiona for another two years. It will be hard to have just one rat, but I feel like I need a break from cleaning and Fiona is kind of handful with her need for so much stimulation. We’ll see if I can stick to the plan.

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