The Adventures of Stupid (Me)

First of all, I’ve been keeping this picture to myself for too long and would now like to share it:

I’ve been placing a wide board across the bottom of the kitchen doorway to block the kitchen in an eventual escape of the Little Guy. Not a big problem, I spent all kinds of time stepping over it, but yesterday afternoon, as it got darker, I was deep in thought and wanted into the kitchen for something or another. I completely oversaw the board and fell over it into the kitchen, onto my granite tiles.

Checking the damage afterward, I noticed that one knuckle on my hand was bleeding and the knee didn’t feel so great. I saw that it was busted open and was about to put a large bandage on it, when I felt that something about it didn’t look right. I dashed next door to my folks and got a second opinion, and ended up in the emergency room.

To make a long story short, the surgeon removed part of the bursa, which I’d damaged, and stitched me up. I get to wear a brace for the next two weeks to keep me from bending the knee.

Crutches suck. So does stupidity.

The Great Escape

I reversed the front panel of the cage yesterday, as having the door on “ground” level was getting too dangerous. The little guy is amazingly fast and agile, and I feared he’d escape and hide under the furniture for days.

Now, the door is at the top. I figured that was better. It turns out, it doesn’t matter.

I got up this morning and grabbed some coffee, sat on the couch and consumed the news, my regular routine. It was still dark out, and I wondered about the silence of the little guy, who is usually in top form at that hour, racing around his cage and up and down those various levels.

After the first cup of coffee, I was awake enough to realize that it was just too quiet. I’d heard a bit of scraping in the direction of the dining room, but chalked it up to the chickadees outside, who often like to search the moss on the porch roof for insects.

Then, it finally dawned on me. I grabbed a flashlight, checked every “house” and corner of the cage and it was empty. My heart plunged. I feared he might be stuck somewhere, or hurt, and wondered how many days it would take me to find him or get him to come out.

I soon did find him, however. He was behind a cabinet in the dining room. I pulled it away from the wall, saw him behind it in a cloud of dust and tangle of TV and stereo wires and cables. I closed off one exit with a board firmly in place and placed his favorite sleeping house at the other end, with a dollop of freshly prepared baby porridge. Within 10 minutes, he was in the house and all was well.

Needless to say, I was relieved. And he’s exhausted.

The little guy yesterday, before the great escape.

Help me name the little guy by participating in the poll below. Thanks!

Help me name the little guy by voting for a name:

  • Nicodemus (67%, 2 Votes)
  • Rémi (33%, 1 Votes)
  • Bagheera (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kaiju (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Baloo (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 3

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Conversations with Myself

Peeking out of his „house“ (I need to widen the doorway soon)

I think I‘ve read just about everything there is on the internet about rats. About wild rats, pet rats, the differences, etc. While taking in all of the information I was gathering, the conversation with myself regarding what to do with the little Mr. Ratski has, at times, been excruciating. Keep him, don‘t keep him, keep him, don‘t keep him.

The decision fell primarily when I got feedback regarding putting a rat like him back out in the wild – without his rat family, and particularly his rat mom – he was going to have rough going, especially with winter coming.

The problem on my part was the commitment part. When I was a kid, one of my friends had a pet rat which was pretty cute. Looking back, its life might have not been so great. Turns out that we know more about rats now and holding a single rat is a definite no. They are group animals and groups start at three. To boot, they need a lot of space – none of those little cages as in days gone by.

All of this put me into confusion and undecided mode for days and days. At the end of last week, I made the decision to keep Mr. Ratski, get him two little companions his age, order a large rat cage, etc.

I assembled the cage yesterday, it‘s all ready to go and this afternoon I‘ll be going to see someone who has young rats.


Now that he is staying, Mr. Ratski is going to need a proper name (and I am open to suggestions on that). He is getting bigger (over 50g now) and livelier by the day. His latest thing is to crawl into my sleeves and just stay there. Some pictures (he is getting harder to photograph because when the cage door is open, I‘m always afraid he‘ll get away and go chew some electrical wires or hide in a crevice, never to be found again.

The new critter abode.
He likes to play this game where I put my hand in his cage, and he runs like crazy between my fingers and in and out of his house and his pvc-pipe.
Look at those ears. 🙂

A Critter Update

It has now been two weeks since I found the little guy, and time has flown by. His eyes are fully open and, though he hasn‘t gotten more active (still sleeping and eating and sleeping and eating) he has grown and his appearance has changed quite a bit.

For quite a while, I was questioning as to whether Mr. Ratski is truly a rat. He hovered at the 14 g mark for over a week, and is still relatively tiny. His ears have detached from his head and are getting bigger, and as of this morning I am seeing how his snout is starting to get a truly „ratty“ look to it.

Here are some more pictures.

Today, again eating porridge
This past Sunday, cleaning up after his meal.

I even went to the pet store and bought him a small rat hammock. He doesn‘t like it yet though, even though I‘ve read that they usually love them.

He‘s at 18 g as of today. And cute. Regrettably, yesterday evening I approached his cage too quickly, startling him, and he‘s been afraid of me all day and keeps fleeing into his little house (a white box).

I‘m working on it. We‘ll see.

All Creatures, Great and Small

A week ago yesterday, I was walking through the yard when I spotted movement in the grass near my feet. I saw a teetering, struggling, teensy tiny little mouse-like thing and went into the house to grab some gloves to pick up this creature and further examine it.

I first thought it was a mouse that had been injured by a cat.
It wasn‘t. Its eyes were still closed, so it was clear to me that whatever it was, it was very young. I grabbed some milk in a syringe and got a bit into him, and then put him in a box, cushioned with tissues.

