Monthly Archives: January 2009

Wi-Fi at the Laundromat

It’s not my usual Tuesday pet rat laundry day. The Rattitude Rat rags were done yesterday. It was an uneventful exercise, except for the discovery of a completely free full strength wi-fi signal now being available.

So, here I am posting to the blog; playing some online games; and, doing a little Safari surfing of the Internet. It’s Wednesday and all is well.

Not that I am complaining, far from it; I’m just wondering who left their wi-fi on? … and by the way, thanks!

TeeTu – Rest in Peace

TeeTu, or as he had recently become known as, our Chi-Rat, left us last night. He was an ornery little cuss, and we loved him dearly for that. He was our oldest boy, but that did not slow him down. Nothing did, at least until last night.

After work, Mrs.R and I came home to TeeTu in apparent respiratory distress of some sort. We tried to see if perhaps it was a piece of food lodged in his throat or something similar, but he was not cooperating in any fashion.  He was gasping for breathe an becoming more and more agitated as the minutes passed. It was time for a vet visit, hopefully a professional would be able to solve this quickly.

I called our rat vet. I cannot say enough good things about this man. An animal lover of absolutely no doubt, Dr. Aziz of Aquitaine Animal Clinic. He offered us an appointment in an hour, then said I will see you then I am just waiting for you.  When I said we could leave immediately, he said in his peculiar accent, “come!” We were there in less than 10 minutes.

TeeTu received a full exam. The doctor, working on his own due to it being late in the day, tended to TeeTu, a rambunctious pup that had suffered a severe allergic reaction, and an individual that brought in their cat to be euthanized. All at the same time. TeeTu after being examined and having his temperature uncomfortably taken, was moved to the procedures area.  As Mrs.R held TeeTu, Dr. Aziz administered gas to begin sedating TeeTu to continue an even more thorough examination.

A small lump was found in TeeTu’s throat area; the shaver was used to remove the fur in the area; a fine needle aspiration was made; slides made; stains created; and, microscopic analysis was done.  TeeTu had the beginnings of a cancerous type of tumor, and it was inoperable.  Fortunately it was also very small and with medication the doctor suggested it may be possible for TeeTu to continue for possible another six months.

We took TeeTu home with instructions for giving him MetaCam for reducing the inflammation he was suffering, that was the apparent cause for his gasping breaths. We were also to give TeeTu an antibiotic as the MetaCam is considered an immunosuppressive medication.  An infection in TeeTu’s condition would be very bad.  We gave TeeTu his first does of MetaCam, which appeared to help. We tried to help clear his nasal passages as the doctor showed us how to, TeeTu would have nothing to do with that. Our Chi-Rat, ornery little one that he was! TeeTu became extremely agitated shortly after that.

Mrs.R recognized the signs … she picked up TeeTu and held him close.

TeeTu entered into a very short, but severe, bout of convulsions. Then he became very quiet, and subdued. Then he passed as Mrs.R stroked his back and told him how much we loved him.


Roo, our rasta-kitty has taken to being very needy of late. This seems to coincide with his recent hair, er, I mean fur cut.

In a previous post I described how Mrs.R and myself helped Roo with his horrid mass of matted fur on his back by shaving nearly 3/4 of his back. Now, our shy skittish Roo is an insatiable scritch-aholic, taking turns going from Mrs.R to myself demanding in a most serious meow to have his back scratched.

… and every time I think we have created a monster, a Roo-monster! I also think how great it is to see Roo be this sociable, too.


The Year of the Stainless Steel Rat?!

The current Year of the Rat is coming to a close on January 25, 2009.

This is the Year of the Earth Rat, and the next Year of the Rat, the Metal Rat, will occur in the years 2020-2021.  Now that is a long time to wait to celebrate this great little animal with its own year. I propose we do not wait that long.

I am suggesting we celebrate the rat every year. It’s a remarkable pet, and to quote the most recent wiki:

Being the first sign of the Chinese zodiac, rats are leaders, pioneers and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, determined, tenacious, charismatic, practical and hardworking.

Personally, those are traits I would like to find in most anyone I meet; and, I am thrilled my grandson was born in the Year of the Rat. It’s also no wonder rats steal their keeper’s hearts in no time at all, my grandson stole mine.

In preparation for the next Year of the Rat, or just as a good excuse, may I recommend reading the series written by Harry Harrison, about The Stainless Steel Rat. I have read and enjoyed some of the series and intend to go looking for the rest.

Have you read any of The Stainless Steel Rat? Why not leave a comment with your review.

Unusual Rat Laundry Day

Another Tuesday and another day of rat laundry. I do the rat laundry after work at a coin-op laundromat around the corner from our home.

Today was a bit different than usual. Usually there is no one else doing laundry at this time so all is good. I can put on a podcast or a random playlist and distract myself with some sort of application on my iPod. Today there was a family doing laundry that I had not seen before.

Now far be it for me to pass judgement on others, but I simply cannot understand how some people can apparently dress up to do chores such as laundry or groceries. This family was like that, all very well dressed, the mother, two sons, and a daughter. I just do not understand why.

