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Several things of note have happened over the past two or three days (my concept of time has utterly disappeared in the wake of my up & down schedule) and I'll do my best to cover all of them just because it seems like folks are interested in the development and story of the wild baby rat. I understand that it's not exactly common for someone to find in their possession a week old baby rat and openly chronicle his story, but well hey. Being unemployed has certain perks, like a never-ending stream of time in which I can bother online people about my newly acquired, nerve-wracking rat fatherhood.

Right? Right.

First thing's first, this little warrior of mine is completely impossible to kill. It's not that I've been trying, but every single error I've made has rolled off his back like it never even happened. This is something I find both marvelous and probably too over-inflating of my own ego, because of all the animals I could've ended up finding rats are by far the hardiest and wild rats are adapted to survive. All I had to do was give it my best shot at not screwing up and his own hardiness and adaptability was probably what really kept him alive.

Still I want to pat myself on the back so +1 for ego. Lol.

So far the biggest clue to his wild nature has been his drive for food. Where most young rat babies probably are very interested in and demanding when it comes to food, this little guy's been a holy terror. It started with him turning into what may be the world's only rat who can do a very successful bull dog impression:

bulldog1.PNG bulldog2.PNG bulldog3.PNG

I have seriously never heard of a rat that played tug of war at almost 2 weeks of age. Anybody else?

Into an all-out assault on the syringe that involved launching himself over my hand and right over the syringe until he reached the plunger and proceeded to bite it mercilessly:


I'll admit, it's cute as heck. What it also is, is downright terrifying. The amount of bite pressure exerted when he bulldogs out alone is enough for me to lift his body weight clear off whatever he is sitting on, without him slipping. The fact that he can do this when he isn't two weeks of age yet is scarily foreboding for the type of bite he could inflict as a fully grown adult.

But, d'aww, isn't he cute while he's tiny? Like a little furry homicidal maniac, just waiting to get big enough to taste blood... The syringe is his practice run. :p

All jokes aside, I love him but if anything this emergence (a behavior that's been here for the past few days and shows up every feeding time, like clockwork) has shown me that I need to stick to the neutering plan.

The next development that happened was the draining of his ears and the opening of his eyes. His ears took almost a full two days and a half to properly drain - last night at around 9pm he seemed to have partial hearing for exceptionally loud sounds but that was it.

Now, as I've just taken him out for his 5:30 AM feeding (which marks an entire seven days that he has been with me - it feels simultaneously like forever and no time at all, if anyone's curious) his hearing has come into full swing. Predictably but almost surprisingly, despite my knowledge of his wild nature, he's extremely shy. He prefers to stick to my hand like glue right now, curling up in my palm and freezing every time he hears something that he's never heard before. Which is every ten seconds. I actually had to put him down in his tank to be able to write this, because the box I used to use to keep him from escaping is low enough for him to be able to escape after only a few days.

His eyes are still mostly closed. At best, he's squinty and I'm sure the only thing he can pick up on is light and a bit of blur. The amount that I chuckle every time I try to put him down and he scurries back to my hand and curls up in it as if it's the only thing he can rely on in the world... It should be criminal, that amount of laughter. For all it signals that he needs some desensitization training in order to survive in a house with other creatures that will do things like bark, and televisions and music that will be loud enough to stress him, it's also just cute to see him run back to "mommy" to feel safe.

Strangely, among the things he does not seem scared of is my voice ...Which I suppose he's been slowly hearing more and more as his ears progressively drained over the past few days. Still, it's good to be the only thing in the world he's not terrified of and it's bad because I can't put him down for three seconds to warm his formula without him frantically running around his box trying to find me so that he can hide from the sounds of the faucet.

Poor thing.

As soon as his eyes open fully there will be a naming ceremony, I already have a name in mind and so I hope I can release it to you all sometime tomorrow. (I have no idea if anyone'll even read this blog, but it's here if you folks want it.)

10 Posts
It's 2018 and I'm reading this, I hope everything went well for the little guy and his dedicated daddy. This is really touching and I'm glad you chronicled this story. :)
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