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The Alfabit Rats

Varieties, colors, and markings, of the following rats were determined with the help of RatsPacNW Rat Fanciers Club
Unless otherwise stated the rats have Dark/Black eyes

From the Humane Society in Moose Jaw
To the best of my ability, this is what I understand how these rats came to be at the Humane Society:
Mom and Dad buy the children rats. They are unaware that they bought a male and a female and they put the rats together in one cage. They had babies and the babies kept escaping from the cage. Mom and Dad are getting tired of looking for escaped rats and returning them to the cage time and time again. They surrender all the rats they could find to the Humane Society.

Angel Angel (means "Messenger")
aka Angel Baby, Angel Boy, Angelus
Born: Dec. 04,2001 (best guess)
Pink-eyed White (PEW) Standard-coated Top-eared Buck
Angel's color is also known as Albino
We suspect that Angel is the Father of Chikita's litter
Angel's most endearing quality: He doesn't just sit on my shoulder, but he also runs circles around my neck. Angel never did like other male rats so he lived alone in his bachalor pad
RIP Angel September 09,2003
Chronic Myco

Bhryn Bhryn (means "Hill, Mound")
aka Scaredy-Rat
Born: Jan. 23,2002 (best guess)
Mis-marked Black-hooded Standard-coated Top-eared Doe
The only baby that possibly survived in a litter of escape artists. Daughter of Chikita and Angel
Bhryn's most endearing quality: Being so scared of everything and so difficult to catch or handle, she makes me feel sorry for her, and in need of protection
RIP Bhryn June 04,2003
There was a tumor on her spine that was unknown until the evening that she "freaked out" in the cage, probably due to pain. From the onset of showing discomfort to a vet check was less then 48 hours. She went downhill fast. X-rays revealed the tumor, but up until then we thought she had broken her back

Chikita Chikita (it's the name of an Exotic drink)
aka Cheeky, Chicky
Born: Dec. 04,2001 (best guess)
Chocolate Berkshire Standard-coated Top-eared Doe
Chikita's most endearing quality: In many ways Chikita reminds me of my late N'aani, in both looks and mannerisms. Chikita is big for a girl rat, and she's a great manicurist
RIP Chikita October 12,2003
Chronic Myco

From Bray's Pet and Garden Supplies in Moose Jaw
Diva and Eedie came home April 09,2002. The two girls quickly lived up to their combined nickname of "The BRAT! Sisters". Diva was "sugar and spice" to her sister's "jeckle and hyde" personality
Felicity and Gabrial, also sisters, from a different litter, came home December 04,2002

Diva Diva (means "Devine")
aka Divvy, Devine
Born: January 07,2002 (best guess)
Blue Agouti Husky Standard-coated Top-eared Doe
Diva's marking is also known as a Blazed Banded, or Roan
Diva is absolutely gentle and friendly
RIP Diva October 23,2002
Diva died under tragic circumstances. I thought Diva was pregnant, being a fiesty girl who would do anything to seek out a boy when she was in heat. But her conceiving date was unknown. At the point when it was evident that her due date was well past due, I took her to the vet for an emergency C-section to remove what appeared to be dead babies. At the onset of surgery it was found that Diva had Late-Onset Megacolon. There was nothing that could be done to save her life so she was not allowed to wake up from the anesthetic

Eedie Eedie (means "Richly blessed")
aka Evil-Knevil, Little Nipper, Edith
Born: Jan. 07,2002 (best guess)
Champagne-hooded Standard-coated Top-eared Doe with red eyes
Eedie is not a nice rat. She's gentle with her cage mates, but hyper and aggressive when she goes into heat. I've seen her attack boy rats through the cage bars, both when she's in and they're out, and when she's out and they're in. Sometimes she's territorial and she's nipped me on many occasions, sometimes drawing blood
Eedie is the Alpha in her cage and rules the roost with an iron paw and a short fuse. It takes her awhile to get used to new girls and gives them the run around, literally, until she finally accepts them. Eedie is also the guardian of the sick and the old girls, nipping me in my attempt to care for them.
Ah, well, I guess after so many years of having so many rats, I had to get a bad apple sooner or later. I say this with affection, as Eedie has made a firm place in my heart
Eedie's most endearing quality: Stealer of paper and pens and anything non-edible. She is sooooo pretty with her delicate doe-eyed face. Her personality is strong and she has a wicked sense of humor
RIP Eedie April 9,2004
In her old age Eedie developed a rear right leg limp that came and went. Something from an old injury. She had a skin condition that was successfully treated. She started to slow down but never showed any real signs of illness. Seems she just fell asleep, never to wake up again.

