Saturday, 20 December 2008

Just a quick update

We're still not really fully functional here I'm afraid. My Grandma came home from hospital last week but my Grandpa is still in and will be over Christmas - for the second year running :( We've also both been ill again with a rotten cold and chest infection although we're more or less over that now. So we're slowly starting to get back into things but we still have a lot of catching up to do with cleaning, answering emails etc.

Happily last weekend saw four rats go off to new homes - Angel and Daisy went to keep new friend Poppet company and T'Pol and Hoshi went to live with Reggie, a wild ratty girl who had been rescued as a baby. Introductions are still going on there as Reggie has never seen another rat but I hope to have some lovely pics of their happy ending before too long.

Four mousey ladies are booked to go to their new home on Boxing Day and the four degu girls have also been offered a new home, living with some other degus adopted from us.

A little sad news to report though in that Smokey degu passed away yesterday :( Smokey was one of the goos who came from the house in Essex which was overrun with degus living in awful conditions. He arrived in January 07 in a pretty bad way and clearly quite elderly then. Others from his group went to a new home and then the other two, also elderly, passed away so Smokey was introduced to two younger boys, Dre and Eminem. He got on great with them and it gave him a new lease of life really. A few days ago I thought he suddenly looked his age again although I checked him over and there was nothing obvious. And then last night when I went in to feed everyone Dre and Eminem were acting strangely and hadn't eaten all their breakfast. I checked the nest box and darling Smokey had passed in his sleep. He was a real character and will be greatly missed. I'm sad for him that he never did find a new home but I know for sure that he was very happy here for his last two years so I don't think he really knew the difference. We certainly loved him like one of our own.

One last thing - if you come to this blog via you'll notice something odd. Sprogpages now redirects to! We're having a bit of a reorg there and sprogpages will become a subdomain of starlighttrust. So fear not it will be back - I'll update again once this has happened. If you email me using a sprogpages address I should still receive it but if you don't hear back then please resend it replacing with instead.

Can we also take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy christmas and a lovely new year.

Much love

Sarah & Dave

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Apologies again

Everytime we think there's light at the end of the tunnel something else happens.

Just as we were getting over our run of bad luck we both got flu. As we were getting over that the big mouse rescue happened. As we were getting on top of that, on Friday night, both of my grandparents were taken to hospital by ambulance. My Grandpa is ok but my Grandma had a heart attack and had to be resuscitated. Her long term prognosis is not yet known :(

So continued apologies to all those waiting for replies to emails, phone calls etc. Our priorities at the moment have to be keeping the animals cared for and visiting my Grandparents so it's unlikely that you'll hear back from us in the next week realistically.

Thank you for your continued patience.


Friday, 7 November 2008

Eeepy, eeep, eep

We have a mini baby boom here tonight!

In the green duna, where I first heard squeaking Wednesday night there appears to be three babies. They're starting to get their colouring through now and look pretty sturdy :D

In the red duna, where the original litter of 10 were that didn't make it, I found one single baby. He looks like he was probably born yesterday I think.

And in the larger of the two tanks someone has gifted me a litter of 6 pink little wigglers. They look like they've been born today 

Everything crossed for them!

Escapee mouse (now known as Rodent Boy) is still evading capture. But I think I know where he is and have set the trap accordingly. Hopefully tonight's the night!!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Fireworks Rant

OOOOOOh I HATE this time of year. This evening instead of being able to clean out cages, attempt mouse captures etc I'm spending it trying to comfort hysterical dogs. It drives me MAD that inconsiderate, selfish people can put my poor babies through such absolute torture for a bit of fun. We as a nation condemn the abuse of animals for fun when its in the form of fox hunting or bull fighting yet we think nothing of ruining the lives of millions of dogs each winter for a bit of fun. We dont bother even trying to walk our lot in the evenings this time of's hard enough to even get them to go in the garden after dark they're so scared. When we have been out with them and fireworks have gone off they've panicked and I've been worried about them running off. Literally from October to mid January every year their lives are seriously impeded by their fear of bangs when they're going off and other nights too cos they're pemanently worried about them going off. It's just totally unacceptable and the wretched fireworks need banning now!

