My three rats are growing up! Over seven months old now, they enjoy romping around the room , sparring with each other, and being petted and gently tossed.
Here's a collection of recent free range photos of Widget, Cricket and Snip. I hope to capture some of the spirit of exploration, adventure and fun of free range time with the boys!
The boys are always delighted when free range time comes around... here are Snip and Cricket poking their heads out the newly opened door!
Cricket, the debonair black berkshire with a rakish stripe on his forehead, is the explorer. He is the first to find a new toy, climb a new bookcase, check out a new area. Sometimes I find him in the strangest places, high up off the ground! Or perhaps I turn around and find him cheerfully exploring my desk. It was Cricket, of course, who found his way into the CareFresh, dug happily for a while, and finally chewed a hole in the bag.
All of the rats have a fascination for anything related to feet. Bare toes, toes in socks, and shoes are irresistible to both Cricket and Widget.
And all three rats like to climb up into our laps as we sit at our desks. They scale the printer table and leap onto our knees, or sometimes they climb straight up our shins, hoisting themselves over the top!
Widget, the black rex berkshire, has become the top rat of the cage, in spite of his mild head tilt. His head tilt does not bother him, he climbs and runs and hops almost as well as his brothers. He gets himself into precarious situations just like his brother Cricket. His tilted head, and wavy unkempt rex fur, make him look like a pirate.
Widget chases his brothers, especially Snip, across the floor. Sometimes they stand and face each other, still as tiny statues, in tense "Nose Offs." Nose-Offs usually end with Snip turning and running away. Sometimes two of them box, and fast as an eyeblink one rat turns sideways, sidles, and kicks out with a back foot.
Snip, my little black hooded boy, often finds a safe place to hide after these altercations. His favorite place was on top of the computer, but Widget followed him there once and pushed him off, and Snip rarely goes there now. Snip's new favorite place is my desk chair, where he likes to sit and relax in peace. Widget, with his head tilt, can't reach him up there!
When free range time is over, I gather up the boys and put them back in their cage and feed them their dinner. In the cage, they enjoy sleeping in their nestbox, and sometimes on it (this looks so uncomfortable!) but their favorite spot is their fleece hammock!