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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nice to meet you all!

I've been using the Rat Forum for quite a while for help with my darlings, but it wasn't until the passing of my most recent rat that I realized I wanted to be a more active part of the community.

A little back story: I would consider my first true pet rat to have actually been my sister's rat. I had a rat before (an albino named Bijou, after the Hamtaro character), but I had never quite bonded like I did to the fabulous Ratman (it took us several months to decide on a name, until this one stuck).
Rat Degu Muridae Gerbil Rodent

As I mentioned, he was my sister's rat, but over the months it begun to fall on me to take care of him, seeing as I am the least allergic in my family. This included bathing him, cleaning his house, and spending many evenings playing with him in my room. My heart melted for this little creature, and I was never the same again. I was devastated when he passed (though he was over 2 years old).

Also, it is important to note something I mentioned: I am the least allergic, but I am actually still allergic to all furry animals. I just can't resist the temptation! ;D

It was a few years before I was able to get another rat, as my parents were overwhelmed by the allergens, so I filled my heart with gerbils for the time. However, once I moved out on my own with my boyfriend about a year ago, we had the opportunity to adopt the lovely Jackson. Jackson was beautiful, with a heart of gold. A few months before we had adopted her, she had witnessed her sister be eaten by a dog. Since then, her owner was preparing us for a shy, meek rat. This, however, was not the rat we got. Instead, Jackie (as we came to call her), was full of energy, always greeting anyone (even complete strangers!) and begging to be released from her prison (cage :p) to get into all sorts of trouble.
Rat Mammal Mouse Muridae Gerbil

For the longest time, Jackie was a mystery to me. I knew she was a dumbo (what with her sweet face!), but her strange, wooly, slightly patchy fur confused me. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I believe I was able to identify her (agouti saxon rex?), but by that point we were actually very close to losing her.

I do feel as though I need to go somewhat in depth with this, as I am still reeling slightly from her death, and I believe writing it out will give me some closure. Around two weeks ago, Jackie began to disappear for long stretches of time during free range time. We thought nothing of it -- she was just sleepy! A few nights ago, however, when I wasn't home, my boyfriend was witness to Jackie having a seizure. She didn't survive, and passed in his arms. In subsequent research, my boyfriend discovered that rats will often sequester themselves away when they know they are about to have a seizure. It both dawned on us then where she had been vanishing to this whole time. We were crushed, but touched that she would try to hide this to keep us from worrying (something our Jackie would totally do <3).

Following her death, my boyfriend and I realized that we were coming home to a very quiet house. All that remained was my darling Havoc, an incredibly puffy gray gerbil. My boyfriend and I realized that we needed the type of energetic life that only a rat could bring, and after discussing it, decided that Jackie would more than approve, and would be happy to see us happy. With that, I introduce the girls: Echo and Speckle.

Rat Muridae Mouse Skin Rodent

That's Echo in the front, and her sister poking her head out. Typical of these two: Echo is the adventurous sort, and Speckle likes to stick close to me.

Rat Vertebrate Mammal Muridae Rodent
Here's a better picture of Speckle (such named because of the dark speckling on her tail). She's much smaller than her sister. ;D

Canidae Dog breed Puppy Carnivore Kitten
Finally, what set of rat pictures is complete without fuzzy butts?

The girls are warming up to us very quickly...just today they were both asleep in my hair as I watched a movie, and Echo even did tiny baby rodentistry. I'm so happy that I am finally in a situation where I can have two at once, because I know how important that is, and it's so sweet to watch them interact.

And that's my story! Sorry about the long post--I'm just very proud of all my babies, and like to show them off at any opportunity. But...don't we all? ;)

Thanks for reading. I'm looking forward to meeting all of you and your fuzzy sweethearts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oops! I just realized I hadn't actually said anything about myself! Funny how that happens when I start talking about my bubs. ;)

I'll keep this short and sweet. I'm a 21 year old college student in Utah, studying for a degree in computer science with hopes of becoming a video game programmer. While I'm on the topic, I greatly enjoy MMOs, especially World of Warcraft, but occasionally I will gravitate towards an RTS or a more traditional RPG. My boyfriend and I also play Dungeons and Dragons regularly.

Besides my schooling, I am also a tutor at a local high school. Happily, the students seem to like me rather well! In the future, I would also be interested in DJing, leatherworking (and other armor and weapon crafting for LARPing), and it is my current dream to one day open up a sanctuary for rats and rodents of all kinds. Here's hoping my darlings can continue to be amazing teachers so that I will be better prepared!

Again, nice to meet all of you! :)
 

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That was a great story and I am happy that you have 2 beautiful new ladies now:) your story about your other rats was beautiful.
 

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I loved reading this post, it seems like you really made the life of Jackie worthwhile loving and happy she was very lucky to have you both<3 Rest in Peace Jackie<3
I'm happy for your new babies and looking forward to their updates Rosewired :)
The only game that I have ever sort of play is Hearthstone and I am definitely not an expert lol :p but it is fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your kind words, everyone. I'm feeling much better these days, especially when I have two baby rats fast asleep in my hair! :D
 
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