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Hiya,

So I went to the pet shop to buy a bigger water bottle so my growing mischief didn't run out while I was with clients, asleep, or off with my kids and there was this sad, sad little ratty face sitting in a great big display cage full of cool rat toys and a mountain of food. The guy in the shop said that she was the last of her litter, and nobody had wanted her because she was so timid and ran when people tried to pick her up. He said that she had been very sociable with the other rats in her litter, but just didn't like people that much for some reason, and if I wanted her I could have her for half price as they were getting another litter in soon and didn't like mixing rats from different litters.

She was obviously suffering greatly from being there all alone - surrounded by every single thing a rat could want she merely sat in a corner and looked lost, like a person would do if they saw no future for themselves and were simply going through the motions. I had Ilsa and Rauha on me, I carry them around quite a bit and they absolutely love getting out and experiencing new scents, and the other rat could obviously smell them on me. I reached into her cage and she didn't even flinch - the guy in the shop said that she had never let anyone else pick her up so easily. I was assured that she was well - this is a top of the range pet shop, and they take good care of all the animals they sell, and have an animal surgery and vet on site that you get to join when you purchase a pet from them, and I've bought other animals from the chain in the past without any hassle.

The store put her in a small carry box, which she proceeded to chew away at - I could hear her going 'munch, munch, munch' as I headed back home, so I took her from the box and we had a quick introduction on a park bench. Both my other rats seemed to accept her no problem - big licks all round, lots of loving, a bit of wrestling but no biting or squeaking or other signs of distress. Before I could separate them and put the new rat back in the box all three of them headed for the sleeve that they usually travel in while I'm out and formed a neat rat ball. When we got home all three happily destroyed my existing cage set up - the hammock could only hold two, not three - and made it clear that an old torn up hat was the new sleeping place. The hammock actually got dragged off the top platform and dropped unceremoniously where they go to the toilet, and was removed.

Luckily a friend who works in catering popped over with some left overs, so the trio dined on a good selection of fresh and cooked vegetables and meats, followed by an apricot crumble and a small spoonful of icecream. I think that this just cemented the bonds further, Ilsa and Rauha probably linking this feast with the appearance of Aino, as once they had stuffed themselves they all curled together in one big ball and have been sleeping away quite happily.

So, there we go - Aino the Squeaker (my other two rats are pretty much mute, while Aino squeaks for attention sometimes) is now part of my pack. No more rats for me though - the cage is now at capacity and I can't afford a bigger one.
 

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I think you did a good thing, and exactly what I would've done in the same spot. Congrats on your new family member
 
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