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This isn't a thread with a cute/funny story, or an important question, or anything like that. It's more of something that occurred to me while I was playing with my ratties, and just musing.

First, I should say, for those who don't know, that the "playroom" is my bathroom, which includes cabinets, one drawer, and a shower. Gregor ran around in the cabinets, but kept his "stuff" behind the trashcan. Gus, however, moved in. First, he wanted the drawer, so I gave him the WHOLE drawer...removed all of my stuff...and then, he wanted a "say" in how the cabinets were decorated. Namely: nothing that was potentially dangerous to rats, lots of boxes for gnawing, cotton balls, tissues, etc. So, we're "sharing" those, but Gus is in charge. Boo just "inheirited" the cabinet set up, although Gus isn't happy about sharing the drawer. The whole place is not only rat-proofed, it's rat-friendly. (I intend to buy them a ladder, soon, to help them get to a hard to reach place. It's definitely theirs.)

But that's not really what I'm posting about...it just comes into play, later.

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I was remembering, and appreciating, those special "moments" that we share, where we communicate with each other, and we each know that the other understands. (I have a lot of these with Gregor, too.)

Some examples:

* Gus used to know the word, "pet," and the word, "love," but he did not associate them. One day, I was petting him, and repeating the words, alternating. "Pet, love, pet, love..." I saw comprehension dawn in his eyes. He "got" it! Pet = love. We pet each other to show love. Ever since then, he's loved to lie still and get pet, because he knows it's how I show love.

* This works two ways, of course. If my boys want a certain food, they "tell" me, by going over to the place where I usually put the food, and staring at it. And when they want to come out to play, they get as close to me as possible, stare at me, and climb up and down, making a ruckus. They're "talking" to me. It's up to me to listen.

[EDIT: ADDITIONAL THOUGHT] Gregor Samsa, my first rat, was excellent at communication. One of my favorite examples is this: He had a hanging shish-k-bob with a bell on it, and I would put fruit on it each day for him. His favorite was watermelon, and, in the Summer months, when it was available, he was rarely without it. HOWEVER, if he did run out of watermelon, and discovered this fact, he would grab that shish-k-bob and shake it with all his might, to make the bell ring! He was a furry Quasimodo, shouting, "Watermelon! Watermelon!" instead of "Sanctuary! Sanctuary!" :lol:

* Gus just connected with the fact that I will try to "help" him to get what he wants. The other night, he was trying to get a big and heavy envelope into his drawer, and you have to climb up to get to the drawer...he just couldn't make it. He went in the drawer to consider the problem, and while he was in there, I slid the envelope to him. (He was upset, because Boo was trying to take it.) He didn't fully understand then, but tonight, I gave him a "gnawing stick" that he was trying to get up to his drawer, and Boo kept blocking him, and he just couldn't make it. So I called him to me, and eventually he came, with the gnaw stick in his mouth. I told him, "There's another way!" I opened up the drawer, and let him in from the OUTSIDE - a new thing! And NOW he understands that, indeed, I'm helping him to bring things to his drawer. We communicated.

* Boo used to think that touching was either a reason to run, or an excuse to wrestle. I'll never forget the first time he let me stroke his ears and head. He realized that touching might be good just because it feels good. He still likes to run and wrestle, but ever since then, he's enjoyed petting now and then, and LOVES to be pet as he falls asleep.

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Do you have any examples of "moments of connection?" I think that this communication is very precious, and a basis for a truly loving relationship.
 

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When I got my first rats it took a while for me to have a 'connection' with them. But when I did, it was one of the greatest moments of my rattie experiences.
Wow, your little ratties really 'love' you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, the love is mutual. :D

I truly enjoy every moment that my rats and I spend together, but I feel as though those special moments, when we both comprehend something specific, are extremely special. There is always a general feeling of mutual love, of course, but it feels amazing to me when something like the "petting means love" idea is communicated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks! I really DO love them! I love all animals, but somehow, I seem to have a special connection with rats. (No slight intended to my dogs or kitty, of course.) I think that I'm constantly amazed that a "person" who is so smart, and so loving, in such a sophisticated way, exists in such a small, fuzzy body. (Even fat rats are little, in the big picture! ;) )

People say that dogs can be as smart as a five year old human child, and I've heard that some parrots are as smart as a three year old human child. I wonder where rat intelligence would fit on this list?

BTW, Gus didn't want to go to bed tonight...he got comfy and decided to sleep in his drawer. Just to show you who's in charge around here, I thought, "Well, if he's happy, I won't make him go to bed until I really need to go to bed." It was two hours. It's almost four in the AM here, and I'm only just getting ready to lie down. But hey - I don't want to deny Gus what he wants! :D
 

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Holly said:
....BTW, Gus didn't want to go to bed tonight...he got comfy and decided to sleep in his drawer. Just to show you who's in charge around here, I thought, "Well, if he's happy, I won't make him go to bed until I really need to go to bed." It was two hours. It's almost four in the AM here, and I'm only just getting ready to lie down. But hey - I don't want to deny Gus what he wants! :D
Lol :lol: Those ratties sure do have you wrapped around their little toesies! :lol: :wink:
 

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your ratties are so personable!

my Ryan hasnt known me long enough, but Blue has known me since he was a "fuzzy" and i used to play with him always at work.
-he doesnt know many words, but when hes running around and i say cat and he will run to me and climb down my shirt and hide against my chest.

