Tag Archives: rats

Oscar and the Flying Fish

16/07/2012

      First of all I want to get things clear. If I’m to tell you my story you have to promise not to repeat it. It’s not that I really did anything wrong, it just that there may be some misunderstandings and though the Longlegs are here to serve, I’m well aware they do provide some food. Not that I can’t get my own you understand, but perhaps not the same variety. Mouse gets a bit boring after a time and frogs taste awful.

So, I was around at early light time enjoying a snack after a hard dark time getting comfortable. My ‘The Him’ and My ‘The Her’ came through to where I was and told me to behave today ! I know, it was really cheeky but sometimes you have to let some things pass. They told me they were going out and would be back later. Since I let them come and go as they like ( not like some owners who follow their Longlegs everywhere), I raised an eyebrow in goodbye. Well, I was busy eating wasn’t I. After they left I finished eating and went to have a short nap. That’s always fun since I can pick and choose where I go. This time I settled on going to My ‘The Him’s’ sleeping place and napping on his nightskin. The smell is sometimes strangely comforting.Rousing myself from the nap later I found myself still alone. Being fearless I decided to make sure the property was safe by checking each room. Most of them seemed OK and with just two left to do I went into their sitting place. On the arm of her seat I spied a bag of the odd colourful things she likes to eat. They’re very small and round and very very light. I haven’t tried one but they did look interesting and I wanted to make sue no-one had touched them while she was out. There may be peace between those rodents and I for now, but I don’t trust them. Anyway, as I pulled at the top of the bag to open it the bag tore a bit and quite a few fell out. They were all over the floor. I picked one up with my teeth and they felt strange and tasted a little funny. I think she’ll be grateful I threw some way when she gets back.

The last room was the food/eating room. I glanced round but it looked like there was no food left open. I couldn’t smell anything anyway. They had probably put it in the white box that blows cold over food. Shame as I would have checked that there was nothing gone off for them. My glance round the room told me something wasn’t quite as usual but I couldn’t place it at first. I decided to look a second time more carefully and there it was. The box that has the fish in it was open at the top. Well part of it anyway. Whoever had given them their food ( fancy eating flake) had left it open. I thought that might prove dangerous so I decided there and then to close it. Up I jumped with the balletic poise with which I’m gifted. On to the side of the sink, across the place the water drains off their cups and a quick jump up onto the box. I know you can see through all sides of the box but it was strange to see them from up top. I decided to watch them for a minute and leave the top open. There we’re quite a few fish in there and they came in all shapes and colours. One in particular was quite big and a very bright colour was swimming very near the surface. You don’t get a clear idea of the fin from above so I just put my hand down to try and turn it over for a small time. I suppose I moved quite fast because I know the fish are fast. My paw missed but the water splashed and it was funny seeing the fish all dart away. As the big fish edged back towards me I repeated the move but this time my paw caught it. Instead of turning it over I must have jerked my arm back in shock and the fish came out at great speed, left my paw and flew across the room to land on the floor at the far side. It flopped for a small time then lay still.

It was at this stage I knew I’d never be able to get it back up here to the box. Being a thinker I decided to leave it alone until My ‘The Her’ arrived back and she could do it for me. I decided to get back down from the box and head off to take a quick nap. Before I did so I remembered why I’d got up in the first place and shut the lid with my paw.
It was a short time later they returned and I heard as My ‘The Him’ entered that room,
“Julia, one of your fish has learned to fly. I’m afraid it’s dead. How strange, I’ve known fish jump out of an open tank before though never so far, but this is very strange since the tank is closed.”
“That is strange David” she replied. “you fed them this morning, it must have jumped out while you had the lid open.”
” That’s all I can think of too darling. Don’t worry, I’ll buy you a new one to replace it.”
So a lesson has been learned today. If someone tells me to behave when I don’t need to be told, they end up getting paid back for it. And they’re so silly as to think there are flying fish like birds. Sometimes I despair of Longlegs.

baking day
all that fresh air
                                                      Too much fresh air.
Last Sunday I went for a meal with my family which included most of my cousins. The only times we are generally all in one place are weddings or funerals (and more the latter). We had such a good time  decided to try and do it at least twice a year.
The gangs all here
L to R. Moi, Linda, Brother Dil with Gary behind him, Debs and Peter. The gang’s (nearly) all here.
Have a Wonderful new week and I hope you get as many hugs returned as you give. Hugs to you all.