Felicity Felicity (means "Happiness, Good Luck")
aka Flit, Flurry, Fancy, Jess, Farilka
Born: Sept. 06,2002 (best guess)
Black Veriberk Standard-coated Top-eared Doe
Within minutes of bringing Felicity home she was licking and nibbling my fingers, and climbing into my hand. This girl is out-going and very friendly
RIP Felicity May 31,2005
Uterine problems

Gabrial Gabrial (means "Strong woman of God")
aka Gabi, Giddy, Greta, Mutt, Gilda
Born: Sept. 06,2002 (best guess)
Black Veriberk Standard-coated Dumbo Doe
Within minutes of bringing Gabrial home she licking and nibbling my fingers, and climbing into my hand. Gabi is somewhat shyer and more cautious then her sister, but just as eager to explore her world. Within a couple of days of having her home Gabi went into heat and showed me a very impressive Doe Dance. I've seen these dance several times since
RIP Gabrial September 20,2004
Chronic Myco and Tumors

Ok, so this little boy kinda messed up my alphabet soup since he has a "D" name instead of a "K" name, but he screamed his name at me when I was looking at him and his two brother's at Bray's Pet and Garden Supplies. He said his name was "Deej" and so I had to bring him home June 20,2003.

Deej Deej (Rat speak for "DJ")
aka DJ, Monkey
Born: April 11,2003 (best guess)
Mink Berkshire Standard-coated Dumbo Buck
Deej is the funniest little boy that I have ever had. He has a bounce to his step that gives one the impression that he is always deleriously happy. He eagerly climbs into my hands, runs to me when I enter the room, asks to be picked up, and loves to give kisses. Unable to make any satisfactory introduction to any of my adult males, Deej lived alone until he became the proud alpha of the cage with Hindi's four boys and Sunny and Doodle. And yes, Deej can popcorn and rat-wrestle with the best of them. Deej's nickname, Monkey, comes from his alternative method of getting around the cage via the bars of the lid. Deej reminds me of a little man who is a kingpin mob boss. He's only two-thirds the size of his cage mates and his body is of a slight build, but boy, he keeps his crew in line. If a treat is placed on the floor during free-range time, Deej spikes up his fur and bounds toward the dish. Nobody, but nobody, touches that food until Deej has had his fill. There used to be some 5 second squabbles during this nightly ritual, but they've learned to back off and wait their turn, even if they have checked out the food first
RIP Deej December 20,2004
Liver cancer/liver failure

From the Humane Society in Moose Jaw
To the best of my ability, this is what I understand how these rats came to be at the Humane Society: Shortly after we left for holidays, someone dumped off a box of rats at the Moose Jaw Humane Society. All of the rats were housed together, both in the jerk's home and at the Humane Society. Suddenly, an employee recognized that there was a single male amongst the dozen females. They separated him but he had already done his damage and four females were discovered to be pregnant. I had seen most of these rats on April 14 but when I took a box of Soy Milk over for the pregnant girls on April 16 I found out that the pregnant girls had been euthanized and many of their siblings had already found homes. It took me only until the morning of April 17,2003 to make up my mind to adopt the last 3 rats.