-another word he knows is shower. i say it before i go to take one and he insists on coming and curling up beside my cat and squeking really really loud whenever i show my face to him. lol.
then he knows bye where he will run around the cage insanely fast and tear up everything.
and yet after those he doesnt know his name yet -.-

-or when i let him run around and i am brushing my teeth he will climb up my pants, stomach, shirt, whatever, to get to my shoulder where he begins licking my cheek or ear to tell me hes thirsy...he drinks out of my mouth. is that gross? i think its funny but ya

-also, blue will roll on his side if i find that right spot behind his ear and closes his eyes.
 

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Too many stories not enough time. :)

You may mean something different by "moments of connection" but to me this means when you have those heart-felt moments when you are utterly connected to your rat by love or trust.

Pictures that mean more to me.

Rafiki - shelter girl I picked up at a year old, had lived there with her sister their entire life and had become biters with no chance for adoption. I worked with them and in a short time she gave it up and became so sweet. Here she is old and having breathing issues, she only lived another week.

Gwinny - girl "removed" from her home, by a responsible girl from her neglectful and possessive sister "don't touch my rats, they are mine!", all the while not feeding them, cleaning their cage, they were never let out either. The ratsister died untreated and horribly from URI or pneumonia, and this little one was getting ill and she had stopped eating. She was part of a midnight rendezvous and as soon as I saw her face, we connected. She was 2 1/2 years old.
Her first night, eyes bright..."THIS is ALL for me?"

A day later she would launch herself at the side of the cage so I took to leaving the cage door open and I would reach inside for a pat or even lean down for a kiss and she would snuggle into me. She didn't want out, she wanted me :heart:

Sadly my sweet Gwinny's body gave up the fight before her spirit did, and she was only with me for a week before she got very ill and I had her humanely pts. :'(

She is the rescue rat that stole my heart the most, and I have had some very special rats come through my life.

Kamea - newest rescue. Came from a shelter where they know little about rats. She was visited by another ratfriend of mine who saw she was teeming with lice and made them treat her with Revolution. They hadn't noticed :roll:. She was from a horrible hoarding situation, with starvation, neglect, filthy cages and crowding. :( Her cagemates were all pts as soon as they arrived except for one girl. She was pts 5 days later when she was "self-inflicting" and her wounds were too bad. When I got Kamea home and realized she had had mites too, I figured out that the other girl was scratching herself raw and they put her to sleep because of it.
Kamea is a nervy little thing, but she is totally connected to me. She actually sleeps on the bed with me some nights. She is always on the move, but will stop and gently lick me, which is a miracle since this is the Energizer Bunny reincarnated. LOL.
When she first came home, she hid under everything.

She was thin and her coat was (and still is) terrible

Now a few weeks later

Here she is sleepy and relaxed now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I love the reaction to "cat!" LOL!

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Those are great pix and stories! And you are such a wonderful Ratty Mommy, for taking them in, and giving them love! Even if their little bodies aren't strong enough to hold on for a long time, you know and they know that, when they came into your life, they were truly happy. It's wonderful that they knew happiness and fulfillment in their lives!

Kamea looks really ready for a good nap in that last pic! :D
 

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OMG i cannot wait until i get a rat or two. I really want something of my own.. lol something small.. i already have a horse that i love but i really like small animals.. specially rats, mice, and hamsters!
Hopefully i will be posting in this column in a few weeks when i have one or two. I still need to find out about my financial situation.. hey i am only 13!! :)
 

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Haha i just counted my money.. $130. I am doubting that will cover. I think that i will be getting one off of craigllist... lol.
I love to read these stories. Really makes me realize how special a relationship is with an animal and human.. even if it is a rodent :)
 

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Just happened a few minutes ago:

Both Mokey and Boobers are hanging out in my shirt sleeve (literally hanging... I have to keep my arm raised the whole time so it forms a sort of hanging hammock for them, or else they'll poke their head out as if to say "hey, what gives?") while I'm browsing the forums here, when all the sudden "pop!" Mokey somehow appears on my shoulder, on the outside of the shirt, and runs down my arm and goes crazy near my hand as though I should be so excited to see her. Then she runs back in the shirt sleeve, only to appear back on my shoulder, and proceeds to run the same circuit over and over.

I felt up near my seam at armpit, and sure enough where just minutes before there'd been solid shirt, Mokey had now made her own exit in the form of a big hole.

You'd think she'd just invented the wheel, with how pleased she was with herself.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Heck, you'd think she'd just invented the CHEESE wheel! :D

I hope everyone who wants to get rats winds up getting rats; there is a lot to learn, though, so do your homework first! Many people on this forum have a lot of experience, and great advice, and they'll be able to answer your questions.
 

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I am not sure I understand half of what a rat is thinking and I am sure the rat knows little of what I am thinking... but my connection story would be scratching.

Tiny would be sitting there scratching his side... and scratching some more... obviously had an itch... well I would take over and give him a good scratching. He wouldn't push himself away, no, he would sit there and brux and boggle his eyes like a madman. Him "letting" me scratch his itches, not fighting, and taking pleasure in me doing it... I suppose that is a connection... but the communication is really one-way, because I am not sure he expects me to help him scratch, but he sure does like it when I do.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Actually, that's a PERFECT example of what I would consider a "connection" moment. He "gets" that you know he itches, and that you're going to scratch it for him. So, he doesn't pull away from you. You're right; there is so much that we don't understand and can't understand about each other...it makes these moments really memorable.

Thanks for sharing the cute story!
 

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Holly said:
....I hope everyone who wants to get rats winds up getting rats; there is a lot to learn, though, so do your homework first! Many people on this forum have a lot of experience, and great advice, and they'll be able to answer your questions.
Thank you Holly! Yes it is very good to do research. I've been lookin into this for about two years now though. :lol: I dont know how I havent got ratties yet :roll: but I havent and dont really know when I am going to get any but oh well ya get that! :]
 
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