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Introducing Amy’s Family

31/05/2012

    Hello again every one. In case you’ve forgotten my name is Amy and I’m leader of the Rat Pack. After having been a little unhappy over the name the humans refer to groups of my kind, I’ve decided that Rat Pack sounds quite cool  and compared to some sounds quite reasonable. After all I wouldn’t want to be part of a ‘Murder of Crows'( and believe me that’s quite fair because their sound can be murder on the ears). A ‘Dissimulation of Birds’ doesn’t sound all there does it?  How about a ‘Chatter of Budgerigars’ that one’s true enough, a ‘Clowder of Cats’ that one means nothing unless Clowder means nasty, a ‘School of Dolphins’ makes them sound intelligent, a ‘Skulk of Foxes’ Hmmm, reasonable that one, a ‘Mischief of Mice’ and sometimes people refer to us that way as well. But in the end I think Rat Pack will suit me very well thank you.

Sometimes settling into a new home is difficult but there have been no major problems here after teaching the humans ( a Pack?) that my teeth are quite sharp if they try to handle me without permission and sometimes just when they stick their fingers through the bars. After all, if you stick fingers in to offer treats we have to bite, you mustn’t be surprised to be bitten if you stick them in treatless and expect us to notice.
Anyway, I want to introduce the family. Obviously there’s me and like most of my kind I’m very intelligent and very underestimated. But there are exceptions to every rule I suppose so here’s Penny. She’s my sister and I love her dearly but she’s not the brightest jewel in the box. Fortunately she’s playful and very affectionate so the humans don’t notice.

Next we have Bernadettte, or Bernie who is a lot younger than Penny and I but who is a quick learner and copies Penny’s every move. She makes me laugh when the humans get her out as she pees on them a lot and hasn’t quite learned to keep her soiling to one particular area yet. They have a lot of cleaning up to do once she’s been out to play. Finally we have Priya, the youngest and smallest of our pack. She’s most like our original ancestor Rattus Rattus except it looks like she wears white socks.She’s starting to get used to the humans but hasn’t properly learned about getting treats yet.

As I say the humans aren’t too bad here and they’re learning quite well. But for some strange reason they also have a cat. Hmm, just one of a Clowder but that’s enough. It’s taken a little longer to train him since all he seemed interested in was catching us before. Penny taught him a bit of a lesson by climbing up his back leg when he happened  to be on the seat when she and I had been got out to entertain the humans. He was so surprised he ran away. Though he’s ventured close a few times he keeps a wary eye out.
It was funny a few days ago when I managed to reach the floor and ran towards an open door. As I reached it he was on the other side. We both saw each other at the same time and were startled. I was surprised long enough to be caught and my escape foiled, he was just stunned into inaction though he claimed afterwards to have helped catch me and basked in the credit even though he’d done nothing. He’s a sly one and bears watching. Don’t get the wrong idea about the escape either. It’s not that I don’t like the humans or the house they’ve given us but I like the idea of the open spaces outside. So, you may just hear of more attempts. If I ever make it of course you won’t hear anything except from the cat who is the only other one who can use the computer which I’ve ‘borrowed’ while he’s asleep.

So there we are. You’ve met me and my family now. Oscar the cat claims to be a Superior but I think you can work out for yourselves whoever you are that he’s fooling himself and that we by dint of our brains ( well maybe not Penny) are the superiors round here. We just don’t need to brag about it. I hope you get to enjoy more of our activities and adventures when we venture forth from our house within a house. As for me, I’m delighted to meet you.
Amy

DSCF3071

Me fighting for food with Penny.

hammy

One of the Human pack ?

the-race-is-on

The Race is on !

Wishing you all a Great New Week filled with Hugs when needed.

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Oscar gets a kitten?

7/5/2012

    I’ve seen it but I don’t believe it. It’s uncanny just how silly my Longlegs can be the minute I let them out of my sight.

