Monday, June 27, 2011

Well, here it is.. blog #1

My boyfriend and I have lived together for about three months now, since March 20th. We met at a gaming convention at UD. We've had a few friends in common for years but had never actually met ourselves. We met two years ago at the same annual con, but then we actually got to talking this year. It was incredible. I got out of an abusive relationship and household and have never felt healthier. He's perfect for me, and even if no one else sees it or wants to see it, he will always be my perfect Soldier. When I had officially moved in he told me to close my eyes as he slipped a necklace around my neck.

It's a copper chain with blue beads with a butterfly pendant at the bottom and it is absolutely beautiful. He bought it when he was stationed in Iraq for 11 months with the intention of giving it to someone he could love and see himself with for life. He bought it roughly 6 years ago and has had a few girlfriends before me, including one he'd actually known since first grade.

Why he chose me I still don't really understand, but at the same time I'm sure he doesn't understand why I chose him either. I like things that way because for me in this situation I can appreciate what I have more since I don't feel entitled to it. I'm sure with him it's that way too. We both have more happiness than we know what to do with at times and believe me, that absolute bliss isn't constant. But even if one of us is unhappy, we manage to help each other and still love each other. I am proud to be with him.

About a month ago we decided to get two rats, both does. I knew about owning rats, having done so in the past, so I was a kind of Ratty Guide at first. We went to Jack's Aquarium and Pets to pick up our girlies.

On a quick side note: NEVER buy from Jack's Aquarium and Pets. Not a single store we've been in has had adequate living conditions for any of their animals, let alone their rodents. The have twice as many animals in one habitat as they responsibly should. The trip we made to actually pick up our girls gave us an unsavory sight in the adjacent cage of rats. A male rat had been killed, gutted and was being eaten by his cagemates. Their food bowl was completely empty.

They also have males and females intermixed, which means that you could be taking home a pregnant doe.

I have also come across an open-top display of dogs, which should not be there for the sheer fact that someone may have kennel cough on their clothing from their animal(s) and be unaware, and in this display their were about 8 boxer puppies shuffling over one another. The display was probably 4x4x3 ft and had these 8 puppies that I'd say were at least 2 and half months old.

Jack's does not take proper care of their animals.

Now, to continue on, I did not intend to write this and bash on Jack's. We bought our two does, Ben naming his girlie Algernon and myself naming my little one Demeter (yeah, we're nerds :P)

We bought them a large, roomy cage big enough for at least four rats (it was the one we liked best and hey, if we decide later on to get a couple more babies we won't have to buy a larger cage). They were both smalls at the time. We were both so excited have our two little cuties but not shortly after we bought them we noticed some things about Demeter, namely with her appearance. When we bought her she looked like she may have been bitten. She had a scab and was developing a cyst. She was acting normally and was active but was having other issues, more mentally oriented. She was having a hard time learning, having to be dragged to the water bottle by Algernon, who quickly became her teacher (anyone who understands the absolute hilarity in Algernon's role as teacher is just as nerdy as we are). Well once the first cyst cleared we were happy and hopeful. A couple weeks after that one cleared up though, she seemed to be developing a second on the opposite side. Ben saw it first.

The very next night we decided to give the girls a bath for the first time shortly after having cleaned their cage. While drying them off I noticed that the lump had moved to the other side and that she was so skinny we could feel her bones. She died later that night. We cried most of that night, wishing that she didn't have to die, but we were also grateful to have been able to get her out of Jack's and have given her a comfortable life.

We decided that the very next morning we would buy a new girl, but from a different place. A pet store called "Superpetz" that is in the same plaza as a game store we like. We'd visited the store once before and a few different things impressed me.

One: they don't sell dogs at the location we visited. This impresses me because this means they do not support puppy mills and in fact they have a guarantee that any animal in the store is from a licensed/reputable breeder.

Two: in the very front of the store, right in the main lobby where you walk in they had cats from our local Humane Society that all had tags telling name, gender (as well as if they were spayed/neutered), age and how the humane society got them.

Three: All animals in the habitats were healthy, no nursing moms were in a display, but were taken into the back area to be watched by employees and reduce the risk of another rat committing infanticide (the killing of a baby).

They didn't have their animals separated by gender, which is about the only thing I can say didn't impress me. But it didn't make me want to leave immediately either because you'll have that in any pet store. The fact is: they took better care of their animals and were friendlier than any other pet store I've been in.

Once we had our little girl selected, they made sure to ask us if we had another rat at home, meaning that they were knowledgeable enough to know that you should never buy a rat to live alone. They also gave us a two week guarantee that if she died all we would have to do is bring her and the slip in and we could either get a refund or a new baby (from my understanding).

I decided to name her Persephone, it seemed only fitting being that in Greek mythology Demeter's daughter was Persephone, the unwilling goddess of the Underworld.

We brought Persephone home and introduced her to Algernon in a neutral location with neither of their scent in the bedding. They got along even better than I could have hoped, with the older Algernon taking on mommy roles and Persephone learning incredibly quickly.

It's been a little over a week and they are getting along so incredibly well you'd almost think they're litter mates. I've been making augments for the cage. I've replaced one level of three with a fabric hammock and it's ramp with a combination of cardboard support and fabric covering. I have even taken Ben's old laundry basket and have converted it to Ratty Craft Supply Bin. It works better this way.

Anyway, before I end up writing a novella for an introduction, I'm just gonna go ahead and say g'night, g'mornin or g'day and hope you keep reading.

Afterthought: If you tell a woman she has balls, you better be well prepared for her to say "F*ck balls! I have wit!"

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