The Monkey Boys and their forever home adventures - April thru August 2008

Backup, Wingman and Sidekick (L-R)

As told by Mary

More pics -

Monkey Boy Pics

April 6 , 2008 -

A milestone happened today with my daughter and the boys. I think they are melting the wall my daughter has built against allowing an animal into her heart.

Background is that once we had 13 ratties. They were split between my daughter and myself. We both had a mixture of boys and girls. But, they were all about the same age. We loved them all and each of us had our favorite. It turned out that our favorites were sisters - Cordy and Cailean. You can see their pics on my Pets page.

With all our ratties being about the same age, they unfortunately all started their journeys to the rainbow bridge close together from many different reasons. This was really hard on her as she was about 15 years old at the time and had never really faced death before. So she built a wall and wouldn't let herself love another animal as much as she did Cailean.

Today, the one of the Rex girls had babies. This actually excited her and when she saw them she squealed in delight. How could she not? They are so cute and Baby was being a really good Mom. I really need to think of a name for her other than Baby. Her boyfriend was there and he thought they were cute too.

Then the boys caught her attention. How could they not with their scrambling to the front of the cage and climbing all over each other for attention. They are so comical when they do that. They get so excited when they see you looking at them and even more excited when you talk to them. She had opened the top door and started to play with them. And the boyfriend was actually petting them too. I told her to open the bottom door and they would come out onto the table. She asked if they would jump off the table. I told her they wouldn't and so she opened the door. Out they came, one after the other and she started to play with them as she used to play with hers. She was having a lot of fun with them and her boyfriend was laughing at how comical they were being. I am hoping that between these boys and the new babies, that wall will finally fall and she can again become the person who animals trust as they did when she was a little girl. Some people have a way with animals. It is in their soul and both my daughters have this gift. It would be a shame if it went to waste.

Thank you Monkey boys for being the way you are. You three are awesome and lovably squishy. :-)

Backup and Wingman

Sidekick, Backup and Wingman

Yeah, I know - picture repeats. But aren't they soooo cute!

April 7, 2008 -

So these guys have learned some new things. They have learned that when I tap the ramp leading down to the lower level that I want them to come down it. Of course it helps that there is food waiting for them too. :-)

They have also learned that I am not going to give anyone a treat unless they are all there. And then they are now pretty patient in that they know each one gets a treat one at a time. I have not had any nibbled fingers or any mistaken fingers for food episodes. Of course now that I say that...

Today, as usual, I caught Backup pinning Wingman on his back. I guess it is a guy thing and Backup is telling Wingman who is boss. So how come I never see Backup do this to Sidekick? Is that fair? Well, Backup was getting a little too aggressive for me and Wingman was squealing a little too much so I got close to the cage and blew on Backup. That startled him enough to make him stop what he was doing. I know he will keep doing it, but I think when I do that it helps Wingman understand that I am there for him. Maybe this was part of how I won his trust so that he wouldn't feel like he had to be frightened of me and bite first.

I love having them in my arms and scritching their backs. They love it too. Especially Wingman. He gets so relaxed and his eyes start to close like he might just go to sleep there.

They LOVE eggs and cheese. They get a little bit of it since I am cooking up scrambled eggs and cheese for Baby to keep her strength up. The boys don't need their strength up as they are still their same size as when they came to me - BIG and Squishy! Yeah Boys!

April 12, 2008 -

I got kisses! All three came spilling out of the cage and straight to my face and licked me. That was very odd but very nice. I held each one for a while and they each settled down and enjoyed a back rub, cheek rub and chin rub. Then I put them down and started to clean their cage. Boy was that fun. I scooped out the litter between them avoiding their tails that always seemed to find their ways into the dustpan. Once that was done, it came time to wipe down the cage. That was much more challenging. It seems there was a little paw everywhere and I ended up playing tug-o-war with the cloth and each little boy. And there were no teeth laid on me. Awesome little boys.

They love to get tickled. I tickle, they run away and quickly turn around and come back for more.