    It was three lights ago when I saw them heading out of the clearway to their chariot. My ‘The Her’ even shouted goodbye but I was too busy yawning and stretching to respond properly, I did however send a thought in their direction that I required some nice fresh chicken. Sometimes they’re quite clever and catch the thought, other times they’re just so obtuse it a crime.

I occupied my time properly while they were out with sleeping, stretching and sleeping some more. After all, you must be very careful not to overdo things there days. I was lying on my ‘The Hers’ sleeping place basking in the warm light that comes through the clearway as I didn’t want to go through to where she has those rats of hers. They can be very rude sometimes. Anyway, I have no idea what she sees in them at all and should really be reprimanding her for not being available whenever I want her. Even my ‘The Him’ seems to have more time than she does. There will have to be a reckoning soon.

Some time passed and the light had moved a bit. I roused myself as there was a need for food. Roast rat on a stick appealed but there was no chance of that. Just then the clearway opened. In came my ‘The Him’ carrying what looked like a kitten box followed by my ‘The Her’ saying “Hello my baby, see what Mummy has got, Such a surprise.”
“It is a kitten ” I thought, ” but she’d better be referring to some nice tender chicken or else”………. She wasn’t.                                                                                                                         Bags of shopping were strewn everywhere in their food room but nothing came out for me. Instead they gathered round the cages in the room of seats and started making the strangest cooing noises. My ‘The Him’ ran out and came back with a new cage like that of a Chinese bird, sat down, opened the cage door and proceeded to place some pieces of paper and food inside. My ‘The Her’ opened the kitten box. I was about to tell her no kitten was going in a cage in my home when out of the box she drew ‘Another Rat’. Not just any ordinary rat either, it was obviously a kitten and quite small but it’s ears, Ohh it’s ears, they were big. I’m talking BIG here. They were like conch shells sticking out. Already I’m alternating between boredom and anger. After all, what need have we of another rat? What need have we of ANY rats I ask.

They spent more time putting the creature now called Bernadette in the cage and trying to stroke it before standing the cage on top of the big cage with the Cruella sisters in. I’m half past bored now so I wandered off to the food room. I could smell no chicken for which there will be payment but I did manage to find a rather nice parcel of ham which tided me over till tea time. I even felt so much better when I heard the squeal later ” Julia, that cat, YOUR cat has had my lunch”. Soooo satisfying.

Anyway, I’ve decided not to let them out of my sight for a while. Three rats in the house is three rats too many albeit one is too young to  be rude yet. I’m waiting till they realise that it’s chicken or nothing next time. And in the meantime I’m going to occupy the knee of one or other of them and get all the attention I can.

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Confrontation and Lies

9/4/2012

I decided to take a walk round my village this morning just to make sure all’s well. It’s been a few days since I did so. As I was getting to The Fursty Ferret I saw Ginger and young Frisk, a newcomer, talking. Or rather Ginger was doing the talking and Frisk the listening. I wandered over in time to hear Ginger saying “And I  suggest you don’t say a word about it from now on”.
“About what Ginger?” I asked.
“Oh hello Oscar, nothing important” he said.
“I was just asking if it’s true that two rats rule the roost in your house” said Frisk with what looked like a smirk.

“I don’t know who you’ve been listening to kitten” I said, “but make no mistake, I’m still as much in charge there as ever.”
“Just what I’ve been saying” added Ginger.
It was easier to feign indifference to what Frisk said than to actually work out in my mind whether what I’d said was true since the unfortunate incident with my tail, but I wasn’t about to voice my doubts.

I continued with my stroll as though nothing was wrong but it worried me that a newcomer could so easily voice thoughts that made me look silly in front of my friends. I have to fix this and quickly I thought. With a new determination I turned and headed for home. Just inside the gateway there was a rustle and quick as a flash I pounced showing Frisk and Ginger who seemed to have followed me that I’d lost none of my speed. It was a small field mouse and as my jaws caught it, the mouse played dead. I realised to my relief it was a mouse I’d caught before and had asked to play dead in exchange for it’s life. From the corner of my mouth I spoke to Frisk “Do you really fink anyone oo cud catch a mouse vis fasht is not boss at home?” I didn’t wait for his reply but went indoors. Inside I made sure I avoided the screaming Longlegs and went straight to an open clearway and dropped the mouse outside again. “You’re lucky I didn’t bite” I said “now why not find somewhere else to live?”

