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I've had rats for almost a year now. I went from one lonely ~year old to 16 all between 12 weeks and almost 2 years]Ft and I have three more girls coming this weekend. I started with boys, and I love them, but with the arrival of the girls I have discovered I much prefer them. For one thing the boys are noticeably smellier. If I take a couple of the girls over to my friend's house in their carrier, friend's mom doesn't even know I have them unless she sees them. With the boys, she can smell them... They're just naturally muskier. I do love my boys, but once they go, I don't know that I'll have them again.

In the last couple of days I've gotten a bit braver with my girls... I only really trusted a couple out at a time, ones that are fairly well bonded to me, to free range. A couple of days ago was the first time I actually had all 9 girls out at the same time for free range. Even in that little time the girls I was having trouble bonding with, have gotten so much more outgoing. For instance, Phoebe used to be one of the shyest in the group. Tonight she used me as her personal jungle gym, and wanted to be on/with me more than away.

Cage dynamics are changing too. Pipsqueak, who used to be so quiet and meek is deciding she wants to be head rat. Or at least above a couple of the others in the hierarchy. She's half the size of some of the others, and she's pulling rank and shoving others out of "her" spot.

Evaleen (PEW) is still a favorite, she's just as "lickey" as she's always been, and is one of the first to greet me at the cage door. She is not pregnant, just fat it seems. Mixed feelings on that - babies would have been fun, but I'm glad i don't have the responsibility of finding them good homes now.

Monday Night I spent four hours rearranging and cleaning their room, so that I could set up my computer in here while they free ranged. Tonight I finally finished moving their stuff off the table, and moved their cage yet again and made a bridge from cage to table and table to bed. So far three of the girls have realized they can get back to their cage from the table... Sorry, make that Four (just noticed black self girl made it across the bridge). I don't know that this was one of my best ideas, I've had rats scurrying across the keyboard and adding their 2 cents more times than I can count at this point, and this post has taken me 45 minutes to write. It is fun watching them explore the table, hte dig box I set up with hidden treats, and listening to their little paws pitter patter across the bed and table.

and now that I've completely rambled on I suppose I should find out which two boys are making a jealous ruckus.
 

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So much fun with so many rats! I've had my 7 since August and a few nights ago they finally figured out how to come down the bridge I put up for them every time I open the cage door. I'll pick up one or more and hold them and let them sit on my shoulder but this is the first time they have come down and explored on the floor. I also noticed that they want to spend time on top of me and run to me if they get scared. Since that night, they have all been more friendly when I open the cage door.
 
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