Monday, August 5, 2013

Overrun with rodents

I would say I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I know: I like to rescue things. If we had the money we'd have ten houses, all old houses that had been subdivided into crappy apartments and needed restoration. If we had the space we'd also have twenty dogs, all rescued from the pound, and a few dozen cats that had been rescued too. So it was only natural that, when I saw that our animal shelter had made a Facebook post that mentioned having hamsters, I would head on down. Yaya has been asking for a hamster forever--even before we got his rats, he wanted a hamster. He changed his mind at the store, though.

So we went down there and snatched up this little guy, who has been named Spike.

I had planned to grab two or three since small hamsters like to live in groups, but Spike's three roommates had already been adopted. While we were there, Yaya was looking at a tank of three rats next to the hamster. He said something about us having rats, too, and how he would "have a ton of rodents now." The employee asked if we were interested, and I told her that if we had a cage we'd take them, but we didn't. She and another volunteer immediately said, "We have a cage. Do you want to take them? We'll give you a cage." It was the cage they'd come in in, and I really hope they weren't in it for long because it's probably a decent size for one rat, but nowhere near enough for three. It's this cage, I think, minus the accessories and shelf.

We thought about it and decided to switch the cages. The three new boys (as yet unnamed) are now in the big wire shelf cage.

The one on the left is the boss. He can be kind of a jerk, but I think that was just him being scared of his surroundings. He seems to be calming a bit. They're all always right there looking out when anyone walks by. They're very curious.

Here's the other boy. I think he gets picked on a little. He enjoys having a perch to take a nap alone.

Sirius and Regulus have been moved to the small cage for now.

This brings our total number of rodents to six. I think that's probably our rodent saturation point. To be perfectly honest, there was another rat down there that I really wish we could have taken--he looked so sad. His info said his owner had only had him for a week and then gave him up. First of all, a week? Really? It's a rat. It's not a no-maintenance pet (none are) but it's certainly easier than a dog or something. Second of all, rats like to be in groups. At least two males, I think females should be in threes so they don't fight as much. He was all alone. Rats can be OK alone as long as they get to spend a good amount of time with their humans, but that's obviously not the case. I don't have a cage for him, though, nor do we have a spot left to put him. I really hope someone else comes and takes him, but from the way they were talking at the shelter I got the impression that rats and hamsters don't move very fast.

I want to make a bigger wire shelf cage, maybe something like a divided cage. Someone on Craigslist had a really good amount of wire shelving posted for $25 but hasn't responded since I emailed Friday. He's got until Monday, then on Tuesday we pay retail.

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