I went to the room for sitting and stood before the cage where the rats live. Hmm, daylight, they’re asleep I thought. I called out.”Hey rats, come on out and talk for a minute”.
Two heads duly appeared followed by two bodies that stretched out from sleep and lastly came two tails, huge long hairless things.
“What do you want?” said Rat 1
“Is it food time?” said Rat 2.
” Stop thinking about your stomach Penny ” said Rat 1 “it’s almost dragging on the floor.”
“Listen” I told them, “I want a truce and a little favour!
“Have you got anything to eat?” said the one called Penny”even a little tail would do.” and I swear there was a little snigger there.
I picked up one of their chocolate drops between my teeth and leaned towards the cage. Penny came to take it and as she did I caught one of her whiskers. “Ouch”she said.
“Perhaps it’s time I made meal of something “I said and let go.
“I repeat, what do you want” said Rat 1.
“As we both have to live here, I suggest we make the best of it” I replied, “but, as you have your own little kingdom here and I have mine everywhere outside your home, if you help me regain my good name I’ll agree to leave you in peace.”
“Sounds reasonable” said Rat1 “so what’s the favour you want?”
“I need to carry one of you outside in my mouth to show I’m still the Superior here. After I’ve been seen I’ll bring you back unharmed.”

Rat 1 whispered to Rat 2 before turning back to me and saying. ” We agree. You can carry Penny out and I’ll watch to make sure you keep your word.”
Clever, I thought, making sure that one made sure she was safe. Easy to see who was the brains. When I opened the cage and Penny came towards me it was easy to see who was the stomach too.
I took her in my teeth and carried her outside. We were approaching the gate where Ginger and Frisky were still sitting when Penny said quietly ” Is there anything to eat out here?”
I shushed her and lay her inert body on the ground near Frisky. ” So the rats rule the roost do they? Here’s one that doesn’t and the other one is next.”
“Sorry Oscar” said Frisky ” you’re obviously still in charge.”
“Right”I said “I’ll leave this as a gift for my Longlegs” and carried Penny back inside. My jaw was relieved when I was able to set her down. It’s obvious rats don’t do diets. As a thank you I got two grapes from the room for food and brought them to the cage. I saw Rat 1 say thanks and start to eat while Penny ran with hers to the base to hide it and then come back to the top.”Come on Amy” she said, “share with me, after all, I was the one who went out.”
“Yes” said Amy “you did” and handed over her grape. Penny started eating and Amy ran down to get the one Penny had hidden to eat herself. “Oh , you’ve got another one ” said Penny, “that’s good.”
“Truce over Ladies ” I said, “from now on I’m the Superior round here and if you behave there’ll be more food. I left them eating their grapes.

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Strange Start to the Day.

3/4/2012

Something strange is going on. I can’t quite put my paw on it but my whiskers are bristling and that’s a sure sign. Of course it could also mean that a great wet is coming from the sky as well, but I don’t think it’s that.

We all know I creep into this room once my ‘The Him’ has left so I can leave a note for all my fans out there who understand how to treat Superiors and like to know what I’m doing.

Let me start by saying I got up this morning and all seemed fine, well as fine as it can be with two interlopers in the house. I refuse to call them guests since I certainly didn’t invite them. There really are times when the Longlegs shouldn’t be allowed out on their own. Still, I’m sure I got my message across to them the other day and they won’t tangle with me in a hurry. Anyway, I was up. I didn’t feel like walking in the direction of the lounge just then so I thought I’d pay a little visit to my ‘The Him’. I was shocked to find he was already up too and working on the writing box that I ‘borrow’ to speak to you all. As I got closer I could hear him huffing and puffing as his fingers tapped harder and harder. P L E A S E S T O P S E N D I N G M E H O R O S C O P E S he stamped out saying it out loud as he wrote. I have no idea what they are but anything starting with horror can’t be good. He saw me and leaned down “Hello Oscar old boy” he said, “do you want your breakfast?” And without being asked too.

