I’m NOT at work. *bouncy happy dance around the room* Phil took this Friday and next Monday off for Halo 2, as he plans to play continuously, wishing only that he had an IV that I could feed him through, so I decided to take a holiday as well. :)
Last night we woke the Churbles up in our continuing quest to slightly change their nocturnal habits. Aja and Anansi want to stay comatose all day long, wake arount midnight-1am, and play loudly in the wee hours of the morning. So we’ve taken to tipping them out of the sleeping box at around ten pm or so. Rude, but eventually effective. Aja was very involved in hiding food all around the front room. She would stuff four to six monkey nuts (peanuts in the shell to you in the US) into her cheek pouches, then run out rattling to find a corner where she would extract them and carefully stack them. Then she would rummage around to find material to cover them (lolly stick and assorted bits from the depths of the armchair, bits of paper from her cage, etc.). Very cute. The part where she had a face full of nuts and then started putting banana slices in there too was less cute. Ick.
I am very thankful that -just out of sheer chance- we ended up with Cricetomys Emini rather than Cricetomys Gambianus, which are the more common Giant Rats. They are very much less aggressive, which is a good thing because a giant rat can give you a terrible bite: down to the bone, or long, ragged ones that leave big scars. Aja and Anansi haven’t bitten us yet, even when we’ve woken them up or had to try to pick them up briefly.
Socar Myles, of Ratty’s Ghost fame, has a Gambian rat named Stella. You should read some of her journal entries about the ongoing conflict she has with her – they’re very, very funny. There are some sound files where you can hear her rat making parrot-like noises. Ours have made these, along with some growling and purring noises, but that’s all so far.