Mouse Update

Well having almost given up on our escapee we spotted him this morning. Despite two attempts to catch him he has so far comprehensively outwitted us! But at least we know he is ok.

The litter of babies who arrived Sunday sadly did not make it. I checked their cage this evening and there is no sign of any babies. Another doe who was heavily pregnant in there is also looking slimmer so it seems likely she has either reabsorbed her babies or they have also been eaten :(

On a happier note the cage next door to them is eeping away happily so everything crossed for more luck in there.

Monday, 3 November 2008

The mouses have arrived

Phew, what a weekend. Yesterday disappeared in a mousey whirlwind although our weekend was nothing compared to Emma at Furry Friends who drove to North Wales at half six Saturday morning collecting I don't know how many hundreds of mice and then sexing them all, medicating the injured ones and finally falling into bed at half past three only to be up again in time for us to collect ours at 9am!!

So we came away with 20 girls and 23 boys plus a litter of 10 pinkies altogether. 8 boys have gone to Kelly and 4 girls went to Vicky, one of our lovely foster carers. Amongst our boys was one very poorly little lad who we called Conner. There was nothing obviously wrong with him, I suspect all the stress was just too much. I spent hours Sunday cuddling him, warming him and syringe feeding him and trying to tell him his ordeal was over and he had a wonderful life to look forward to. Sadly it wasn't enough and he passed away :(
We have a couple of other battered boys but nothing too serious thankfully. And, one has managed to escape so we've had to set a humane mouse trap for him this evening. Unfortunately these mice are used to living rough so he's not about to let himself get found!

I don't hold out a great deal of hope for the 10 pinkies. They must have been born Saturday night and it's unlikely that the mother will care for them after so much disruption. Plus I had no way of knowing who the Mum was and no cage big enough to house all 20 girls! So I had to guess based on the one who appeared to be sitting on them. The babies have disappeared from the place I left them in the cage and the girls in that cage have been busy nesting. Maybe they have taken them into the nest, or maybe they have eaten them :( The best I can do now is leave them alone and keep everything crossed. But resisting having a peek is near killing me!!

Anyway I have 60 unanswered emails to tend to! Sorry everyone!! So I'll leave you with a couple more pics

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Mousey preparations

Today we've been getting ready for the mousey influx. Emma has collected them and is on her way back from Wales as I type. So we'll be collecting our batch bright and early tomorrow morning - about 50 of them. Gulp!

So this morning I was preparing all the mouse accessories

Including some hi-tech, very expensive things!!

and getting cages ready - 8 in all (some mice are going to foster homes tomorrow)

I've just updated the stats ----->

Which show that we've taken in 120 animals so far this year. Which basically means tomorrow almost half of the animals we've taken in over the last 9 months will be arriving in one day! Eeep!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Can anyone help with mice?

We've heard about a terrible situation in Wales where hundreds of mice are being kept in buckets and are in very real and immediate danger of being killed. Environmental health are involved and I shudder to think what they'll do to them and how :(

Realistically, given than half of them will be pregnant, we can only take about 30 in here directly. Which seems like a drop in the ocean when there's an estimated 500 needing help. If you can help by fostering or adopting - even if it's 2 or 3 it'll make the world of difference to those mice - please get in touch. Please spread the word on any animal sites and forums and with any other rescues you know.

And apologies yet again to anyone waiting to hear back from us. We're finally coming out of the depression and flu fog we've been in the last few weeks and now we're hit with this. We're desperately trying to catch up with the cleaning here and make as much mouse space as we can. I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Friday, 17 October 2008

Thank you all :)

We just wanted to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone for the messages, cards and letters we have received in the last couple of weeks. It was very unexpected but hugely appreciated. Your support and understanding has been very encouraging indeed.

Things have settled down here thankfully although we've not achieved a great deal as we've both been hit with flu. It's typical that as soon as we stop we get ill!!

The good news is that we had 16 animals head off to their new homes last weekend which was just brilliant! It included a few people who had been here for quite some time as well. As usual massive thanks must go to Sylvia and Olivia and everyone else involved with getting the animals to their homes. They are the forgotten heroes and without them we wouldn't be able to home half as many animals.

