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SURPRISE!
Used with permission
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Zen's SURPRISE! Litter
Born September 19,2006




Mom: P4P Zen
Agouti, Mis-marked Hooded, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Doe
Zen
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Father: Unknown
?????????




One of my newest rats, Wisteria, is an excessive chewer. So far she has chewed two holes in the rat room walls and a hole in the cage. I mended those holes and she hasn't chewed those areas since.

August 8,2006, the youngest boys are free-ranging over-night. I check on the rats the next morning to see that Wist has had a busy night. She had chewed a hole in another corner of the cage and this time it was big enough for the youngest girls to get through.

So, I breathed a sigh of relief when no one had babies on the expected due date of August 29.

Zen was one of the eight girls who got out and free-ranged with the boys. It's five weeks later, gestation is three weeks, so that means no one got pregnant during that free-range time. But somehow, and I can't remember when, the boys met the girls somewhere around the last week of August. Unless a female rat can retain sperm, known as "suspended implantation" or "embryonic diapause", until such a time that conditions become favorable for her to raise young?

It's the evening of September 16,2006 and Zen is looking very pregnant. I set her up in a hospital cage.

I had been Watching the "Steve Irwin Memorial" on TV Tuesday 19,2006 and Zen had given birth to 12 perfect little pups during that time, 7:00pm to 8:00pm. Birth went without a hitch.

Having gone through two horrendous birthing disasters with Tuppins and Jana, and resently witnessing two perfect births with Daria and Zen, I now believe that Tuppins and Jana had genital mycoplasmosis at some time during their pregnancies.

Thinking that Daria would like some company, and some help to take car of her babies, I placed Zen in with the new mom. I discovered that Daria's beloved cage mate was also pregnant on the eve of September 16. They have been friends for months but Daria, in her hormonal excitement, decided that Zen did not belong in the cage with her and her new babies. Daria chased Zen, and pinned her. There was much squeaking and I decided to put Zen up in her own cage, otherwise there would be too much stress on both girls.

I have a strong suspicion of who the father(s)of these babies could be, judging from the ages of the males that were free-ranging that night, and a lineage that continues to produce these colors, coat, and ear-set. It comes from the DreamQuest Line, from P4P Blue Girl. The father(s) could only be Daria's brothers Evin and/or Goober, and maybe Albin.



Zen's babies 1 week old
Zen's babies, 1 week old on September 26
All Standard-coated, some Dumbo, some Top-eared
Haven't sexed them yet



Zen's babies 2 weeks old
Zen's babies, 2 weeks old on October 03
All Standard-coated, some Dumbo, some Top-eared
Haven't sexed them yet



Zen's babies 3 weeks old
Zen's babies, 3 weeks old on October 10



At 7 weeks of age the silvery-white babies began to show points. They are Himalayans. At 3 weeks of age Zen's babies remain small is size. As a comparison the average weight of Daria's babies at 3 weeks of age was 34 grams. At the same age Zen's babies' average weight is 22 grams. The babies have been given names to reflect their diminutive size. The boys were named first, but it took an extra 2 weeks for the girls to tell me their names.

Niblet

SPAZ Niblet
name means - a small kernal of corn off the big cob
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Himalayan, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Buck

Personality:
RIP Niblet November 27,2008
Ravages of old age
Minnow

SPAZ Minnow
name means - a small fish
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Himalayan, Standard-coated, Dumbo, Buck

Personality:
RIP Minnow October 01,2008
Ravages of old age
Tadpole

SPAZ Tadpole
An unknown accident caused Tadpole to loose the tip of his tail, which healed up nicely. Frog Tadpoles loose their tails also as they mature
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Himalayan, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Buck

Personality:
RIP Tadpole December 31,2008
Ravages of old age
Puppy

SPAZ Puppy
Puppy is identified as having the most white on his tail
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Black, Berkshire, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Buck

Personality:
RIP Puppy January 18,2009
Ravages of old age
Sprout

SPAZ Sprout
name means - a seedling plant
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Black, Berkshire, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Buck

Personality:
RIP Sprout September 04,2007
??? Sudden death

Skeeter

SPAZ Skeeter
Slang for Mosquito
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Dark Agouti, Veriberk, Standard-coated, Dumbo, Buck

Personality: Skeeter was the first baby named as he likes to land on me first with eccessive nibbling and licking.
RIP Skeeter May 11,2009
Ravages of old age
Sprite

SPAZ Sprite
Named after the paranormally encountered white balls of light that flash by
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Himalayan, Standard-coated, Dumbo, Doe

Personality:
RIP Sprite April 29,2008
Chronic Heart Failure
Chicklet

SPAZ Chicklet
name means - a little piece of gum
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Himalayan, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Doe

Personality:
RIP Chicklet November 13,2007
Pituitary Tumor

Gnat

SPAZ Gnat
Named because she annoyingly will not leave my toes alone, like a small bug
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Black, Berkshire, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Doe

Personality:
RIP Gnat December 14,2008
Benign Mammary Tumor
Skittles

SPAZ Skittles
name means - the way a small beetle runs across the room
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Black, Veriberk, Standard-coated, Dumbo, Doe

Personality:
RIP Skittles December 08,2009
Ravages of old age
Pebbles

SPAZ Pebbles
name means - a small rock
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Black, Pebbled-Veriberk, Standard-coated, Dumbo, Doe

Personality:
RIP Pebbles April 27,2008
Benign Mammary Tumor
Mouse

SPAZ Mouse
Named because she is very nervous and likes to hide all the time
aka:
Born: September 19,2006

Black, Mis-marked Hooded w/headspot, Standard-coated, Top-eared, Doe

Personality:
RIP Mouse April 23,2009
Benign Mammary Tumor


RIP ratties can be seen here


Their bodies held in storage in the freezer, awaiting this day,
Zen's Surprise litter were cremated, their ashes mingled,
and returned to me,






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