Hindi Hindi (a play on the name Hinda which means "Female deer")
aka H
Born: Feb. 13,2003 (best guess)
Champagne Self Standard-coated Top-eared Doe with Ruby eyes
Shy, skittish, but easy to handle once she is caught
RIP Hindi August 21,2005

Inara Inara (means "Ray of light", it's also the name given to a daffodil: "Lady Inara")
aka Indy
Born: Feb. 13,2003 (best guess)
Beige Mis-marked Berkshire Standard-coated Top-eared Doe
Inara is the first to greet me with a yawn and a stretch. She's outgoing and friendly, but hard to catch and harder still to put do bed
RIP Inara February 09,2006
Chronic Myco, Tumors, rectal hemorrhage

Jett Jett (means "Black gem")
aka Jett-ski
Born: Feb. 13,2003 (best guess)
Black Berkshire Standard-coated Dumbo Buck
Jett is a happy friendly boy. He loves his mama but he doesn't like other male rats so he lives alone
Update: June 11,2004. After living alone for a year, Deej has accepted a buddy. It's Romy, Natty's only boy, who was introduced to Jett at 5.5 weeks old
RIP Jett May 03,2005
Immune system disfunction. Jett developed infectious lumps/malignant cancer.

From someone who could no longer keep her
BeeBee also messed up my alphabet soup, but she was already named when I got her. BeeBee was the beloved single pet of someone who spoiled her to the point of allowing her full time free-range time around the house. As rats are want to do, it was found that BeeBee was causing a lot of damage and without an adequate cage for her, her previous owner contacted the Moose Jaw Humane Society to help her find another home. That phone call led to me. BeeBee came to live with me November 17,2003

BeeBee BeeBee (comes from Beatrice which means "Traveller")
aka Bee, Baby
Born: December 04,2002
Chocolate Berkshire Standard-coated Top-eared Doe
In a lot of ways BeeBee reminds me of my dearly departed E'lain. BeeBee always takes the opportunity to climb my pant leg to my shoulder to sit there and partake in my daily rat chores. BeeBee is very affectionate and very generous in her greetings, licking, and kisses. Since BeeBee has come to live with others of her kind, she has become very UN-destructive. I think she must have been bored as a single rat
RIP BeeBee December 28,2004
Necrotized Malignant Tumor

From Petcetera in Regina
On one of my usual trips to Regina I stopped in at Petcetera (a huge pet store). I always check out the small animal department first and this is where I saw my very first Agouti-colored rat. There were three sisters in the tank. An Agouti, a Black, and a PEW. A few days later a friend drove me back to the store to buy the rats. The PEW had already been sold so I brought the last two girls home November 07,2003.

Kirsti Kirsti (comes from Christina which means "Christian")
aka Kirst
Born: July 12,2003 (best guess)
Black Berkshire Standard-coated Top-eared Doe
Kirsti is the same color and size of Teensa, about half the size of her Agouti sister. Kirsti is blacker then the ace of spades, faster then a speeding bullet, and hyper as heck. It is not unusual for Kirsti to get around the cage via the bars. Kirsti always takes the opportunity to climb my pant leg to my shoulder to sit there and partake in my daily rat chores. Kirsti is very affectionate and very generous in her greetings, chasing me around the room, along with BeeBee, to climb the full height of me
RIP Kirsti May 26,2006
The ravages of old age

Linnea Linnea (means "Twinflowers")
aka Lindy, Lin, Agouti Cutie, NOT!
Born: July 12,2003 (best guess)
Agouti Veriberk Standard-coated Top-eared Doe
Linnea took a long time to come out of her shell. She's still shy, running for cover if she thinks I'm trying to catch her. Linnea has a laid-back-yea-whatever attitude, and she delights in her favorite game of chasing my bare feet and nipping my toes. Never draws blood but I think she enjoys my startled reaction. Linnea is also a hard-core finger nibbler and checks out my hands whenever she gets the chance
In her golden months and living with a huge tumor, in February of 2006 Linnea escaped my grasp while I was treating her for mites. She scurried through an opening under the bathroom cupboard. She either refused to come out or her tumor prevented her from coming out. Either way, there she lived for 5 days, happily enjoying the comforts of home that I provided for her, and bruxing to me everytime I went in to talk to her. At times I feared that she might have died under the cupboard, but then I would hear her keeping herself busy in her own way of housekeeping. One the fifth day, when my husband came home, we had to remove the baseboard surrounding the homemade cupboard to get her out
RIP Linnea May 28,2006
Late on-set Myco and Tumors

