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Introducing Winston

June 6th, 2013

Winston

This is our new rat, Winston, who we adopted from Craigslist on Monday, June 3rd. His previous owner was moving into an apartment for college and the landlord would allow her cat but not the rat, so for $20 (she only asked for $15 but we were feeling generous) we got him, a cage (including a hammock which he actually uses and doesn’t chew up like my Templeton once did), and some supplies. He’s approximately a year old but no one is sure because the girl adopted him from Petco three months ago after the woman who had him since he was born couldn’t keep him, also due to a move.

Since we are his third family I’m hesitant about changing his name – it’s rather cute anyway, but we’ll see. In any case, he’s very friendly and energetic. I took him out when we brought him home and he was bouncing all over the place exploring. I put his cage in the loft and I take him into the former kitty room for playtime twice a day. He loves running around and then lying in my lap while I scratch and pet him. Today, however, he started “attacking” my hand and humping my arm. Apparently, based upon my Internet research, he was playing with me as if I was another rat as well as asserting his dominance over me and claiming me as his. Cute!

One thing I managed to forget about male rats is they like to scent-mark new territory as well as their human so he’s been leaving little drops of pee everywhere. Luckily rat pee isn’t really smelly like cat urine is, but it’s one of those things I’m not thrilled about, and the reason he won’t be running freely downstairs on the nice carpeting.

I’m debating whether I should acquire another male rat to keep him company as I’ve been reading conflicting information on how difficult introducing two older rats, particularly male, can be. They do best in pairs, though, and I’d like to think I’ll find a job sometime this year which means he could use a buddy to keep him company. As luck would have it, after months of searching for some cute rats with no success, now that I got Winston there are many more showing up on Craigslist. One pair in particular caught my eye today – one of the rats is brown and the other is white with black Dalmatian markings which is super cute according to the photos that were posted. The woman looking to rehome them has raised them since they were born (she even included pictures of them as babies and they were adorable) so they are well-socialized. I’m just not sure I want three rats, though, and males to boot. I was really looking for females to begin with but wanted a gray rat which is how we ended up with Winston. Plus I don’t have a big enough cage for all three and can’t afford to get the one I would like as it’s $250. The cage Winston came with is decent but only for a single rat. And even then I feel bad because its not that much space for him.

Oh well, I’ll have to sleep on that decision for now.

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