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Hello everyone. I am the proud owner of my first pet rat. I named her Ashley because she's a silver/ashy kinda colour and very girlie so I thought it would suite her.

I got her for my birthday from my boyfriend after begging for months. I learned quickly though that the cage he bought with her wasn't going to work after three successfull escapes :roll: I don't understand why a pet store would sell a cage so obviously not rat proof, but alas.

She is now living in a large borrowed aquarium which I have to cover as she soon learned to use her water bottle as an escape platform, then leap out performing a swan dive onto our "laundry" couch. Where the clean laundry sits until folded (usually a few days its the bf's job). Only his shirts fell victim to her nibbling and nesting while we were at work and she had free range.

I use wood shavings as bedding and after realizing the horror that is the price of rodent toys, got creative and created a rat palace with some cheap craft supplies. I made a condo out of a round shoe box. It has three levels. Bottom floor rags for her chewing and nesting pleasure, second floor has slip proof footing and her food bowl with a wooden bird ladder (she loves chewing it) that extends from the ledge to the other end of the tank ending on the roof of her woven hay nest which I bought from the pet store. Hanging from three wooden dowels I attached to the sides of the box is her third floor, a hammock I made with a dew rag and soft face cloth. She seems pretty happy.

I'd like to build her a bigger space thats more secure as she is definitely a little houdini.

I handle her every night. She still avoids being picked up but relaxes after a few mins and doesn't want to go back. I usually spend about a half and hour a night on the couch watching TV snuggled in a blanket and I just let her hang out on the couch and play hide and seek and tunnel around the blankets. She pops her head out and visits every couple minutes.

Last night kept sneaking up and licking my lips than darting back under the covers, it was like a weird game.

I've only had her for a week. She seems to be getting braver, but is still really nervous to be held and is only just starting to let me pet her or feed her by hand.

Does it sound like everything is normal with us. What kind of things can I expect as far as behavior is concerned.

thanks and hello everyone!!!!
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