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From: Sandra Beasley
Date: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 4:07 am
Subject: The Rats from "Shades of Blue Rattery"
Monday, September 01,2003: SBR Ratties have come into my life.

Tuesday, September 02,2003: The babies have had 24 hours to settle in and they've done so very well. Though Babs was a little standoffish at first, she just needed a few more hours to get to know me. Now she climbs into my hand without hesitation.
Only Laite, at 5 weeks old, can jump to the top of the hut by herself. The 4 babies can only glance up with awe in their expressions.
I chose Melita to be the babies' mentor and surrogate mother. Of all of Hindi's girls Melita is the smallest and meekest one of the bunch. Melita was mobbed by the babies, but took it all in stride. She stood there with this blank expression on her face while the youngsters gave her the royal sniff over. Well, Laite thought this young lady was the rat's whiskers, climbed onto Melita's back and holding on with clenched fists began to powergroom the back of Melita's neck. It was hilarious, just like in a cartoon where the little guy is trying to pin the big guy down.

Wednesday, September 03,2003: I'm impressed with Melita. When I take the lid off the cage she has no intentions of leaping out....
This isn't going to work. Greedy Melita is gobbling down the baby food and I can't be sure if the babies are getting enough. I've been watching Laite as she eagerly tries anything new in the way of food that I put into the cage. The babies check out what it is that she is eating and they follow suit. I think it would be safe to remove Melita and put her back with her family.

Thursday, September 04,2003: I received a partial pedigree from Nathalie and it's awesome to see the lineage of these babies. I made one error in my introduction letter. Laite too, is a Satin, not a Standard, and to prove this to myself I took her into the bathroom and dampened her coat. A glistening wet top coat was made into vertical stripes over a creamy white undercoat, cool!

Friday, September 05,2003: Well, from day one when they couldn't even leap to the top of the hut, they are not only hut leapers, but they are now rim-of-the-cage leapers.
Doodle started it first. After climbing into my hand, he would get a grip on the back of my arm with front and back feet, flatten out in a desperate attempt to hang on, and shimmy up my arm to my neck. Not to be outdone by a boy, Natty was soon performing the same trick.
THE GREAT GRAPE INTRO! After putting 5 grapes into the cage I got these weird looks like, "What's a grape????"

Saturday, September 06,2003: So, from smallest to biggest we have Sunny, Natty, Doodle, Babs, and Laite. Sunny is the tiniest baby I've ever seen. I can't recall my own babies being this small. Although he and his sister are the same age (3 weeks old), Natty seems far more mature then he is. There's nothing wrong with the little guy. He popcorns and wrestles with the best of them. He has a healthy appetite. He's just as cute as a button.
Melita and Haley went in with the babies for a day visit. Haley wanted out out of the babies' cage real bad so she didn't stay long. Gosh darn but those kids love Melita. Laite contues to power groom her, but begs for melita to groom her as well. Other babies also went underneath Melita is a plea for acceptance.
The babies' main diet is baby formula mixed with Medivit water during the day and then the same thing, only with baby cereal mixed in at night. They get baby teething biscuits, and every day I add something new to the menu: Dog biscuits, grapes, banana, corn, peas, apple.

Sunday, September 07,2003: Tonight Doodle, Natty, and Laite are playing follow the leader around the rim of the cage. They haven't got the nerve yet to jump down from the rim of the cage. They climb up my arm...every once in a while Doodle takes a break and runs around on my back.
I can't get over how tiny these kids are. Except for Laite who is much bigger then the 4 babies, I feel like I'm holding mice.
I'm starting to think of these rats as the Rugrats children. Laite is Angelica, always saying to the youngsters, "Stupid babies". Sunny and Natty are Lil and Phil, Babs is Chuckie, and Doodle is Tommy. Fits em to a T.

Monday, September 08,2003: Well, I've had these babies for a whole week now, and knock on wood, I haven't heard a sneeze or a wheeze out of the lot. They are *incredibly* friendly and outgoing, and yes, they look like they are growing. They certainly are getting more confident and maturing day by day.






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