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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I found a local rat lover's ad on craigslist about an accidental litter that had been spoiled rotten from day one and heard that they had a double rex girlie, I couldn't resist going to check it out! When I got there and discovered a nearly identical rex sister, I was done for. Ivy(the double rex/mostly hairless) and Olivia(rex with lots of hair loss on the sides) came home with me on the spot and they've been a riot ever since. The owner said they were somewhere between five and six weeks old. I'm thinking closer to five because they're just so tiny!

Olivia is a little popcorning wild child. On their first day home, they relaxed in a recliner with me for an hour or so. Olivia ran all over from head to feet exploring me. She groomed my ears, nested in my hair, and learned that if she sat on my hand when I reached to the end table for a drink, she had a whole new area to explore. At one point she decided to take a leap from the arm of the chair down to the carpet. I told her no and reached down to try to pick her up but before I could, she climbed back up the blanket I was wrapped up in and zipped into the fleece ratty bag her sister was in.

Ivy has been a bit more reserved and cautious about new places and things. She spent the first introduction session huddled up in the nice warm rat bag in my lap and one of my hands kept her company.

I had intended to quarantine the pair and introduce them to Mamma and her two little ones in a few weeks. But after a few days spent thinking everything over, I decided that introducing everyone while they were young enough that they could bond with Mamma and the other pups seemed like a better gamble than waiting until they were older and might have more difficulties being accepted. I got to meet the mother and father of the pair and the rest of the litter, everyone seemed very healthy and Olivia and Ivy are bright eyed and bushy tailed so I think there was minimal risk there. I realize that this was a gamble and hope nobody thinks I'm an awful ratty owner for making this judgement call but everything has actually turned out wonderfully!

I introduced Olivia to Mamma first. Mamma came out of the nest for treats and as I greeted her and gave her a treat, Olivia crept down from my shoulder to get a closer look. While Mamma scurried off to munch her cheerio, Olivia hopped into the cage to look around. Mamma finished her treat and waddled over to the little white fuzzball of joy and latched onto her face with both hands so she could groom her forehead. After taking one look at me, she grabbed Olivia by the scruff and dragged her back down to the nest. Olivia let out a little squeak of protest but then she just went limp all "Yes Mamma" like and allowed herself to be abducted. I watched and listened carefully and even pulled the nesting away a few times just to make sure things were going alright. But Mamma had pulled Olivia right in with Tip and Tiny and was grooming away at her.

So I let Ivy into the cage so she could have a look around on the top shelf and she actually came out of her shell really quickly. She started popcorning around on the shelf, running from my hand then poking back out to stare me down then scurrying out when I took my hand away. While I kept watch over Olivia and Mamma I used the time to play with Ivy and took a few pictures. Mamma came up to the second level a few times to see what was going on and even peeked her nose up the ramp to the third floor but she didn't show any interest in tracking Ivy down. Eventually Ivy made her way down to the second level where she found the food and water before she moved down to the first floor and just waltzed right into the nest like she owned the place. There was a little rustling but nobody made a peep. I kept watch for another fifteen or twenty minutes and even pulled the nesting back to make sure that everybody was okay and they were all snuggled together while Mamma glared at me like I was the rudest person in the world for intruding.

I checked back a few hours later to find Olivia and Ivy playing on the third floor of their cage. They love chasing and running from my hand when I reach in and seem to be having a great time playing with everything that I've set up in the cage. Olivia was even trying to build a nest in the boathouse on the third floor(this morning when I checked on everyone I saw that Mamma had stolen the tissues and added them to the nest below). Mamma even seems to be accepting my presence in the cage more. Possibly because the twins are so eager to bounce in and out of my hand and interact with me so well.


Anyway, here are some pictures of Ivy and Olivia enjoying their new home. Olivia is always bouncing around so fast it's hard to get a good pictures of her but she's the one with a darker spot over her eye. Because Ivy is so cautious and creeps about, it was easier to get some really cute pictures of her.

Olivia:
She found the dig dish that has treats stashed away in the bedding and was quite tickled with it.





Ivy:







Watch out! She found the treat pit! It belongs to Ivy now!

Meanwhile Mamma wants to know where her treats are:

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
When I went to check on everyone earlier today I found that Mamma had moved the nesting around in a way that let me look right in on her and the babies. The result was a brief video of her loving on her little ones. It's nothing too exciting but I found it adorable so I had to share!!

 
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