Rat Foofing and Fur Coats

The latest events in the Rat House:-

1The boys have had yet another bout of Myco with Shy-Shy suffering the worst. I’ve no idea what set it off this time. Shy was making the dreaded “foofing” noise again and all of the rats were sneezing. All the boys were treated with 0.3ml per day of Baytril and all have responded well to the antibiotic.

2
The first day I gave the rats their medicine, I sat down on a chair and gave one rat at a time some yoghurt (with Baytril) on a spoon. The following day they had already learnt the equation: chair=food, and as I finished mixing the first spoonful of medicine and yoghurt, I turned around to see Shy-Shy sat on the chair waiting for his treat! I continued with the next batch, and as soon as it was done I went to sit down, and Pip was sitting there on my chair looking expectantly at me! Then guess what? With the following spoonful Stripe was there by himself on the chair as if to say “It’s my turn!” Rocky is not one to come running (he’s far too laid back), but as I sat down and called him, he sauntered up towards me and flopped onto my knee like a blob of custard, and soon lapped up his yoghurt too. The same sequence of events happened every evening almost without exception, if they weren’t in the chair when I reached for it, they were there the instant I sat down, individually, which was all the more astonishing. Why didn’t they all converge onto the chair at once? The usual behaviour when treats are offered is for all four rats to pile up as near to the food as rattily possible (including standing right up on tippy-paws as far as they can stretch; arm-swatting a brother out of the way; grabbing for it or jumping advantageously onto my hand to get to the treat!

All I can conclude from this is that either:
1/ Rats are very fast learners
2/ Rats are habit-forming animals
3/ Rats are able to change behaviour quickly to suit their changing environment
4/ Rats are ruled by their bellies
or another suspicion: 5/ Rats are tiny people in fur coats!

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Rocky and brothers: Part Custard, Part Meringue

Today my lovely rats have been mostly eating strawberries from our very own garden!

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