Floyd

Floyd’s my only female rat, my only PEW (pink eyed white; albino), her name short for Pink Eyed Floyd. Yeah, I had a Pink Floyd happy time when I named her.

I’m not sure how old she is. Most pet stores don’t give a damn how old their rats are – they’re there for snake food and not much else. That’s how three out of four of my rats were. Judging by her size compared to my other rats when I got her, I put her age at around one year.

I want to find the breeder she came from and see how well their rats are handled. Floyd’s a sweetheart – she bruxes (grinds teeth; rat’s version of purring) and licks me when I hold her and pet her, she’s soft and fluffy… so on so forth. Though, if anything comes near her cage, she’ll shove her nose out as far as she can to bite it. She’s the only rat I’ve had that does this. It’s not just food, it’s mostly anything – sticks, spoons, papers, yogie lids (and most anything else I make the mistake of putting on her cage), and fingers. She nailed my mom once – I told her not to put her fingers near the cage, but she didn’t listen, and bam. It bled pretty hard. Mom still thinks it’s funny to tease Floyd through the cage bars. I don’t think it’s funny. Ah well.

Floyd also has her own way of getting attention. She hasn’t done this lately, and I’m probably gonna jinx it by talking about it, but eh. She grinds her teeth on the bars of her cage. Seeing as she lives in a wire bird cage, that can get to the point where it’s like nails on a chalkboard. She’s spent a few nights in my dad’s room because I can’t sleep when she’s doing it, haha.
She hasn’t done it lately, though. She pretty much squooshes herself into a corner and stares at me until I feed her now.

Speaking of, she’s getting kinda fat. I put an exercise wheel in her cage, but she sleeps on it. Haha.

I like holding her, but since I’m apparently getting rashes and lumps where their claws touch me, I haven’t held her much lately – she scratches easily; she doesn’t try to, but she does. Her claws are pretty long.

About last week, I gave her a piece of pepperoni. Bad, bad idea. She ate about a third of the half-piece I gave her, then flopped around her cage and started drooling something fierce. I panicked. I thought she was choking. I didn’t know how to deal with a choking rat, so the first thing I did after I picked her out of her cage was make sure she was breathing alright (hooray stethoscope!). After I made sure she was breathing alright, I took her into the bathroom, put her on a towel on the counter, and used an oral medicine syringe to squirt some water into her mouth. I cleaned up her mouth, gave her some more water, and held her for about five minutes until she started moving around again. I went over to her cage to get the pepperoni out, and she climbed back in on her own. Pretty much the first thing I did after that was IM a close friend of mine who’s had a lot of rats, and he told me that the pepperoni’s spiciness probably got her like that. The other critters I gave it to – both mice and both my other rats – seemed fine. Maybe Floyd’s body just can’t take spiciness. Either way, I’m not giving her any more pepperoni anytime soon.

While I was giving her water then, I noticed a lump on her stomach. It was small and soft, but I did take note of it and let Dad know. Last night, I checked her again – the lump got bigger (about the size of a quarter) and I can feel it and move it around now. Rats are prone to mammary tumors, so I figured that one of my rats would get one sooner or later. I let Dad know again, and I believe he made a vet appointment. This will be Floyd’s first trip into the vet – she’s been very healthy since I got her, apart from the whole pepperoni incident. With luck, it’ll be simple – put her to sleep, take the lump out, stitch her up, and that’ll be it. I hope that’s all we have to do, haha. If things do go that way, the only thing I have to worry about is Floyd nibbling her stitches out – the boys were good with their neutering stitches, but Floyd’s more nibbly, so yeah.

Oh, the joys of critters.

This is the best shot I could get of the lump. She didnt like being picked up.

This is the best shot I could get of the lump. She didn't like being picked up.

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~ by Blau Rascon on May 25, 2009.

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