We also have a couple of new additions. One being Onslo, a single male rat who had been living on his own for quite a while. He'd also been known to bite so hasn't had much human attention either. So he has now been neutered and this weekend we're hoping to see how he responds to some girls.

The other new addition is a bunny friend for Kitkat. She was quite depressed after Shadow died and went off her food. As luck (fate?) would have it, we recently homed a hamster to Karen who is involved with rabbit rescue locally. So I contacted her and she suggested Ginger, a six year old boy who had been looking for the right home for a few months.

Introductions are going fairly well. Well, they're going great on neutral territory but Kitkat gets grouchy with him if they're out near their cages. Hopefully with time and patience they'll soon be able to move in together though.

So that's a little update on how things are. We hope to be back to business soon but still have a whole load of catching up to do thanks to the flu as well!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

A brief statement

Just to let you all know that we are closing our doors for a little while. We've had a really horrible time with 8 losses in the last few weeks, four of them in the last four days. All have been sudden and tragic and so horribly unfair. 

After 15 years working in animal rescue I ought to be hardened to it now but I'm not. I still cry for each and every one of them and my heart is totally broken at the moment. The final straw was finding our beloved Shadow rabbit dead this morning with no warning. 

We have some animals booked to go to new homes and others booked to come in which we'll go ahead with. But aside from those we'll be shutting our doors for a short while just to give ourselves time to regroup. There are some things we want to get done such as rearranging the rodent room, setting up some new cages and building a new play area so we'll take the opportunity to get those things done so we can come back new and improved. 

Apologies to those who have outstanding applications to home animals. I hope you understand. Letting animals go to their new homes is another thing that ought to be easy by now but it isn't. It requires a certain amount of emotional strength and bravery which I just don't have at the moment. 


Sarah & Dave 
Starlight Trust Animal Rescue

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

That'll teach me

Ok on the one hand everyone is behaving themselves here and I'm actually up straight with the cleaning today for the first time in weeks. We've had some really promising home offers recently too.

But in the last two days I've heard about around 70 rats needing help. Some thankfully already in rescues but they are struggling to cope with them all. Others in imminent danger of being pts. Still more thankfully safe in their home but needing somewhere to go soon. It feels like what we do is a drop in the ocean at the moment as no doubt these ones we have heard about are a tiny fraction of the animals out there needing help.

I'm tempted to appeal for help with fosterers so these rats can be safe and rehomed with our backup but with other people caring for them. But we have very limited time for vetting homes at the moment and I have to bear in mind that we are responsible for animals in foster homes so we need to be prepared to take the animals on foster back if things don't work out. With this in mind I'll say for now - if you have homed from me before (either as STAR or as a fosterer for Furry Friends) and you think you could handle some fostering (not just rats, also degus, gerbils and mice), drop me a line :)

Sunday, 13 July 2008

I might be speaking too soon

...but things seem to be calming down. Astro is doing great, Fudge had a dental and is recovering fine, the new girls aren't showing any signs of being pregnant, I'm almost up to date with the cleaning and I've finally gotten round to updating the website (hope you like the little improvements I've made). It's largely thanks to the lovely Katie who has been helping out with the homing applications (as well as fostering some mice) which has left me with time to do other things.

I suppose I don't really have an excuse for not having done the housework now. Darn!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

A bit more than we bargained for

We've not taken in any new animals for a while now because we've been absolutely chocker with those already here. In fact we have quite a waiting list at the moment of animals waiting to come in. But the other day we had a call from a lady who had 5 baby girl rats she needed to home urgently. She was so desperate that she was considering having them put to sleep if we couldn't help. Well we had some girls going to their new homes this weekend so I figured they could sneak in in their place.

Unfortunately on arrival it transpired that 5 girls were in fact 4 girls and 1 boy. And that boy had been in with two other girls at home. So we ended up taking in 2 baby boys and 6 girls who are possibly pregnant.

Thankfully two of our wonderful foster carers have stepped in and taken 2 girls each which is a huge help.

The good news is that 4 of the "Might-Be" girls - Akuti, Blanche, Dodie and Zahra - went to lovely new homes today.

Also Astro is doing a lot better. He is gaining weight and his eye infections have cleared up. He has another check up on Thursday and hopefully then he can come off the antibiotics :D

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Still having a rough time

Things have yet to improve here.

