Meet the Rats: Smoak & Nyssa


MtR Nyssa & Smoak
Snack time!


Saying goodbye to Molly in November 2017 left us with just one ratty: Ivy. We weren’t going to rush to get more, but it was obvious that Ivy wasn’t going to be happy on her own, so friends had to be found.

I fell in love with Smoak the moment I saw her; such a beautiful grey-brown girl, a bit skittish, but utterly gorgeous. She proved herself to be the rattiest of rats: when we brought her home, she escaped onto the floor as I tried to get her from the carrier to the cage and the sight of her bounding along the skirting board under the sofa… just so incredibly ratty.

Nyssa was more forthcoming and curious; she didn’t want to be held, but she was more than happy to be around people, especially if they had snacks. She quickly discovered that the inside of a t-shirt was a fun place to explore (I’ve used tucking ratties inside my t-shirt as a socialising technique before but Nyssa did it all on her own). She has to be the focus of attention, if anyone else is getting any fuss — or worse, food — then she will quickly place herself front and centre.

Smoak was beautiful and a little aloof, with the softest fur. Nyssa was and still is, energetic and sleek, with a beautifully silky coat.

Smoak quickly learned her name and would acknowledge you, even if she then chose to stay exactly where she was. It took a lot longer for Nyssa to even understand what a name was, she recognises it now and does respond, but I’m convinced she just thinks it means “snack time”.

Catching up


This is hard to write. I have utterly failed to keep this blog up-to-date — it was just too hard to keep writing ratty obituaries and going through photos and I felt I had to do everything in the proper order — so now we have lost our gorgeous ratty Smoak before I even introduced her to you. And both Molly and Ivy have passed on, one from a lump and the other from old age.

Over the next few days, I am going to catch up. That will mean one “Meet the Rats” and three obituaries, which is so sad, but at least there will be cute ratty pictures to help make up for it.

Right now we are left with just one ratty — Nyssa — she has a lump and is quite feisty, so I am wary of introducing new rats. We will have to find a new source anyway; the place we got our girls from no longer has ratties and the local(ish) rescue that I was thinking of going to has just relocated to Ireland. I’d rather not go on GumTree and while I feel sorry for the rats in Pets At Home, I can’t bring myself to buy from there, but I have no relationship with any breeders, so I’m not sure what we’ll do in the future.

For now, we’ll just look after Nyssa (whose photo is at the top of this post), the ratty who always insists on being the centre of attention.