Monthly Archives: February 2009

Pet Keeping

Just something I was thinking of this morning about keeping pets, things do not always work out for the best.  Sometimes you have to make hard decisions, ones you wouldn’t normally deal with.  On the other hand, when all is well you enjoy living the life of Riley with your companion animal and never worry about the bad times. More often than not, most pet keepers will have experiences someplace in between these extremes and life is good … and with that I would like to leave you this:

You hope for the best; you deal with the worst; and, you live in between.
~~ Edward A. Caissie aka Mr.Rattitude

Forbidden Foods Updated Feb 26, 2009

I just updated the Forbidden Foods information article with additional details regarding feeding plums and their stone, or pit, to pet rats.

Here is an excerpt from Practically Edible:

The pit of the Plum has cyanogens in it, which are bound molecules of sugar and cyanide. When this bond is broken, the cyanide becomes free and able to act.  The cyanogens don’t leak at all into the flesh of the fruit, for some reason, but should it ever occur to you to try fermenting Plum pits, or to break them up and roast them as snack food, it might not be such a great idea.

The meat of the plum is generally a good thing for pet rats so that is fine as far as I’ve been able to find in my research, it just the pits that should not be fed to them, just in case.

Thanks go to the RatChatter forum member slinky_whippet for starting the thread.

Do you know of any foods dangerous to be fed to pet rats? Leave a comment and share your research.

Model Rat

One of the members at RatChatter forums posted a link to a great article posted at (article link:

Follow the links and enjoy the article with some very cute pictures of a blank and white hooded pet rat.  Of course, it inspired me to create more iPaper … have I mentioned how much I really like making iPapers?

The first is the photographer, Jessica Florence, holding her pet rat, Bug.

A girl and her pet rat, both adorable.
A girl and her pet rat.

Then a very sweet image of a sleeping Bug in the arms of a Teddy Bear.

A sweet little bug in a bear.
A sweet little bug in a bear.


Leave me a comment on your views of my choice of iPaper subject matter … I’m reading!

Two Years in the Blogosphere

This month marks the second year of the Rattitude blog.

I still think of it as the Brux from time to time. Originally this blog was started on and once we were made aware of WordPress and all its functionalities we quickly moved to a self-hosted blog built on the WordPress framework.

The domain was registered in September 2005 and went through many variations and ideas before we settled on WordPress in July 2008.  We transferred the original Brux blog in its entirety and continued forward.

I greatly enjoy writing the various blog entries and posting the informative pages, short stories, and other articles for the general rat communities. I also hope to continue to share these ideas and resources for a very long time.

Let me know with a comment what you think of the blog today and where you think it might be going in the future.

Good Laundry Day

This was not my usual rat laundry day but this has not been a usual week either. Mrs.R and myself have been on vacation this week and aside from some unexpected medical issues it has been rather uninteresting until today.

I had just finished taking the rat laundry from the dryers and was going back to the folding counter when an immigrant family decided they needed to do their laundry in the exact same area, ignoring the other four rows of washers to choose from. I just went about my business of folding and putting the laundry back into the clean hampers. I was listening to a random shuffle on my iPod and had not really noticed the two elderly ladies that had started doing their laundry on the other side of the washer line I was at. As I removed the earphones one of them asked, “How many dogs do you have?”

She said she recognized the blankets being the same as she used for her Chihuahua. I said they were not for dogs, but were for my pets. We chatted a moment or two longer when I remembered a recent post I made and decided to push the envelope a bit more. I led in with they are for pocket pets. Her friend was quite attentively listening and asked what are pocket pets? The first lady suggested ferrets; I took the opening and said, “No, mine are rats, pet rats.”

The first lady grimaced, the second let out a little “oh” and I smiled seeing an opportunity to explain the greatness of pet rats. Given the use of the blankets for their pet dog, I used the similarity between rats and dogs. The intelligence, the train-ability, the bonding, and especially the commonality of small breeds of dogs and rats.  The first lady was still being skeptical, but starting to accept the possibility of a rat as a pet, the second lady appeared to think it was very interesting but curbed her enthusiasm as it might not sit well with the first.  I spent another five minutes or so with the ladies explaining other benefits to rat keeping, and trying to explain how there are ladies of their age (“no offense”) that breed and keep rats.  The first lady asked several times if I breed rats, which I replied each time with, “no, we are not breeders” but some of our boys have come from professional breeders.

I think it was a good laundry day and quite fortuitous to be able to try and explain the benefits of fancy rats as pets and companion animals … just like having dogs.

Good Rat News

It seems the British have it right, they have chosen a very handsome Russian Blue Dumbo rat as: The cutest small pet in Britain.

Here is a link to the Telegraph online article and a copy of a great picture of the “clever little varmit” as one of the judges described Vimmy, the winner.

Vimmy - The cutest small animal in Britain
Vimmy - The cutest small animal in Britain

I have to agree, although I do hold some reservations as my Turq! would give Vimmy a run for the ribbon if this was made into an international event.

Young Turq!
Young Turq!

Of course, we still have to explain to Turq! he is not a dog, but that should not be all that difficult as he is a clever little varmit, too.

Should there be an International Cutest Small Animal Competition? Leave a comment where you think it should be held.

Pet Heaven Trial to be Continued … in October!

Another article dealing with this supposed trial can be found here.

This all seems to be stemming from a few grieving pet keepers; and, in my humble opinion, a veterinarian that brought this upon himself, and Pet Heaven, through a lack of clear communication. A Russian translator being used in the courtroom seems more a tactic than a necessity, but I am only reading the details from the articles not attending the proceedings in person.

The trial has now been scheduled to be continued in October! This leads me to believe there is no urgency in the courts to address this matter.  I’ll be adding the October 1-2 dates into my calendar to keep up to date with this all the same.

Pet Heaven

The front page of one of today’s newspapers managed to grab my attention.  Generally I read most of my “news” online, but from time to time I will wander over to a co-workers area and glance through their paper.

Today’s splashy front page shows a woman, a dog and the over-sized type, “DIE AT HOME”.  Here is a link to the article, which really should be read through entirely before giving further thought to the sensationalistic headlines pointing to further into the newspaper.

The article describes to some extent the actions of The College of Veterinarians of Ontario to stop this couple from providing services they believe are a benefit to the pet keeping communities.

These services, offered by Pet Heaven, are essentially in-home services being rendered via referral by qualified veterinarians.  The controversy seems centered around the euthanizing of pets at home by these referred mobile veterinarians; and, possibly more so, in my opinion, the additional services of Pet Heaven removing and/or transporting the deceased pet afterwards.

I believe Pet Heaven’s offering of this type of referral service is a grand gesture and I am most interested in the outcome of this trial.

How do you feel about mobile vets; and, this type of referral?