Last night Maisie passed away, completing the hat trick of ratty deaths in the last month. Astro is still fighting but the infection from his chin spread to his eyes. He took a turn for the worse recently and lost a lot of weight but he is soldiering on. Everything is healing well, we just need him to stay strong and eat more.

I've not been too well myself either so we are still struggling to keep up with everything here. So continued apologies for lack of updates and slow response times to emails etc.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


for lack of recent updates. It has just been a horrible few weeks. Quick run down - Skip is gone, Widdle is gone, Susie's lumps are worse, Maisie won't be with us much longer and the vets advised euthanasing Astro. We are still incredibly busy and with everything else going on we're just so behind on everything right now.

We took Astro to a specialist and he has had an operation to remove his abcess. He's doing ok, his weight is stable and he is bright and active but we've had to give him a potentially dangerous antibiotic and he still has pus in his op site. We're back at the vets with him again tomorrow.

So please forgive the lack of blog posts, the hideously out of date homing pages and the even longer than normal response time to homing applications and other emails. Hopefully things will settle down soon!

Friday, 23 May 2008


Shadow is back indoors cos he started scratching himself up again.

Skip is bunged again, two weeks after his last enema. No amount of laxatives seem to be shifting it.

Super Susie Tripod has two lumps but I don't think it's right to put her through having them removed.

Astro has a big lump under his chin. I'm hoping it's an abcess - we're off to the vets soon.

Widdle is also coming to the vets. But he won't be coming home. He has been going downhill for a little while now, particularly over the last few days. This afternoon he has begun having little seizures so I suspect some form of brain tumour.

I'm just exhausted with all the worry and sadness. It's constant at the moment :(

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Some Good News

First and foremost I'm delighted to report that Skip had his enema yesterday. All went well and they've flushed him out good and proper!! He's back to his usual norty little self already :)

Secondly, Barney the grumpy single male rat has had a perfect sounding home offer and will be leaving us tomorrow for his new home :D

And finally, Shadow and Kitkat wabbits went outside today for the first time in about 3 months. Here's some pics of them enjoying the sunshine!

Thursday, 8 May 2008


Urgh I am just exhausted at the moment from so much worrying. I have had months of worrying about Shadow, I am just done worrying about Erika (with a sad outcome), I am worring about Mollie squirrel (she's losing weight, very quiet, not eating much just as she was a year ago) and well I'm almost constantly worrying about Skip. I guess it has come to a head tonight because Skip is bunged again. It has only been two weeks since his last enema but he hasn't really been quite right since. I don't think they entirely unblocked him to be honest. So I don't want to leave him til Monday which means praying the vets can fit him in tomorrow. I can't describe how horrid I feel tonight, I just adore him so much :(


Erika degu has left us today :(

She went to the vets a few weeks back cos she was losing weight. I thought it was to do with her teeth and when they turned out to be overgrown it appeared I was right. Initially she seemed to do better after her teeth were seen to but in the last few days the weight has suddenly just fallen off her and she ended up like a walking skeleton. It was obvious her time had come but she didn't appear to be suffering so we decided to let nature take its course unless she looked to be in any pain. And then last night it was apparent she didn't have long. I sat with her for a while, kissing her and talking to her. Then I made her a nest and made her comfortable. To my surprise she was still with us this morning but slipped away some time this morning.

Erika was very special to me. She was the most confident of our degus and would climb out of the door and try to escape and get up to mischief at any opportunity. She seemed to genuinely like us and would happily sit on my shoulder. She will be very much missed.

Sunday, 4 May 2008


aka babies ;)

Got them out and weighed and photographed them again. Most are doing well but the 4 who had been stolen by Akuti are still flagging behind the others. She had stolen them again today and all but 1 baby was in her nest. If she persists I might have to think about separating her and her babies out so that all the babies get a fair chance to feed.

