Sunday, 4 November 2007

RIP Robbie the Rat

Robbie (the brown rat, in the front on the picture) died on Saturday, 27th October, while we were away on holiday in West Wales. He was about 2 years and 4 months old. It's such a shame that rats don't live for very long - most live to 2 and half or 3 years old - because they are such intelligent and friendly animals. Robbie was really affectionate and loved cuddling up under my hair.

I'd taken him to the vet the day before we left because he hadn't been well - he had breathing problems which the vet thought was maybe a tumour on his lungs secondary to a tumour he had removed in April. He was on antibiotics and Vitamin B and seemed to perk up a bit. He was fine during the car journey and on Friday when we arrived at the cottage but he went downhill quickly on Saturday afternoon. His breathing was laboured and he was very listless.

We were debating whether to ring a local vets in Aberaeron (to have him PTS - never an easy decision) when I went to have another check on him. He passed away peacefully just as I was smoothing him. DS (5) was devastated as it's the first time he's encountered anything dying. Toffee (the rat with the pink eyes) was depressed for the rest of holiday and was looking everywhere for Robbie.
Rats are social animals and are best kept in pairs (or more) of the same sex. Toffee (in the photo to the left, aged about 2) was definitely suffering on his own so we decided to get another rat to keep him company when we got home on the Monday, after burying Robbie in the back garden.

We went to the local pet shop, who had a single 10 week old male rat available for adoption from a litter which had been brought in 2 weeks before. He had been on his own in a cage for about a week and was very skittish. However, he took to Toffee straight away and they've bonded really well. Toffee has perked up no end.

So this is Nibble (named by DS), the newest addition to the family, who is now about 11 weeks old. He's getting easier to handle by the day and is definitely less skittish than when he first arrived.



And yes, I really do have a pair of pyjama bottoms with pink cup cakes on!!





On the knitting front, I managed to make this pair of socks for DS while we were away. The yarn is Opal Prototype which I bought from Ebay a while ago, knit on 2 x 2.5mm Addi Turbo circs. DS (age 5) is a size 10-11 shoe so these were nice and quick to knit up and only took about 36g of yarn, so there's plenty of yarn left over to knit another pair for me. ;0)







Then last Friday, I started these - the Sockamania (see link in RH side panel) November pattern - Ripples. As soon as I had the pattern via e-mail on Friday evening, I cast on. I had the perfect yarn in my stash - Fleece Artist Sea Wool sock yarn in the Marine colourway which I had for my birthday in July.

The pattern is very easy and quick to knit and looks really effective. I'm hoping to finish sock #1 tomorrow. I altered the pattern slightly to knit these toe up - I've been addicted to toe up ever since I knitted Anni's Falling in Love pattern back in February. I haven't made a top-down sock since!

17 comments:

blog-blethers said...

So sorry to hear about Robbie ... it's so hard to lose one of the 'family', isn't it?

DD1 has 2 rats who both look like Toffee. Glad to hear that Nibbles is settling in so well and making life happier for you all.

Aknita said...

Sorry about Robbie - as you know Our Holly hamster died last week, the day after Robbie in fact.

Isn't it funny how attached you get to these little things.

ContinentalCat said...

Sorry to hear about Robbie, it's never 'just a pet', but part of the family. And poor Toffee must have been at a loss.

Where did you find those pyjamas? I love them! And the socks are great, too, of course.

franney said...

Sorry to hear about Robbie too, like you say it's such a shame they live such short lives as they are great companions. My oldest turns two in December so i am preparing myself now for his inevitable demise :o(
Still, i'll be getting two babies in January so the cycle will continue!

Linda said...

Thanks for all your comments about Robbie. I can't believe how quickly Nibble is growing - he seems to have doubled in size this past week. :0)

Continentalcat - I bought the pyjamas at Peacocks for about £3.00 I think. They're lovely and warm because they're made of brushed cotton. There's a shirt-style top to go with the bottoms - but that has pink cup cakes on too, and it's just a bit "in your face" to wear both together!

Kay said...

Ohhh... so sorry about your little furbaby. Rats are such wonderful pets, aren't they? Glad you have a new little face in there to keep the other one company.

Viknits said...

So sorry to hear about Robbie. No matter how small they are you still become attached and they're still one of the family. The more I hear about rats the more I want some one day! Your other two are gorgeous, it's great that the've bonded well. xx

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