Closer internet research revealed that I had found a very young baby rat (I later learned from a friend that mother rats will sometimes move their entire nest of offspring, and that perhaps this little one got lost in that process) and that he was going to need additional heat and small animal formula as well as very frequent feedings to survive.

Armed with the appropriate supplies, I set out to help the little guy. That was eight days ago. Here are some pictures.

Saturday, September 30

 

Wednesday, October 4    Eating baby porridge off of my hand

 

Today, October 6  Eating baby porridge all on his own

The above photo was taken just minutes ago. I‘ve read everywhere that baby rats open their eyes (at first only to mere slits) on day 14.
I thought a few days ago that he had opened them, but he hadn‘t. He did today though, so happy 14th day, little guy.

14 days of age and 13 gramms (that‘s just under half an ounce).

We went to the vets yesterday, just to have a professional look at him, and the vet was happy with his progress and state of being, and gave me some liquid vitamins to boost him up a bit.

I know that some people would think, well, jeez, it‘s „just“ a rat, why bother or „they‘re vermin“ or such, but I firmly believe that it is not up to us humans to decide that the lives of some animals are worth less than the lives of other animals. That‘s not our call to make.
All of God‘s creatures, great and small, are welcome at this house.
Always.

 

The 13% and the other 87%

We feared that the right-wing and national AfD would be voted into the Parliament in Sunday‘s election, and they were. Strangely, when you look at the different parts of the country and the percentage of support for this party, it‘s the parts where there are the least refugees which reflects the highest support this anti-refugee, anti-european AfD.

I‘ve read in several places that around 8% of the total support that they AfD received was from protest voters. While I find this comforting, on the one hand, it has me seething on the other – for how can anyone cast a vote for a Nazi party – even a protest vote – just how could they?

As is the entire world, I am sure,  I am just so worn down by the dangerous antics, assinine rhetoric and complete cluelessness of DJT, that the german election results make me want to run in to a wall in complete energizer bunny style. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP……

Anyhow, if anyone is interested in getting some interesting background on what is happening in Germany, Al Ledson dedicated one of his latest eposides of his „Reveal“ Podcast to precisely this.

A link  to the episode can be found here.

(In my humble opinion, the Peabody Award winning Podcast „Reveal“ is one of the best podcasts there is – so even if this episode doesn‘t capture your interest, I‘m sure that one of the others will.)

Summer Off / Autumn On

Though according to the calendar, Fall starts later this month, the meteorogical begin is September 1. This is the first time I’ve ever observed such a drastic change of weather here. Our August was unusually warm, all the way to the end, and just as if someone had pushed a button, from September 1 and onward we’ve been at about 55 degrees, mostly gray, with some rain and nighttime temperatures are beginning to endanger my tomatoes. I’m not complaining about the weather though, in fact, I’ve gone into autumn mode and yesterday, actually began to use some of our apples in a Tarte Normande Aux Pommes (a fancy way of saying a Normandy Cake with Apples).

It is baked in multiple stages – first the shell is half-baked, then the apples, having been tossed with cinnamon and sugar are partially baked, then a custard-like mixture is poured over them and it is returned to the oven. 10 minutes before the end, it is generously sprinkled with powdered sugar (which I then caramelized with my culinary torch once the cake was done).


The story featuring yours truly in the county newspaper was reprinted in the local (town) newspaper and I am now reluctant to leave the house, in fear of being recognised as the crazy butterfly lady. 😉


Yes, I’ve been knitting, too. I’ll do a separate post about that, there have been projects throughout.


Last but not least, a shoutout to Jen for sending me this lovely ceramic coaster out of the clear blue. I love it!

Musings

I’ve been very occupied with the state of things in the world recently, more so than usual, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the hurricane victims in Texas and Florida and to those in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, where over a thousand have died. People who are on the wrong side of climate change need not speak to me these days. Don’t even get me started about everything else that’s going on.

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
(RIP Heather Heyer and God bless her amazing Mom.)


That outdoor surveillance camera I bought has been interesting. I check the videos in the morning, hoping to see something interesting, but for the most, it has been cats, sometimes even two at the same time, seemingly hunting for mice. I was hoping for maybe a fox or a marten – maybe in time I’ll see something else. For now, it’s an interesting pasttime. And perhaps I should rest easy, knowing that there are no hordes of moose stomping through here in the night, trampling my flowers.*


At the beginning of the week, I mailed a photo of a freshly hatched swallowtail to the local newspaper, and a reporter came and interviewed me about all things caterpillars, butterflies, and the dropping numbers of their population. This morning, there was a half-page article about it in the newspaper – with pictures. I’m blushing at an alarming rate here.

Though glad that the butterflies are getting a bit more press 🙂


Anyhow, trying to get back into the “good” parts of the internet and will be checking everyone’s blogs this weekend. I’ve been much too distracted by current events recently. Apologies.


*There are no moose here. Just trying to be funny. It’s a wonderful picture in my head, moose trampling through 🙂

Things in the Night

Per chance, I came across a relatively game trail camera and purchased it. We have lots of sensor-activated outdoor lights in the garden and often, late in the evening, I notice them going on and off.

Whether it be cats, hedgehogs, foxes, martens – I’ve always been curious as to what creatures come through under cover of darkness.

The first two nights, the camera recorded nothing – just me setting it up and it getting taken down again in the morning.

Last night, it took some video footage and while viewing it, had me scratching my head. Only after watching it a few times I finally saw the mouse that appears to jump out of the flowerpot in the right of the frame and dash across the lawn.

Just a mouse, but it’s a start. Kind of see-through though. Maybe it’s not a mouse, just leaves.

I’ll stay on it.

 

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