Anyway here are some new piccies

Friday, 2 May 2008

Poor Ronnie :(

Wednesday night we went to bed and soon after things really kicked off in the rodent room. At first I thought it was Reggie's gang who have been a bit squabbly recently but it was coming from the cage containing Frankie, Ronnie, Harry, Robson and Fred. There had been a little tension between Ronnie and Harry, mainly cos Ron liked to hump Harry. Well it seems Harry finally had enough cos he turned on Ronnie big time raining dozens of bites down on his back :( I opened the cage and Ron jumped out the door and straight up my arm, clearly in shock. So he and Frank have had to be moved out of that cage and are in temporary lodgings in the bathroom til tomorrow when Reggie's lot go to their new home.

It seems to have been the week for fall outs. The baby boy mice and their Dad came back from foster and the boys fell out straight away. One of them has had to be taken out and the other two are dubious as to whether they will stay together. I darent try them with Dad while they're like this so I might end up getting them all neutered at this rate :(

Anyway, as I say Reggie & Co go to their new home tomorrow which is great news. We really need the space at the moment as we have a waiting list of about 50 animals waiting to come in!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Eeper update

Well we had some sad news on the eeper front. After the arrivals on Tuesday, we had another batch of arrivals on Wednesday and then the third girl, Priya, showed signs of being in labour. On Thursday lunchtime we got home to find that she had given birth to two dead babies and wasn't looking too great herself. So we rushed her to the vets and on the way and while we were there she gave birth to four more dead babies :( The vet did an x-ray and thankfully that seemed to be all of them so she escaped having a hysterectomy and came home for nursing and observation. I'm pleased to say that she is now looking fine and seems none the worse for ordeal but I found it incredibly sad that the poor babies were so close to life but never got to experience it.

The other two girls have 9 babies each who are all doing well. These pics were taken yesterday

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Eeeep eeeep

We have eepers!

One of the Might-Be's has finally popped. I got home from work this evening, went straight in to check on them and heard the tell tales eeps coming from the nest. I haven't seen them yet. Dave reported no eeping at lunchtime so they can only be a few hours old so I shall leave them alone a little longer much as I'm dying to have a peep and see how many we've got. I shall have to add another nest as well since Mum1 appears to be monopolising the igloo and there are still two more at least who look fit to burst!!

I'll update as soon as I've seen more!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Newbie Update & other news

Well the new rats (aka The Might-Be's) have turned out to be right handfuls. On Tuesday night I split the girls into two groups, separating any who looked pregnant into a suitable nursing cage. On Friday morning I went in to check on everyone and found the room is some disarray with several water bottles on the floor. The reason - a large hole in the nursing cage which the chompy little minxes had created! So I had to have a move around and they are now housed in a suitable all metal cage. There are four girls who look imminent - a couple look fit to explode in fact so I think we'll be hearing eeping within a few days.

In other news Big Bad Barney rat went for his neuter on Wednesday. He recovered fine despite my concerns about his age and rattly chest so now we just need to wait two weeks til he is safe to see how he reacts to some girls. It looks like Daniel, Miles and Reggie might also be getting visits from the testicle fairy as there has been quite a lot of scrapping going on in their cages.

The Mummy amongst the mice we took in a couple of weeks ago who are on foster with Katie has given birth again. Katie is leaving her alone for now but once I have numbers or pics I'll let you know.

Shadow wabbit seems a bit better I think but we'll find out for sure tomorrow when we go back to the vets and he is weighed.

Skip got bunged again and had to have an enema on Friday. Last time he had diarrhoea afterwards but he's still a bit bunged up now so we're keeping a close eye on him and giving him laxatives.

If you pootle over to the rats page you'll see that we have a new addition to the family as well :)

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Influx and a smaller ...errr....outflux

Wow what a weekend! It was set to be a busy one anyway cos I was pretty behind on cleaning and stuff after a busy week. Then came the call on Saturday about an estimated 15 rats needing rescuing. Serena from Pet Rescue went to check out the situation and found 20 odd rats, 20 odd chinchillas plus cats, hamsters and degus all living in horrendous circumstances in this home. The things was we were full. But there was no way these animals could be left as they were. So we spent all weekend moving cages and animals around and making some extra room. Thankfully Furry Friends and NANA stepped in to offer help for a lot of the animals too. We have taken in two russian hamsters and 15 rats. One of the female rats was with the boys and the boys broke into the girls cage recently too so chances are some of them are going to be pregnant.