April 22, 2008 -

I put up some more pictures of the boys today. Wingman is really interested in the corner of the table that is the closest to the girls' corner of the room. Gee, I wonder why? The other two just seem to wander around. Ever now and then, the will look in that direction when they hear something, but they are not as interested as Wingman seems to be.

So far, they have liked all the food they have gotten. The like Belgium Endive, Baby Bok Choy, Carrots, Green beans and Wax beans, Peas (of course), Mango, Rutabaga, Lettuce, spaghetti, cheeses of all kinds, cheerios, etc... Their main diet is the Harlan Teklad 2014 and the rest comes when we eat them for dinner - the veggies, not the ratties.

One evening I was playing with them and had both doors to the cage open. I went out to get something and got sidetracked with something else in the house. I went back in about an hour later to find that I had left the top door open. As I looked at the two boys peering out at me from the top door and one boy out on the table they froze. Kind of like saying - "Uh, oh, we're caught. Wait a minute, she left the door open. You can blame us for being out and about."

Each one has learned to enjoy being held and with each one I have learned how they like to be held and pet. It is amazing how different they really are.

May 15, 2008 -

These boys are sure active and love their veggies. They did something really odd the other day. I decided to try and see what they would do with the baby boys and if they would like them or not. So I let the boys out to roam and got a hooded boy out. I held him the whole time just in case and I also wanted the baby to feel secure when meeting these three "BIG" boys that he may one day be like. The baby was fine with them and curious. The three boys were sniffing him everywhere and ohhh so curious. They treated him nicely and Backup licked him on the head. So I put this little one back and got one of the Rex grey boys. I held him the same way and presented him the exact same way. But in less than a minute, I realized this was not going to be as friendly a meeting. For some reason, Wingman (a.k.a. the early biter) started to hiss at him and then tried to pull at his fur. He did it a couple of times and that was enough for me. The other two boys had different demeanors as before but didn't do the same as Wingman. So I put the little grey guy back after giving him some reassuring love. The little one never seemed to be scared. So out came another grey boy, one of the smooth haired ones. These two boys seem to be slightly more hyper than the Rex boys. Anyway, I presented him the same way and Wingman was even more rough with this one. All it took was one attempt at the hair pulling and I was heading back to the babies cage. Then a thought occured to me. I took out the hooded boy again and once more presented him like I had before. The three boys, still excited, all came to him and sniffed. No noises, no hissing and even another lick from Backup. How odd. So is there prejudice in the animal kingdom? What odd behaviour.

August 18, 2008 -

I have neglected to write about these fellas not because there is bad news to report but because there has been sunshine in these here parts. Besides, there is absolutely no bad news to reports about these guys. They are all doing just fine and have all become wonderful friends and great lickers. The only problem is that they keep moving the matties out of the way and the guy that is on top and who needs to potty does so on the poor guy that may be below in the cage. Yuk... I try to keep the cage floors covered because of this, but they are definitely excellent movers of items in their house.

I made it so I now have a box in the bottom of the cage which is about half the width of their cage as a litter box. This gives them more play room and makes it easier to change their cage. I wipe down the cage floors and walls and replace the matties on the floors. Then I replace the litter in the box and sometimes the box if it is needed. Then they run to the new box and run through the new litter as if to make it their own. They promptly decide to take some of their food and bury it in the new litter. Fortunately, they only do this when the litter is new. Once they start to go potty in it, they stop putting their food in there. Smart guys, wouldn't you say?

Sometimes I go in there to my office and just sit and watch them all. These guys have certainly earned their name of "The Monkey Boys". I can sit there for hours if I could just watching them. They clean each other in shifts and then they wrestle. They eat, they wrestle, they drink, they wrestle and then someone wants to sleep. But someone else still wants to wrestle, then the complaining starts. And if they sense me there, the pile into the corner closest to me to get my attention. And when I mean pile - well, there is always someone on the bottom while the other two are on top.

What a set of characters. And how lucky I am to have them as part of my life.


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