From the Humane Society in Moose Jaw
To the best of my ability, this is what I understand how these rats came to be at the Humane Society:
Someone dumps the rats in a box in the parking lot of the Humane Society. It is guessed that the rats may have been there overnight. They are lucky that the box had not been run over as mere trash. When found, there is a male, a female, and some babies in the box. We will never know if there were more rats that had escaped the box during the night and perished in the cold, or from predators.
The female appeared to be a mother, judging by the prominance of her nipples, but there is no certainty that the babies are hers. There is also no certainty that the male is the father. By the time I discovered that the rats were up for adoption at the Humane Society there was only one baby left along with the two adults, all in separate cages, however, there was a chance that the female might be pregnant again because they were in the box together. I'm thinking that this baby was not adopted because he looked like he had mange. As it turns out, this baby is genetically a hairless. These three came home with me March 09,2004.
Update: Tuesday, March 23,2004. If Nahla had been pregnant, she would have had babies by babies.
Update: Saturday, June 5,2004. More information revealed that the adults had killed and eaten some of the babies that were in the box with them. The hairless boy was being held back from being adopted because everyone thought he was sick. I really do wish the Humane Society would consult me in these matters.

Maverick Maverick (means "Independent")
aka Mav, Munster, Ricky
Born: November 04,2003 (best guess)
Mis-marked Black-hooded Standard-coated Top-eared Buck
Maverick is a very loving boy and greets me over and over when he is out for free-range time, as if to say, "yep, she's still there", marks my bare foot, and then he's bounding off to play again. He exudes all that is ratty...michievous, and cheeky
RIP Maverick April 11,2006
The ravages of old age, Hind end paralysis

Nahla Nahla (means "Attainer")
aka Nahl, Nal
Born: November 04,2003 (best guess)
Cinnamon Veriberk Standard-coated Top-eared Doe
Nahla is a very sweet girl even if she is a bit shy. Her confidence grew when she became first a part of Laite's group and then when Laite's group became members of Michaela's group
RIP Nahla February 20,2006
The ravages of old age. Nahla collasped and died in her cage after two days of glorious free-ranging

then, April 4,2004 His hair had grown in just enough to see that he had markings. At this time his hair began falling out again
now, June 8,2004 His hair has all fallen out and left him with naked peach-fuzz look
Oliver (means "Elf Army")
aka Olli, Awlee-ver
Born: February 3,2004 (best guess)
Mis-marked Champagne-hooded Standard-coated Top-eared Peach-fuzz Hairless Buck with Ruby eyes
Oliver is a very shy, very nervous little boy. He runs to hide at the least provication. And he stays hidden during much of his free-range time. Hard to catch, he's only calm for a few minutes when being held, and then he has to get away. Never a biter, never a scratcher, he just never had the handling he needed as a baby. I love the feel of naked rats, their skin feels much warmer then their furred cousins
RIP Olli October 29,2006
The ravages of old age.

From Petland in Regina
About a week after a new pet store opened in Regina I made a point of checking out this place. Of course I always check out the small animal department. Not expecting the rats to quite as exotic as they were, boy was in for a surprise! I took one look at this little boy, with his wildly marbled black and white markings, and half coursely-furred, half-naked body, I could picture him with a loop earring in his ear and I named him Punky Brewster right there at the store. Punky came home with me March 26,2004

then, March 26,2004 Punk was naked except for a patch of short curly hair on his face, his bum, and on each shoulder
now, June 8,2004 Punk has a lot more hair but he still has bald patches here and there, especially the nape of his neck. Hair never did grow back there
Punk (means "A young inexperienced person")
aka Punky, Punky Brewster, Punky Bruiser
Born: December 19,2003 (best guess)
Mis-marked Black-hooded Top-eared Patchwork Rex Buck
Punky is a personable, funny little guy. His best buddy is Maverick and where Mav goes, so goes Punky, like he's Maverick's shadow. He imitates Maverick even in how Maverick acts towards me. He's just as mischivous and cheeky as Mav is
RIP Punk May 23,2005
Chronic Myco. Punky had snuffles from the time I brought him home from Petland

From someone who could no longer keep them
A customer and employee of an Audio Store in Moose Jaw began to converse on the subject of rats. The employee tells the customer that he needs to find a new home for his boys because, due to life-style changes, they are no longer getting the care he feels that they need. The customer tells the employee about the rat lady, me, and I don't even know who the customer is? The employee finds my website and e-mails me. We talk via e-mail for a few days and today, June 23,2004, Rufus and Carle have came to live with us, perminately. The previous owner and I are talking about the boys and the timing, their ages, and the pet store they were purchased from, Bray's here in Moose Jaw, all being right on the mark, it is very, very, very, possible that Rufus is Deej's brother!!!!