We also had a call this weekend about 35 rats needing homes. It just feels like what we're doing is a drop in the ocean at the moment :(

On a happier note Bennie and Roberto the rats, Bailey the gerbil, Kayla the syrian hamster and Lola, Lexi and Rodney the robos all went to their new homes today. This is really great news - Kayla and Bailey had been looking for nearly 3 months and neither were overly happy in rescue. The three robos weren't overly friendly so it'll do them good to be in a home and get some more attention.

Anyway, the new arrivals have been left to settle in after their long day. I'll get photos and update in the next few days :)

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Shadow again

Although Shadow's skin is doing well I was still worried that he hadn't gained weight. So I attempted to weigh him tonight. I don't really have anything ideal to weigh him on and there's always a difference between our scales and the vets scales but it looks like he might actually have lost more weight :( He has also sneezed a few times recently and tonight I noticed the inside of his front paws is wet which suggests he has been cleaning away nasal discharge. So it's going to be back to the vets again for Shadow.

There a funny pair my wabbits. Kitkat is grumpy, Shadow can definitely take or leave people. But I love them so much and it's breaking my heart to see him like this. I was hoping to put him back outside this weekend but that doesn't look likely now :(

Wednesday, 9 April 2008


It has been a bit overwhelming the last week with the number of requests we've had to take animals in. A total of about 2o animals inside a week I think. Thankfully most have found places elsewhere because there really isn't any room at the inn at the moment. We have taken in a family of mice tonight as they were a bit of an urgent case. There are two adults who were missexed by a pet shop and the resulting babies. It's likely Mum is pregnant again too, hence the urgency to get them here and settled. Anyway, they're all very lovely. The babies are about 2 weeks old and just balls of fur with springs in their feet at the moment! I tried to get some pics but I had trouble keeping hold of them even with two hands so I gave up in the end. I'll get some once they're more settled.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

General Updates

Sorry for being a bit useless with the updates of late. This week has been pretty hellish. Not animals (for a change) but personal things. First of all a friend of mine, Sally, who had been fighting cancer for 9 years, finally lost her battle last weekend. She was only early 40's and so full of life and fun. It wasn't a shock as such but devastating nonetheless. Secondly Dave's Dad was taken to hospital by ambulance on Tuesday with chest pains. Turns out to be nothing to worry about but we had a few days of worry so things are even more chaotic than normal.

This weekend we've been doing some reorganising. We got some storage units which we've set up in the bathroom (which is actually bigger than the second bedroom where the rodents live) to make things a bit tidier. We also had the 5 bales of cardboard bedding we'd ordered delivered and Emma has recently passed about 10 bin bags of shredded paper our way so between everything in the bathroom and rodent room being pulled out and sorted and 15 bales and bags of bedding waiting to be put away you can imagine the chaos!! It's only a diddy little house and we've barely been able to move in it the last few days. Anyway, we're pretty much there now although we've found that the cardboard bales won't fit in the loft as planned so there are random bales of cardboard dotted about the place at the moment!!

So I thought I'd take the opportunity to update the blog while I get my breath back from lugging bedding about.

Homings - none since my last update I think. Sylvia is doing a transport run next weekend so hopefully we should have a bit of a clear out then!

Arrivals - 9 utterly delicious little baby degus. The three boys have gone to Furry Friends and the six girls are with us to find a home. I'll get some pics soon. We may also have some rats arriving in the next few days. Not quite sure where I'm going to put them yet but they're urgent cases so we'll work something out.

Shadow - is on the mend! He has now had his second mite treatment and his skin is healing up well. They're still indoors but mainly cos we had snow this weekend, otherwise I had planned to put them back out. Friday we scrubbed the bunny house down with veterinary disinfectant to make sure there were no lurking nasties. The plan is just to put them out during the day, at least for the time being. Shadow still seems a bit thin to me so I want to be able to keep a close eye on him.

Chins and Degus - Fudge and Erika went to the vets a couple of weeks ago. Both were found to have some dental disease but nothing too terrible. The specialist certainly thinks it should be manageable so that's great news. Hans seems pretty much recovered from whatever was going on with him. He still seems a bit slim to me too but he's much brighter and happier in himself. Skye had a sore eye too but nothing that we couldn't fix with a few days of eye drops.

