Saturday, September 3, 2011

Milaea and the Girls' Grotto Project

When the tide came in
you were there with a
sparkle in your eyes

when they went out
you let me know of love
but you still said goodbye

I don't blame you or me
sometimes an angel
just has to fly

  (i   i)     (I put way too much effort into this to be sane)

I wish I had an image for our little girl we lost after only having her for one day. It's still surprising at times just how well a rat can work her way into your heart. I cried and cried all that day, I still cry when I think of her and Dobby. Milaea is an alternate spelling for Meliah which means, "of the sea" and so I wrote that poem on a piece of paper and we laid her body with it in the box.

So, Ben and I knew we would have to find a larger home for our big group of girls. We were planning on finding a book shelf or other portable cabinet to build them a grotto so that we could move them there and move the boys to the largest cage. We'd recently moved Algernon and Athena to the boys' old cage and then moved the boys to the bird cage. Well, we were having no luck finding a shelf or cabinet that worked for us. We also don't have tons of money or time to be able to build from scratch or buy a custom. So, we're walking through our local walmart and we see the aisle with all the storage bins. I'm looking at them thinking that if we combined two of them we could make a grotto. I have a wood burning tool that I can also use to melt through plastic. This way the babies would have adequate ventilation. So that's what we went ahead and did as well as putting the bird cage top on top of the large rat cage. I secured it as well as a bit of felt (to protect their feet from the bars) with chain mail links that I have left over after taking an old collar apart.

Long story short, the boys are having a blast and the girls are as well. They have a tunnel made from PVC to get back and forth.

G'mornin, g'night or g'day

Afterthought: Have you ever bought a food for your rats that you wouldn't eat yourself? (Lab blocks and the like don't count)