8 Nov 2015

Hello there everyone! If you follow me over on my social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, etc you would of seen that I have been away all week in London! Nothing fancy, just an art trip, but alas that is the reason I haven't posted much this week but I'm back, full of ideas for this week ahead. Different post than my usual content, but I am literally sat stroking all the love out of my rats thinking to myself "I've learnt so much from having them already and it would be really useful for anyone going into getting their own pets". Yeah I think weird things related to my blog all the time, so I couldn't just sit watching Buffy with this itching to write out a blog post! (we've also got to that awful part in Buffy season 5 maybe with the key and dawn and blah I don't care it's so boring why Buffy why)
This isn't my first time having pets, my parents were so good and allowed us to have alot of animals growing up and I'm talking about five dogs at one time.
I had a rabbit as a young child, cats, fish, dogs and as of recent I have a wonderful Ginger cat named Perry who lives over at my parents house. 
Being at university means I no longer visit home as much as I really want, which also means Perry gets very mardy with me when I do and pretends like he doesn't love me when deep down inside he probably still doesn't. It's one thing I miss, having that little pet that is yours and likes to sleep at the end of your bed, waking you up for attention. Perry was such the attention hog, he followed you around 24/7, which now when I'm alone so much I really do miss my small companion. 
I've come to the realisation too that once university is over  I'm probably not going to move back home, I'm in it for the long run with my boyfriend and that means staying in York (which I really don't have a problem with at all the city is so beautiful). So no more Perry. No more having my own pet. I don't even remember how we came about discussing getting the rats, but my boyfriend Joel kind of sprung the idea of getting a pair. He's had rats before so he knew all the details I'd want to hear about rats to sweet talk me into getting them. We went out to Pets at home which is a store in the UK where you can buy pets like rabbits, rats, fish, snakes, etc and picked up our little babies Clive and Henry. 
They are just your average little cute rats, both brothers, Henry has grey all over his face and Clive has grey running all down his back. Clive is adventurous, cute, loving, a little shit and Henry is an antisocial, doesn't leave the cage kinda guy. I love them, I am a little over attached and with only having them not even a month I have learnt so much from having them as pets. They're my first real pets as an adult living away from my parents and here are some things I have learnt so far:

1. I think about them 24/7 if I am not at home
Whenever I leave for work I am constantly thinking 'ooo I hope they'll be ok for the 5 or so hours I'll be at work' or when it comes to finishing and someone asks if I'm staying for a drink my reply is 'oo no I have rats to get home to! I haven't given them attention in 5 hours'. I actually feel like a mother leaving her kids with a babysitter, I want to be in the house all the time so I can watch them and play with them and make sure they won't randomly just die on me. I know that's morbid, but I'm still in the mind frame that rats are like hamsters which in my experience have just died. Or goldfish, they do that too. 

2. One coughs and its might be the end of the world
Like I said, the second one makes a squeak or coughs I'm straight over to the cage cuddling the rats crying over whether it's ill or not. I had a good reason to, most rats have a disorder from the pet shop so I had to get the boys on antibiotics. They're all better but Henry still makes this weird croaking noise all the time....I may have to take him to the vets. 

3. There is no killer in the house, its only the rats
This is still happening and I kick myself every time, but when you're used to living on your own you're not used to small noises in the night or bangs coming from the room they live in. We have the rats cage in the living room so when I'm all tired in bed, one bang and I shoot up expecting a burglar to be stood in the door way. When Joels at work and I forget I've left the rats out to roam around sometimes, one small noise has me putting all the lights on, checking under the bed for monsters until I see Clive's cute little face with something he has stolen from the bedside table. He likes to steal bottle caps, my keyboard keys and he's currently playing with a kids plastic pop bottle. 

4. Pets essentials are pricey 
 I never even thought about it when my mum had to buy all that dog food to accommodate 5 dogs, but just having 2 rats can be a little bit costly! Thankfully it's not just me paying for the rats, Joel and I tend to go halves on everything but still. You have to buy them a cage and ours cost £85 and it's not even that extravagant. You also have to buy them litter, food, cleaning supplies, bedding, toys (because it's unfair to let them be bored) and treats (because it's unfair to let them not have treats). When I took the boys to the vets I completely forget to buy a pet carrier but that again will be a bit of money, it's just like having a baby that you have to pay for every day/week/month/forever. 

  5. Teaching them things
I know it's going to take time to teach them tricks, but I completely forgot we'd have to also learn the boys their own names! We've been overly repeating their names and giving them treats when they respond, but that also made me think of having to teach them to like being bathed and not to panic when we change their litter. Henry doesn't really like leaving the cage so it's hard for him when we take it apart to clean.

6. Going on holiday
It's not even just going on holiday, if we want to go away for the weekend to see our parents, etc, we now have to think about the rats. I don't want to leave them on their own because what happens if their food ran out? their water? We now have 2 little boys to think about and I secretly love it, we'll just have to plan us going away in plenty of time. 

7. Their dietary needs 
I don't just mean their food, I'm talking about what things are ok for them to nibble on and play with. Like, if I give them a cardboard tube, will they choke on it and die or just chew it up for bedding? They boys love veg and these little carrot treats, but I'm worried the second they steal any of our people food. They loved Joel's noodles whilst he was trying to also eat them. 

8. Housing 
Getting a little serious now, when it comes around to looking for houses after university, we're now going to have to consider if where we rent will allow little pets. I can imagine alot of places not allowing pets at all, but we'll cross that bridge when it comes.

 I hope you found this post interesting and let me know if you have rats and how you find looking after them! Infact just let me know about any of your pets, I love reading your comments!