When I bought Deej from Bray's Seed and Pet last June I left behind his two brothers so that another pet keeper could buy them as a pair. One was a Black Berkshire Standard-coated Dumbo and the other was a Black Berkshire Standard-coated Top-eared. A short time later Bray's gets in more males, can't sell them fast enough and they want to get rid of them so the previous owner buys Rufus and gets Carle free of charge.

Quincy (means "fifth born child" in English)
aka Quint, Quinc, Quintessential
Born: April 11,2003 (best guess)
Black Mis-marked Bareback, Double Rex, Top-eared, Buck
I changed Carle's name to Quincy, #1 to go with the Alfabit Rat Theme, and #2 I don't like the name Carle. Quincy suits him and reminds me that he is quick in movement. Quincy came to me as a biter. He is not, he has never bitten me. I think he was just misunderstood. Quincy is much more cautious and skittish then his cage mate. Quick and hard to catch, it takes time to put him to bed when he's been out for free-range time. Unfortunately for Quince, he has a Charcoal spot on his white belly. Just perfect for kissing
RIP Quincy October 17,2005
Chronic Myco

Rufus (means "red hair" in English)
aka Ruff, Roofy
Born: April 11,2003 (best guess)
Black Berkshire, Standard-coated, Dumbo Buck
Wow, does Rufus ever look like Jett. If they ever got out together, I don't think I could tell them apart until I looked at their Berkshire belly's
RIP Rufus April 09,2005
Intestinal tumor/blockage. Late on-set Megacolon

From Bray's Pet and Garden Supplies in Moose Jaw
I just feel sorry for the rats that have been at the store too long. As they get older they are "no longer cute" and no one else will buy them. Sorrell was already 4 months old, and Topi was 3 months old when they came to live with me August 11,2004

Sorrell (means "reddish-brown hair" in French)
aka Sorel
Born: April 08,2004 (best guess)
Mink Mis-marked Hooded, Top-eared, Buck
It's going to take some time for Sorrell to get use to me
RIP Sorrell April 15,2006
A long illness with Chronic Myco

Topi (means "hat" in Hindi)
aka Topiary
Born: May 12,2004 (best guess)
Black Masked, Peach-Fuzz Hairless, Top-eared Buck
It's going to take some time for Topi to get use to me
RIP Topi July 01,2006
The ravages of old age

From Johnstone Auction Mart in Moose Jaw
Don't ever, ever, ever, bid on animals at an Exotic Pet Auction unless ya know how to listen to the Auctioneer and ya know how to bid :P Suffice to say I don't know what I'm doing and yesterday afternoon I bought the most expensive rats ever at an Auction Barn just outside of Moose Jaw.

I hitched a ride with new found friends, Mellisa and Candace, both members of the Sask_Exotics Forum and as Ferret-crazy as I am Rat-crazy.

It all started out innocently enough. I thought I was safe when I e-mailed the Auction House and asked if anyone had ever brought rats to an auction before, and the answer was "no". But what should I see as we approached the front doors of the building...a young women putting rats into individual boxes. I asked her if I could buy the rats from her right then and there. She hesitated because she was already committed through the office to put the rats up for auction. This was her first time too. I should have insisted, but then thought that bidding would be fun. BIG MISTAKE FOR BOTH ME AND THE RATS.

I talked with her and found out that her first rat recently passed away and a friend gave her another rat as a gift. The gift turned out to be already pregnant from the pet store (Petcetera in Regina? I thought I had always seen their rats separated by sex). Anyway, homes were found for 9 of the 14 babies. The rest she couldn't give away, so mom and 5 babies were put into individual boxes to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Me, the ignoramus!

The rats along with house birds and lizards were auctioned first as they were set under warming lamps on a table in the auctioneer's ring. The other animals, including hamsters and GPs, had to endure the cold barn until their turn came.