He carried my dishes through the lounge to the food room, passing by the cage with the rats as I followed him. He put the thing on that makes water hot and then instead of scratching my ears while we waited he took some crunchy things from a packet and went to feed the rats FIRST!! BEFORE ME!!!!!!! His paw was at a funny angle passing things through the bars and before I could warn him that he’d get pulled into the cage, one of them took the titbit from his pinched fingers as the other one got a grip on another finger with her teeth. I expected a squeal, either from him at the pain or her as he squashed her for her cheek, but no, he laughed and said “Patience Penny, yours is here” and gave her a treat. He’s obviously gone mad or they’ve hipnippertised him.

He did my dishes and gave me breakfast. Then I saw him put some bread on to brown for himself and make himself a drink. He carried my dishes through and I left him to his meal while I had mine. As I came back there he was feeding them the crusty bits. I left in disgust and went to see my ‘The Her’.

I had just settled down when my ‘The Him’ came through with a drink and a plate of browned bread. “Thank you Dear ” she told him, “but please take it through to the lounge and I’ll join you there so I can feed the girls the crusts.” He swivelled round and headed back saying “Righto my Dear”. The world has gone rat mad. Do they not know these are rodents in the house of a Superior? It’s unheard of, or at least it should be.

After a little nap I went through to ‘borrow’ the writing box to tell you all of the indignities I’m suffering and there on the place where I tap I found hair. Rat hair, where I work. Please don’t tell me they’ve escaped. But I looked carefully about and couldn’t see them. I made my way to the lounge and there they were still caged up. I was just breathing a sigh of relief when they noticed me. One of them smirked while the other one just put her head down and crunched into a peanut shell. It was very unnerving.

I’ve come straight back through to tell you all about it as I don’t understand how these hairs got from that room to this and up onto the table where this box sits. If anyone has an answer please let me know, and if anyone would like two rats just let me know.

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Quietness.

I’ve found myself being rather quiet recently. Conversation isn’t coming easily as I don’t much feel like being flippant. But in life, things have a way of catching you out don’t they? After the shock of last week I’d placed an advert on a degu site asking for a home for the three degu girls. I realised that it would be impossible for Julia to cope when I brought her home. As I’m quite allergic to them ( and the rats) there’s not much I could do either when it came to cleaning. But lets face it, I’m a man and never realise when things need cleaning anyway. I’d also added to the advert that I had the rats too and if anyone was interested………. All I’d specified was that I wanted someone fairly local so that we could keep an eye if needed and they didn’t have far to travel.

Unexpectedly I got an immediate answer and had messaged the young man who replied. Julia had been home a few hours when I mentioned the degus would have to go, I was pleased when she agreed (reluctantly) which was just as well because he arrived. Within half an hour the degus had gone and  I was sure it was to a good home. While he was here he saw the girls and said ” About your mention of the rats in the advert. I’d like them too.” I saw Ju’s face change and begin to crumple. As I went through to my room to get something she followed and tearfully asked that the girls not go just yet. What could I do? But, as luck would have it, he’d come in a car and the girl’s cage is quite a good size and would not slide into the car upright. I couldn’t let him take the cage on it’s back as the girls would be standing on wire rather than their solid base. After explaining that Ju was reluctant to say goodbye to them just yet I pointed out that they’d be safe and still here for him later. He left with that promise.

Since then, Ju has risen every morning without fuss to play with them before they go to bed. As she’s usually the one to open the cage while I make her a cuppa, the routine goes like this.

Priya will run straight for Ju’s dressing gown sleeve.

Bernie will go straight for the opening at the neck and wander down to her waist. Sometimes Ju sits down on the settee then until they emerge again. Then it’s up to the cage.

