Jenny is a lovely woman who is both an adopter and volunteer with Rattie Ratz Rescue. The following article is written by Jenny herself and tells the story of two lonely male rats who found each other and a loving home this past summer.
As I began the two hour trek home that pleasant summer afternoon in August, my two newest bundles of fur were settled beside me in two separate travel carriers. I was excited they would be joining our burgeoning family of rescue rats, guinea pigs, and dogs, but I was also filled with a mild sense of trepidation. I pondered the bonding process that faced us. The eight- and nine-month-old adult male rats were known as Sparky and Mr. Spaz, soon to be known as Oliver and Gabriel. Oliver is a handsome black hooded boy, and Gabriel is a striking black Berkshire boy, with little speckles of silver.
As for the bonding process, I had no idea how long it might take, and I knew I had to take things slowly and carefully as adult males are a challenging combination. Gabriel was neutered already, which we had in our favor. However, I’d been warned that the surgery only partially resolved his bullying tendencies. And Oliver was on the “needs to be neutered” list. Based on all the factors, I thought it might possibly take weeks for the process to work. And what if it never worked? I certainly had my doubts this pairing would be successful, but I never allowed myself to give voice to these doubts. I knew if there was a way to make it happen, I would figure it out.
As it turns out, all my worries were for naught as the two boys took to each other instantly. So strong was their connection you would never guess they were anything less than birth brothers. Energetic Gabriel showed none of his prior bullying tendencies, and Oliver was highly attentive to grooming Gabriel and making sure he was never out of his sight. They played spiritedly during free roam time, not wasting even a moment for lounging.
Of course, at the beginning, both boys were very suspicious of me, their dad, and all strange humans. Oliver became quite aggressive toward the humans in the house, biting one of us whenever the opportunity arose. I knew it was neuter time! The surgery went very well, and Oliver immediately became a cuddle bug and hasn’t bit a person or an animal since.
Now that summer is long over and winter and the holiday season are ramping up, Oliver and Gabriel remain as close as ever and have come to fully trust and love their humans. They always have time to chase me down and jump up for a cuddle before being released to engage in a round or two of play wrestling. Their good behavior is daily rewarded with a spoonful of their favorite coconut milk yogurt or a piece of pasta.
I believe Gabriel’s sense of adventure and complete silliness, combined with Oliver’s pensive and sensitive nature made for an ideal pairing. These boys are beloved members of our family, and we love them deeply. We remain thankful to Rattie Ratz volunteers, Stephanie, Garth, and Sarah B. who had the foresight to consider putting these two boys together.
If you would like to know more about Rattie Ratz Rescue you can visit their Facebook page. If you are interested in adoptable rats or volunteering for Rattie Ratz Rescue you can visit their website: www.rattieratz.com.
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.