I was a bit premature in announcing how well Midge was settling in.
There had been a few squabbles the first week she was here, though all the ones I’d seen were the result of Quorra being over-enthusiastic with grooming the newcomer. And even then it was no worse than a bit of squeaking, pinning and fluffing up.
Then, when I checked on them on Tuesday morning, I noticed a smear of blood on Midge’s side. A quick check revealed
- Midge had two deep scratches on either side of her ribs, one of which was full thickness through the skin.
- Yori had a damaged claw (which she lost that evening, cue more blood).
- Rocket had a couple of nasty looking puncture wounds around her shoulder.
- Quorra and Rommie were completely untouched.
I have no idea what went on — the injured ratties hadn’t shown any signs of scrapping with each other in the previous week or so. And everyone was quiet and settled by the time I went to do the breakfast snack run, even though the blood was very fresh so it can’t have been long since whatever happened happened.
I took Midge over to the vets to get checked out and came away with some Baytril for her and Rocket and some hibiscrub to keep everyone’s wounds clean while they healed.
Luckily rats heal remarkably quickly. To the extent that, the following morning, I couldn’t even find the spots where Rocket had been spiked — so I just generally wet her shoulder and surrounding area with the hibiscrub; she was not impressed.
Midge’s wounds scabbed up quickly too, but I kept her separate from the others to avoid both excessive grooming and further scraps.
Attempts at getting them back together, even one-on-one on the sofa, weren’t looking promising. I’m sure we’d have been able to integrate them successfully given enough time, but then I chatted to her owner at the weekend and she decided to take Midge back. I think she’d been missing her a lot and this was a really good excuse to keep her. She also seems to have been able to use it as leverage for getting more rats instead of the sugar gliders that her boyfriend was wanting 🙂
Our lot have settled back down into their old ways and seem a lot more relaxed. And I don’t have to worry about trying to figure out ratty psychology.
It’s a shame it didn’t work out, but at least everyone is happy where they are.
2 thoughts on “Spoke too soon”
Ratty interactions can be complex.
Very much so.
I’m not really surprised it didn’t work out — it is a cage full of quite, um, distinct personalities. It’s a miracle they get on with each other as well as they do, never mind having to adapt to someone new.