Juliette and Naomi - the two baby girl degus who were up for homing. The plan was that the six new baby girls would go in with them and it should have been a very simple introduction. However, they turned out to be complete thugs and beat the poor babies up. So I thought I'd teach them some manners by letting them meet our 4 girls. It actually went pretty well. They held their own and all got on quite well. They met the chins without any problems too. So, since we had the space and our four are getting on a bit, I thought it made sense for them to stay really. They've settled in so well! The first day was really cute. Fudge wanted to make sure they knew who was boss so was giving them a little bit of hassle. The new girls kept going up to Hans and hiding behind or underneath him. When Fudge came to bother them, Hans huddled over them and swore gently at Fudge. Then he was washing the new girls too. It was the sweetest thing to watch and had me quite tearful. It wasn't that long ago that Hans was all alone. The degus all seem to be drawn to him and he's rarely without a degu snuggled up to him.

Rats - I'm a bit saddened by the lack of interest in the adult rats we have here at the moment. There's Daniel and Miles two year old boys, the group of 4 slater girls, and Frank and Ronnie. None of them have had any interest in the few weeks they have been here. I'm particularly fond of Frank, who has a head tilt. He decided to scare the poop out of us one night this week. When we were feeding Dave found him pretty much collapsed on the shelf in their cage. He was breathing really fast, his chest was noisy and he was quite limp and dehydrated looking. I gave him some medicine and offered him some liquid food. It was only really his enthusiasm for that that stopped me calling the emergency vet, I was that worried about him. Next morning he was fine and he has been fine since. I can only assume he got stuck on the shelf and got into a panic. He has a ladder now to make sure he can get down, bless him!

Amongst our own rats, Edwina is settling in brilliantly. She has come out of her shell a lot and is getting on great with the others. Maisie isn't looking so good sadly. I think she'll have to have another mite treatment as her scabs are coming back :( Her daughter Keeya, also felt I needed a scare last night. She pulled a toe nail. It's amazing how much they can bleed when that happens. We went in to feed and their cage was covered in blood! Thankfully we traced it to one tiny toe nail but it looked like something terrible had happened in there!

Phew well my wrist really hurts now! I think thats everything for now. We took some pics of the dogs in the snow earlier so I'll try to put them up later too.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Edwina and the Jenny/Freddy tower

Ok I have a confession. I am, of course, totally against buying from pet shops and I think the pets at home adoption scheme is of distinctly dubious merit. But this evening we popped in for an emergency hay supply top up. And of course I have to just check on the animals and make sure they're ok, although my local store is usually quite good. And there, in the adoption section, is Edwina, sitting in a tiny tank on her own with some fiddlesticks and a small hamster wheel. The sign on the tank said she needed a special home. So I had to ask and it turns out she has a head tilt. I offered to take her on and find her a home but on adopting from the rehoming scheme you have to sign a contract saying you'll return the animal to them if you can't keep it. Much as I dislike pets at home I know if someone signed my contract and then disregarded it I'd be fuming. So I was about to walk away and said I would leave them my details and for them to call me in a few weeks if she was still looking. Then they said she'd already been looking for three weeks. So, including the time she spent out the back on treatment, this little 3 month old lady had been on her own in a tank in a pet shop for at least four weeks!

So I know I shouldn't have but I couldn't leave her there all on her own with only a small chance of finding a home suitable for her needs. So she has joined us as a permanent resident.

She's a big wiggly and disorientated so we didn't trouble her too much to get pics but here's a couple just to introduce her

Intros with my gang went fabulously as expected but there was one hitch. There wasn't really room in the main cage for another person. So I had a plan for a "quick" solution. Two hours later the freddy/jenny tower was born

So everyone is very happy with their new extension and friend. Here they are exploring


Oooh a proper size wheel


Eva showing off what is undoubtedly the yummiest belly in the world ever

And checking for weaknesses and possible escape routes

Keeya - Mum, look, I'm starfishing way up high!

Maisie finds the attic

Super Susie Tripod

I was a teensy bit worried about making the cage taller as Widdle, who is now 29 months, has gotten a little wobbly on his back legs of late. Seems I needn't have worried

The nosey slater girls next door were a bit jealous

Welcome home Edwina :D