What I understand less though is how these same people will give others looks of disdain and whisper behind their backs after looking at their laundered items. That is what I experienced today, or at least that is what I perceived to have happened.

Admittedly the rat laundry looks like a bunch of rags and for all intent and purpose that is exactly what they are. That does not mean I take any less care in washing, drying, folding and putting back into the hampers. I treat the rat laundry with the same care as I treat Mrs.R and my own clothes that I wash at the same laundromat.

I guess I just find it to be such a sign of either ignorance or arrogance that a simple bit of communication would have solved. The great mystery of public rat laundry.

I await the day someone asks me why am washing what I do; and, I am sure I will savor their expression when they learn my answer.

Would you ask? Leave a comment explaining how you would approach the situation.

Rattitude on Widgets

OK, I broke down and took a look at using widgets. Yes, it was painful, but in the end it was worth it, even if was for nothing else but the added aesthetic value.

The reason to get widgetized, was rather simple, I wanted to make use of a great plugin, WP-dTree by Ulf Benjaminsson, that apparently is only usable as a widget. I’m quite happy with the new category menu, and the new archives/monthly menu. I am also very happy with the pages menu which is what I wanted to “fix”.  It wasn’t broken really, but it did need a certain something and the collapsible menu is just what it was.

Now that we are using widgets, what do you think? Drop us a comment and let us know.

Cleaning Day – Part II

Another cleaning day but not like other cleaning days.  Yesterday we moved the new boys in with some of our resident rats and we thought all would be well.  Sure there were a few squabbles and a bunch of screeching and some serious boxing matches throughout the night (yes, all night long) but it was nothing we were not expecting or prepared for.

Today, on the other hand, after a relatively peaceful breakfast together, the mix of new and old boys started to go awry.  I was in the middle of my usual Sunday activities which includes cleaning the girls homes when a terrible racket started coming out of the boys room.  Dropping everything I go dashing into the boys room only to find Mrs.R already holding little Starsky.  Then I noticed the blood.

No blood, no foul.  That is the rat introduction rule of thumb. Let them squawk, let them box, let them run up and down the ramps and chase each other about just as long as no one gets seriously hurt. A few bumps and bruises are fine, but bleeding is a show stopper.  Starsky was bleeding from his back leg at his ankle.

We rushed him into the bathroom for a washing off under running water to get a look at the cut.  It looks deep but stopped bleeding almost immediately.  We put some styptic powder on it just to help staunch the flow and moved Starsky, Hutch, and Snuggie-Bear back to their “Welcome” home. Starsky also was given a very tiny drop of a vet recommended anti-inflammatory due to his ankle appearing to be slightly swollen.

The new boys’ temporary home was due to be cleaned and put back in storage after I was finished with the girls, but I guess that will have to wait until next weekend when we try again, provided Starsky is back to 100%.

Spaghetti Dinner

Here is the update to the new living arrangements: besides a very sad WiiOne (who was moved back to his old home at the end) everything seems to be going well.

Mrs.R and I had spaghetti for dinner tonight and as our usual we shared with all the rats. It is one of their favorite treats. We made sure the new boys got a bowl just for them while Bruiser made sure they knew what to do with these long wiggly strings of goodness.

The Christmas boys have not had spaghetti before and apparently they enjoy it as much as the other boys do.

Now, as I look around the room at the boys homes, I see a bunch of pasta induced sleepy rats; and, a small rat pile in the back made up of the newest boys and Mr. Bruiser.

All is good in the Rattitude rat homes.

New Living Arrangements

Today is our usual cleaning day. I’ve just finished the boys habitats and I am now sitting in their room keeping an eye and ear on them.

Today we moved WiiOne in with Dash; they get along fine normally and Dash needed the company. Wii is also much bigger than Dash so if there is any funny business from Dash, WiiOne should be able to settle him down.

We also moved the Christmas boys in with the lower two-thirds of the triple Ferret Nation to live with the boys that were living there. Also re-opening the ramp as the “older” boys still with us are doing very well.

It’s a lot more work when adding new rats in with resident rats. Besides having to do an even more thorough cleaning than usual I had to come up with some new ideas for rat furniture layouts.

So far so good. All the new arrangements seem to be working out well.

Updates to follow …

Kaden and the Doctor

Just a common cold and a mild eye infection. Katie, Kaden and I have been waiting at the doctor’s office since about 1:25 for a 1:20 appointment, it’s now just about 2:30.

I’m thinking this is still a new practise just building a patient base as the office is accepting walk-in patients on a regular basis as we wait.

Katie is happy with the doctor normally in attendance but it appears today it is a substitute doctor; and, from what I overheard the receptionist saying something tells me the “new” doctor may be a permanent affair.

In my opinion, as long as the doctor takes care of the patients as well as the previous doctor then all is good.

I’m sure Kaden is fine, and even if the situation was not ideal I still got to hold him for the last hour; and, have a very nice conversation with my daughter-in-law.

15 minutes later, Katie and Kaden come back to the reception area. Another 20 minutes to get the prescription for the eye infection then back home.