Penny will climb out onto the top of the cage and then onto Ju’s shoulder while Amy will tuck herself into one of the tubes they sleep in and wait to be lifted out. I will deliver Ju’s cuppa and then go back to take my meds. That done I have to pour myself a bowl of cereal because of the diabetes ( at least that’s the excuse) and go sit on the settee. Bernie will have been sitting on the arm in anticipation of my arrival. I have to give them each a shreddie on my spoon and they run off to hide and eat them. I daren’t take a mouthful yet as it’s not long before they return. Bernie first for her second one which suffices followed by Amy, Priya and Penny in quick succession and only after they’ve taken their third one can I carry on.

Ju uses this interval to take her tablets and a drop of her tea. My part in the performance is usually over in five minutes and it’s play time for a while with them raiding pockets for tissues to play tug of war with or running in and out of dressing gowns. There’s a blanket over the back of the settee and they love crawling under it. Eventually I’m off duty and Ju takes over again as the drinks lady.

Here’s Priya with a cup of tea.

photo (1) Priya enjoying tea

For the not too squeamish, here’s Penny getting her breakfast the cheeky way.

Me fighting for food with Penny.

Me fighting for food with Penny.

  There are some very distinctive styles of drinking. Penny will always cup the liquid in her hand and bring it to her mouth like a gentile lady. Bernie’s quite happy just to stick her nose straight in. Priya on the other hand tries both as if she’s unsure what she should do. Amy is always on guard so she’ll pass it from hand to mouth too. Then usually she’s straight up on her back legs to check for danger in the air. maybe she expects the Red Baron to appear.

Half an hour is about as much as Ju can take of playtime now but I’m so pleased she still shows the same interest. The biggest surprise for me is her determination to maintain the riding. So, on Wednesday afternoon we’re off to see if she can actually cope. We can only attend the RDA stables as they’ve got a mechanical hoist to get riders to horse level. Great news on the charity front though as our friends at a local cafe have a giant teddy bear they’re going to raffle off for Pennant Park Wishes and we’ve just heard that planning permission has been granted and building is about to start. All those that have donated to the Riding for the Disabled Charity at Pennant Park have my     undying thanks. I’ll let you all know how Wednesday goes.

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Interlude

It’s been a funny old day. First thing this morning a friend took me shopping and it went well. I got what I wanted, she spoke to the staff for me and I paid. We came home and she left after which I expected a very relaxing day. If I ever find out who jinxed me heaven help them.

A knock at the door this afternoon. Normally I’d be on the computer and able to hide away and ignore the sound. Today I was just passing the door which has a half glazed panel. I had to open the door to a 6’4″ skinny giant. Thankfully I didn’t have to speak as he introduced himself as the council electrician come to repair a pull light and an electrical socket. He was a nice man and after being pointed towards the bathroom went to get his tools and proceeded to fix a new string to the light. I spoke long enough to enquire if he needed a ladder only for him to laugh and just reach up. It was only moments before the job was done. On to the next job.

Passing through he saw the cages and asked how many rats I have. “Four” I answered “and three degus”. “Three what?” he asked but was such a helpful man I didn’t have to speak as he answered his own question “Oh, these delightful little chaps” he said. Please bear that in mind.

The second job was a socket in the kitchen. The story starts about two months ago when Ju asked me if our fridge had a light. I told her of course it did and she said in that case the fridge is defrosting. Such sarcasm and it beat me saying that we were due anyway. So, I checked out the plug and put in a new fuse and tried again. No joy.

With food defrosting and panic setting in I decided the fridge must be defunct. Off we went and spent a pleasant £83 on a new one. We get it home and know it has to stand in place for five hours so I manhandle the old one outside and Ju rings for it to be collected as rubbish. My old friend complete with midge fragnets looks quite forlorn outside the front door.

Five hours later Ju plugs in the new fridge and asks me if there’s meant to be a light. Aargh. I try it in a different socket and lo’ it comes on. Getting an extension cable I push the fridge into it’s new home. Now I have two working fridges one which is due to be scrapped and it’s cost me a fortune to find out I have a faulty socket. So, the nice man comes to mend it. ” You do know about the defrost switch we put in for fridges don’t you?” he asked. I shook my head dimly. Moving aside some trays he points to what I always thought was an immersion heater switch. He presses it and the socket becomes operational again. Just putting a tray back must have knocked it off. All the time he was here I heard about his two dogs, 5 cats, wife, children and their appetites which he’d swap for a cage of rats. I thanked him with some sweets for his children.

