In Which Thelma Hates Being Boxed Up...

  • Apr. 4th, 2011 at 9:01 PM
kelzadiddle: (UFO Club Poster 1)
It seems that LiveJournal has been stricken by a second DDoS attack. Thankfully I still have Semagic, but the attack means that any Semagic features that require a connection to LiveJournal (browsing your post history, updating userpics/tags and posting, for instance) won't work. Ah well, I can always type entries up and save them for later.

So, today I finally took a massive risk and cleaned out Thelma's cage. Thelma being, for those of you who missed the post, my new pet rat. I bought her almost a week ago, she's adorable and she hates me. Every time I go to pick her up (as she should be picked up, I might add - by a finger and thumb around the midriff) she either freaks out and scuttles from my grasp or goes to bite me. Mmmyah. I think she's still settling in, to be honest, as she was at Anna's place for a good three days before I took her home.

She wasn't as bad as she was when I first got her, anyway. In the beginning she hid under the hamster wheel that came with her cage and flatly refused to come out. Now, she'll come up to the cage bars when I enter my bedroom, looking up at me intently. She'll sniff my hands when I go to stroke her nose. She'll even give little kisses. What baffles me is that she clearly looks like she wants to get out, yet when I take the cage top off or go to pick her up she'll have absolutely none of it. Thelma, y u no make sense? Oh - right - because you're my rat. You have a nonsensical owner.

Today I've passed the time by mostly reading. And thinking. And farting about on the computer, trying and failing and failing better at finding good ways to pass the time. I've been reading Robert Rankin's 'East of Ealing' and P. G. Wodehouse's 'Carry On, Jeeves'. I've had countless cups of tea, and I'm currently craving another. All in my mission to make Wednesday come faster.

Well, it's not so bad. Monday's nearly over now, and tomorrow I'm out with Laura. It would be nice if I could get another weekly bus pass on Wednesday, really, because then I'd invite Jason out myself to show that I'm interested.

Laura could help me with my Thelma conundrum, actually. She's had rats before, most notably Badger and Smudge, but I recall one occasion where she and her Mum actually looked after twelve rats at the same time on behalf of a neighbour who was on holiday. She might be able to give me some advice.

Actually, someone on Twitter said that she needs more socialisation. I think I'll try having little socialisation sessions in the mornings and evenings, when she seems most active. I've just stumbled across a neat little article that recommends clicker training, actually - this could be handy!

So, now that I've given Thelma a few days to settle in, here's how I'll start to socialise her:
  1. Little morning and evening sessions, about half an hour each, so she can get used to being handled.
  2. Treats and clicker training.
  3. Plenty of talking to her! She needs to get used to my face and voice.
  4. Oodles of play time.
  5. No pressure if Thelma seems threatened.
Hopefully, in coming weeks, she'll be a lot more comfortable with being handled. I'd be gutted if she just spent her whole life being anti-social like this, but it probably wouldn't be her fault. As her owner, it's my responsibility to give her the proper care. And it would be loads easier to look after her in future if she was socialised properly - no more of these 'rat-in-a-box' situations when it comes to cage cleaning time, for a start!

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