So I'm looking at the babies and mom in each box. They are terrified. They are not 7 weeks old as indicated on the box, they are only 4 weeks old and this young woman, a vet tech., was going to sell them off one a time???? To unsuspecting owners???? I overheard her tell someone that babies are weaned and can be removed from the mother a 3 weeks of age. Mom is 6 months old, that I can believe.

At first I just wanted one girl, but as I sat in the bleachers watching both children and adults alike, poke at the rats, one boy shook a box gently, and the remarks and looks on their faces....I realized that I had to take all or nothing. My blood was boiling, I was getting livid, I wasn't thinking straight. I had auction fever. No other animals at that table were receiving the abuse that the rats endured. Besides, someone came into the building whom I was aquainted with. This person was fired from the Humane Society for abusing the resident animals, her petting zoo had/has been under scrutiny, she bought rats as feeders and she has/had pet rats.

I won the bid and upon immediately picking them up I placed all of the babies back in one box with mom and held them on my lap for the rest of the afternoon. I know they are stressed out, I hope they will be ok?

They have no food or water and the canteen could not sell me anything that would be appropriate. Oh my life for an apple right then.

Everytime I opened the box to sneak a peak and pet the rats I continued to get comments from the various people sitting around me. Some good, some bad.

So we endure 4 hours of din as every feathered and a few furred critters passed by in assembly-line fashion. I don't every want to see another chicken, duck, goose, pheasant, dove, pigeon again! until Mellisa won the bet on a couple of down-right beautiful ferrets, and then we left.

Mellisa and I were contemplating names for these rats while at the auction, but last night, as I watched them settle into their new home, they reminded me the scurrying black rats that live in the temple. The ones that are so revered by the East Indian people, and so I decided to finish off the first generation of Alfabit Rats with East Indian names, U to Z. There was supposed to be 3 baby girls and 2 baby boys in those boxes, but as of this morning one of those baby girls turns out to be a baby boy. They're all Standard-coated and Top-eared.

So as it turned out, the bidding started at $30.00 per box, and there were 5 boxes of rats. I thought they said each box was 30 cents. I threw up my hand too soon, at $25.00, which I thought was 25 cents. Then he asked me how many boxes did I want? All of them of course, I replied. And I bought 6 rats for $125.00

I used the website Indian Baby Names and Their Meaning to help me find the perfect names for this group.

Uma (means "Mother")
Born: May 20,2004 (best guess)
Black Veriberk, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Doe
Her name is pronounced "Yuma"
I suspect that it was Uma that nibbled on her cage mates after they died, as this has never happened again after Uma died
RIP Uma June 22,2006
The ravages of old age

Vanita (means "Graceful Lady")
aka Van
Born: September 22,2004 (best guess)
Silvered Black Veriberk with a headspot, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Doe

RIP Vanita December 31,2005
Liver Failure

Waseem (means "Good-looking")
Born: September 22,2004 (best guess)
Black Berkshire, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Buck
It didn't take long for Waseem to establish his Alpha status
He has the most white on his belly
RIP Waseem October 05,2006
Chronic Myco

Xavier (means "New Home")
aka Xav
Born: September 22,2004 (best guess)
Black Berkshire, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Buck
His name is pronounced "Zave-ee-air"
Xavier has the second most white on his belly
RIP Xavier May 11,2006
Chronic Myco

Yogi (means "Devotee")
aka Yogs
Born: September 22,2004 (best guess)
Black Berkshire, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Buck
Of all of Uma's Children Yogi is the most personable. He was already nibbling on my fingernails while in the box at the auction.
Yogi has the least amount of white on his belly
RIP Yogi October 02,2006
Chronic Myco

Zaafira (means "Victorious, successful")
aka Zaaf
Born: September 22,2004 (best guess)
Black Veriberk, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Doe
RIP Zaafira August 29,2006
Malignant cancer, possibly thyroid as the tumor started on her neck

Their bodies held in storage in the freezer, awaiting this day,
the Alfabit Rats were cremated, their ashes mingled,
and returned to me, November 17,2006

RIP ratties can be seen here


Taratoo - 
Sage's Niece 5 times removed

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