That’s it. I’m officially out to the world now while I finish my mail. That done I return to the kitchen and realise the fish tank is dark because I forgot to turn it on this morning,. A rush of apologies there and a little food and I’m forgiven.Going back through I realise I need to give the girls clean water and some food. Bernie and Priya are first for a treat but Amy and Peny aren’t far behind. With Amy I have to be quick as she snatches and doesn’t mind a bit of finger. Odd, as when she’s out she’s nervy but a perfect lady. There, everything OK in their world. Degu’s next.                                                           All three Saffy, Poppy and the one I can never remember, came flying towards the door as I brought food. They’re gregarious animals, very bright and like humans but very quick. I opened the door and inserted my hand to drop the food. As I did Saffy squeezed past and made a break for it. I dropped the food and shut the door again sharpish to keep the others in.

I sat down with a ball and a peanut and called Saffy. She’s so scared of me she strolled over and sat on my knee. Like a flash she had the peanut from my hands before I could drop it in the ball and make her go after it. I got some yoghurt drops and popped them inside the open ball while she watched me. Then, as calmly as you like she climbed down the side of the settee and disappeared into the kitchen. I spent almost an hour polishing the kitchen floor with my trouser knees but although she was happy to come to me when I called her name she was not going in the ball. Eventually I gave up and went back through to sit on the settee with another peanut in hand. I called her and like an angel she answered me. In the ball went the peanut and in the ball went Saffy. I picked the ball up and carried it to the cage. Dalmation ! I couldn’t open the door one handed. She thought I had it open and jumped ready to be a good girl and go in. Instead she hit the closed door and hopped it again.

I had to loosen the door enough to be able to open it one handed but not enough for her daughters to escape. Fifteen minutes later Saffy followed a yoghurt drop into the ball and I was able to get the cage open and her in. As I did, the one I can’t remember jumped straight into the ball expecting to be allowed to go for a roll round. I’m sure she was disappointed when she was manhandled straight back into the cage. I’d had enough degu chasing for one day and I’d missed my Big Bang Theory. So much for a peaceful day.

 

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And the Winner is…….

I suspect that  many people thought like me that the Olympics was over for 2012 with the closing ceremony of the Paralympics. Well it seems we were wrong from my observations today.
As many of you know I have a routine in the morning when I get up.
I collect Oscar’s dishes and take them through to the kitchen.
I give the girls a chocolate drop each, except the degu’s who because of diabetes risks get yoghurt drops
I feed the fish, fill the kettle, grab a handful of cornflakes to feed the girls before going back to scald Oscar’s dishes and refill them with fresh food and water. Then I go on to take my meds and make drinks for myself and Ju.
This morning I didn’t get as far as the girls treats before panic set in. Amy came for hers, Penny was there and so was Priya but why wasn’t Bernie coming for hers? I could see she wasn’t in their favourite tube at the top of the cage. They’ve eaten so much of it there’s no place to hide. I couldn’t see her on the mid-level anywhere which only left the ground floor. There are two long flexi- tubes there which they occasionally nap in. Calling her name constantly I prodded the tubes through the bars to try and wake her. I confess that Bernie is my favourite ( though Priya is a very close second) and I was scared by now that something was wrong with her. That is until I turned round. There on the settee, looking up at me as though saying “I’m here daddy, you called me”? I was overjoyed though a little puzzled and worried when she didn’t seem to want her chocolate drop, I can see why now however.

