by ViVien Hoang
ViVien Hoang is a volunteer with Rattie Ratz Rescue in the bay area of California. Each month KRL will be featuring at least one animal rescue adventure story, and every other month there will be one from Rattie Ratz.
Meet Ollie and Jeffrey.
They are two dumbo brothers we are currently fostering. Ollie is the larger agouti hooded rat; Jeffrey is the beige boy. Their arrival into our home and their history are familiar stories. First owner could not continue to care for them because of changing family commitments, so they were ‘rehomed’ into a house with young children who didn’t know how to handle them. Then they were returned to their original owner before being brought over to Rattie Ratz. In the span of some very short weeks, they had their entire lives turned upside down.
We had been forewarned that Ollie and Jeffrey liked to nip, so for the first two days, we gave them time and space to settle into their new homes. They instantly shredded their cardboard box, crawled into the hammock and appeared confused by the second level of their cage. They were NOT confused about how delicious Cheerios were, however. We soon developed a rapport wherein Ollie and Jeffrey would see us, dart to the cage door, and we would give them food.
From there, it was only a matter of time before they started coming out of the cage and allowing us to pick them up.
The two brothers couldn’t be any more different. Ollie is the big squish. He does his share of exploring (at a leisurely pace!), but before long, he will sidle up next to you, tuck his face against you, and demand scratches. He’s bigger and heavier than his brother, so you won’t see him clambering in and out of the hammock. This boy is a cuddly one!
Jeffrey, on the other hand, is light on his feet and sprightly. When he sees you, he’ll leap out of the hammock, and then climb the bars of the cage excitedly in anticipation. Because he’s so excitable, we’ve been teaching him not to snatch food from our fingers; that’s how accidental bites happen. Jeffrey is all get-up-and-go. He doesn’t like to be picked up or held, but loves his adventure time outside of the cage.
Part of the fun of fostering Ollie and Jeffrey is watching their brotherly antics. Every night, around 9 PM, Jeffrey will start running in his wheel: a few revolutions clockwise, a few counterclockwise, and repeat. That’s how he keeps himself trim and fit (and that’s how he’s been encouraging his humans into exercising more too!). Lazy Ollie, who doesn’t want to be left out of the fun, will climb inside the wheel while his brother is running, to sit, and cause the wheel to come to a screeching stop. Silly Ollie! You have to run in a wheel!
But no matter – Jeffrey takes that as an invitation to start wrestling with his big brother. They seem to take turns flipping each other onto their backs and belly grooming, Ollie letting his smaller brother win. There is no clear dominant or submissive rat; just friendly and playful tussling.
When we first got Ollie and Jeffrey, we had been worried they would require a lot of work. Rats that bite can be tricky to socialize: you are nervous around them, they are nervous around you, and it’s a vicious cycle. But even in the short amount of time, our fears have been allayed. They’re just two boys who need a stable situation and the right home, a home that can accommodate two very distinct but very sweet personalities.
Ollie and Jeffrey will likely be ready to adopt in a few weeks. If interested, please contact Rattie Ratz for more information!
Rattie Ratz: Rescue, Resource, & Referral
Click here to email us at: info@rattieratz[dot]com
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For more information check out the Rattie Ratz website.
Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section & watch for more stories from Rattie Ratz every other month. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Rattie Ratz.