I am still learning what Gus knows, what Gus doesn't know, and what Gus ~pretends~ not to know when it's in his advantage.
Even though he's a pretty big boy, he isn't yet five months old, and still displays lots of "baby" behavior. I talk to him constantly, and I know he picks up on a lot of the basic words, and even if he doesn't get the words, he gets information from the sound of my voice, when I say it.
We were playing in the (rat-proofed) bathroom tonight...I call it the "scamper room." Gus loves the cabinets, and I give him kleenex, cotton balls, and other stuff, which he loves, because he's setting up a home away from home in there. He recently really surprised me, because he showed me that he was able to enter the cabinets, pull himself up to a tiny ledge with his forelegs alone, and squeeze in the back of the ONE drawer I have in the bathroom. Strong AND nimble!
I thought it was cute, even though I spoil him with everything, and he doesn't really ~need~ to get into the drawer. I asked him, "Do you want everything in the world PLUS a drawer??? Well, OK, I love you, so we can share the drawer!" (Happy happy from Gus over this, of course.)
Anyway, during tonight's play session, he was spending a big block of time in that drawer, and I pointed out to him that we really should spend our "together time" TOGETHER. This was too sophisticated for him to understand, of course, so I tried an experiment: I wanted to see if he would listen to me if I gave him the most important command ever...the command that might, one day, save his life.
Very nicely, and very clearly, I said, "Gus, come here!" I know he knows what I mean, but he really liked that drawer, and I didn't know if he would listen to me.
Well...he popped right out of the drawer, and came to me as soon as he could!
I massaged him, and made a big deal of how good he was. He felt it was worth it to come when I call.
Not only am I relieved that he knows and obeys that command, but I'm also very flattered. I know that he wouldn't come to me whenever I wanted, unless he loved me, and associated me with good things happening. After all, he's an individual in his own right, and no one can force him to come if he doesn't want to. Sigh. I love my ratty!
On a tangent, Gus bit me today, and I bled...but he only did it because of love. My thumb was bandaged, and he was out, and he decided to nibble at the bandages. I thought, "Oh, that's cute! All animals want to at least attempt to pull bandages off, when THEY are bandaged, and now Gus wants to 'help' me out of these 'awful' bandages."
About the time I was thinking this, Gus decided to get really serious about getting the bandage off, and he started biting hard, and pulling it off really quickly, and before he knew it, he bit my thumb instead of the wrappings! Of course, he was very sorry, and licked my wound until it was "better." :roll: I tell you - this guy! Gotta love him!
Sorry this post was so long and rambling...I guess I get very enthusiastic when talking about the cute things that rats do.