Bernie had found a flaw in the catch at the top of the cage and after applying a little pressure had forced her way out. None of the others had managed this. The 1st Rat Olympiad was to have just one competitor. so…
Manipulation through a small space goes to…..Bernie
Rappelling down two stories to a convenient surface goes to…..Bernie.
The Long Jump to the coffee Table goes to……Bernie
The Marathon from coffee table via floor to settee goes to…..Bernie.
Then came the event I didn’t ever expect to see become an Olympic event because of health issues. Number One because it could make you fat and Number 2 because My wife could chop off your tail when she finds out.
Bernie had found Julia’s stash. She’d obviously enjoyed the mint chocolate aero since she’d made quite a dent in it. The coffee biscuit wrapper didn’t stand in her way for long and that was left a pile of crumbs but the most dangerous of all…… the lollipops….ah what an error, 4 of those she bit into and one of the sticks was chewed through, not even I could cover that one up. So, I did the only thing I could, made Julia a cup of tea and got her up telling her all about Bernie as I did so. When she came through she was almost forgiving.
The girls are got out two at a time in the mornings to play for half an hour so as Bernie was already out Priya was allowed out to join her. I noticed a strange reluctance on Julia’s part to allow Bernie into her robe or to kiss her, and she didn’t seem to regret putting the Olympic Star back in the cage after half an hour. Personally I don’t bear grudges ( well, they weren’t my sweets) so I’ll quietly celebrate her achievements. Penny and Amy have had their break now and it’s the turn of the degus, mother and daughters rolling around in three separate balls. I wonder if that will be part of the competition in four years time.

Bernie and the crumbs in evidence


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Colour returns to my life.

OK. If you want to be pedantic, yes, yellow is a colour. But it’s not the colour I prefer and anyway Julia always says yellow makes me look ill which must be why all my yellow shirts disappeared when they went down for the wash. Anyhoo, as usual I procrastinate to fill as much space as possible. It’s a miracle. Had I not see it with my own eyes I’d have had trouble believing someone could change colour in the way Julia has. On Friday we went shopping and as we sat down for a coffee in the supermarket  ( one day they should open a cafe ) Yvonne said “You’ve got some lovely colour back to your cheeks Mum”. She was right too, Julia’s cheeks were back to normal and this time she couldn’t say it was because I’d slapped her either.( though I’m not sure where her either actually is).

My chest has been terrible recently and I’m afraid to let Ju know that it’s partly her rats, partly her degus and partly her cat Oscar who has taken up residence in my room and is actually sitting staring at me now as if to say “Get on with it Longlegs”. OK. OK. I have COPD and the brain of an idiot since I still smoke so I can’t blame the animals totally but the condition has steadily worsened since they came to live here. I only mention this because Yvonne with wedding plans up the yazoo still found time to tell Ju she should reconsider the animals. Bless her. On Thursday after scrabbling on the floor for runaways (my fault-again) we finally got the degu babies to the pet shop for sexing. Not that they needed much help since they seem to have been trying it out for themselves before I threw  a towel over the cage in case the vicar came. They were days over 4 weeks old. My prediction was two girls and three boys. I blanched when the girl came out and announced four girls and one boy. From the activity in the cage I’d say there were some confused females in there. Any way we arranged to leave the boy behind to be adopted. The girl then asked what we wanted to do about the girls and I panicked as I’d told Ju she could keep any females t keep Saffy company. In the end she chose to pass two girls to be adopted too, though we’re pretty sure a member of staff who was also looking for a female ( female degu that is) will take them. So now Saffy has just two babies left and she seems less harrassed. I can’t say the same for me though since Saffy rolls around in her big ball tapping  slamming into ankles and now there are two smaller balls rolling round at the same time. If I ever get bored I can go bowling. This is Saffy’s third ball. Number one she ate a small hole in and broke the joints where it holds together. Number two she ate a hole in big enough to escape through and this one which was only bought on Saturday she’s managed to chew through the majority of the pieces that the ends clip on to. Another day or so and the end won’t fasten and ball number four will be needed. I wish they made them from see-through steel.

Yesterday (Sunday) we took our wedding outfits to Yvonne’s ready for the big day. If she forgets to take them to the hotel they’re staying in Friday night  we’re in trouble. On Thursday we have the rehearsal, on Friday we’re booked at a spa where I’ll sit in the hot tub all day while the girls have terrible things done to them by the staff.

On Saturday, THE BIG DAY, Ju will drop me at the hotel as they go off for hairdo’s so I can change at leisure and practise my speech. Then I get to ride in a Soft top Rolls Royce to escort my beautiful daughter to get married.

But that’s a tale for another time.

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