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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mamma is the hairless rat that I rescued from a feeder breeder who had a shed that easily had more than two hundred rats crammed inside. She had been tossed into a bin with a bunch of hairless males where she was bullied pretty badly. I was going to get one of the healthier looking, friendlier males but even while he was snuggling into my arms, I couldn't take my eyes off the poor smaller rat huddled in the corner, clearly scared out of its mind. She(I thought she was a male at the time because I was told they all were) was covered in scratches and scars and not only missing an eye but seemed to be sporting a nasty infection. I knew if I left her there, she wasn't going to last much longer. So I put the snuggly rat back and decided to take her home instead.

I wasn't even sure if she was going to make it through the night. She was wheezing, shaking, and just seemed bad off. A trip to the vet and some antibiotics later and her breathing improved, the nastiness around her lost eye went away, and her scratches and scrapes began to heal. She's been skittish from the get go. She doesn't like being touched and scrambles when I attempt to pick her up(which in hindsight I realize might have been to protect the babies). But she has figured out that when the cage door opens she gets treats so she's started meeting me at the door as soon as I come in the room. Sometimes, if I have a treat she likes bad enough, I can coax her into hopping onto my hand for the treat but she gets quite mad if I move my hand away from the cage so she can't jump right back in. I've also been using baby food and letting her lick it off my fingers. She's gentle but does nibble at my fingertips and seems especially interested in trying to devour my nails.



On 2/23 Mamma(I hadn't given her a name yet because I tend to wait until the right name comes to me) had her babies! Unfortunately out of nine pups born, four were stillborn and two more were lost on the first night. But three pups seem to be doing well. Tiny is the runt of the litter and it looks like she's going to be a precious silver/grey self(I think it's a female, still not 100% on determining baby rat genders). She's about half the size of her two larger siblings but she's a determined and strong little lady. Tip looks like an agouti with berkshire markings and a white tip on the end of her tail(original name, I know and I thought this was a male at first but the more I look the more I'm questioning that call) and Skip looks like an agouti self(am I saying it right? still not very familiar with how to refer to rat markings/colors). They're eleven days old today and I'm just sooo excited for when their eyes open in a few days time!



Last but not least I must admit was a moment of weakness. I was at the pet store a couple days ago buying supplies to make sure the cage is ready to entertain a trio of energetic babies when I peeked in on the feeder rats. I was surprised to see that the store's normally plentiful supply was nearly wiped out. Huddled alone in the corner of the small tank was a pretty little champagne colored rattie. I asked if I could see it and quickly discovered that not only was it a little girl but an absolutely darling critter. So I broke down and brought her home. I've also decided to name her Sherry(mostly because then I have an excuse to obnoxiously serenade for her to come out and play).

She's in quarantine now in a separate room and I make sure to wash my hands thoroughly between interacting with her and with Mamma and the babies but she really is a sweetie! I have a fleece rat bag filled with some bedding and have let her spend several hours a day in the bag by my side as I go about my daily business. I encourage her to come out and explore by sticking my hand in the bag to give her scritches. She's gotten comfortable with my hand, licking them and snuggling into my fingers, and seems more willing to come out and have a look around when she knows my hand is going to keep her company. I've noticed her stopping and swaying back and forth when she's out so I'm guessing that her eyesight is poor.

Whether related to her vision or just because it's a new scary world, she's very timid outside the bag but seems to be getting steadily more used to it. I imagine she's going to be quite a character once she's gained a little confidence in her surroundings. After just a few days, she's gotten bold enough to climb into my lap when she knows I have treats to give her. Then she scurries back to the bag to munch them before coming back for more. When there aren't treats, she's mostly content to just curl up in the bag(or sneaks under the blanket if we're cuddling on the couch to curl up in my lap) and goes to sleep. I almost wonder if she's not too lethargic but she seems bright and responsive enough when I engage her.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know, I feel so bad for her too! I'm just glad she's in a nice big cage now with plenty of toys and treats instead of back in that scary dirty bin. I want to snuggle her and love on her but I'm not sure if she'll be ready for that for quite a while. So I settle for spoiling her rotten with lots of tasty treats and occasionally rub her head or cheek when she'll let me. She actually bit me today when I poked my finger into the cage to say hello which was a first, but I think I stressed her out yesterday by moving her and the pups into a temp space while I gave the cage a top to bottom scrub down so I probably deserved it.
 

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All of them look like sweetie pies. Poor mama though, she looks rough. I'm sure with enough time you will earn her trust and she will end up being your best bud. Thank God for nice people like you who take the underdogs.
 
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