Friday, September 14, 2012

Surprise of surprises!

We have pet rats.  Two of them, boys...

...or so we thought. Such an ominous expression, I know:) I'll get to it in a minute...a little background first. Cuthbert is the larger gray one, and Daniel is the smaller gray and white. They are such sweeties! We love them! We decided to get rats because they are pets the children can actually play with, and really help care for.  Also, Emma is going to be teaching them to run through a maze.  Should be fun!

Ok, back to the story. We had noticed Daniel getting chunky the past couple of days. He seemed to grow TREMENDOUSLY overnight! I was fearful he had a tumor.  But, we thought, maybe he's just eating too much.  Little did we know....

Daniel's, I mean, Evangeline's babies.  Half of them.
 Wow! We really had no idea he was a she! I guess we just took for granted that the pet store person gave us a boy.  The container said Male Rats, and we didn't think to look to make sure either.  And she was so small when we got her...I don't know...thinking back we should have noticed that he was definitely not a he.  Oh well, you live and learn. Now we have fun babies!!!
Evangeline cleaning and nursing her littles.
Emma found Evangeline...that's what we changed Daniel's name to (Sophia's choice), and thought she was dying.  I went over and looked and also thought she was dying...but as I looked closer I noticed half a dozen wiggly little squeaking pink things.  And then I looked at Daniel/Evangeline and saw ANOTHER wiggly thing under her, and we all completely freaked out! It was an insane half an hour...trying to get Cuthbert out of the cage so he wouldn't interfere with the birth...getting him a clean box all set up...worrying about what to do for Evangeline to help the birthing process go was crazy!! She gave birth to 11 little rats and they are all doing well so far.  She continually cleans them and is nursing them well.  She is also sitting on them to keep them warm.  What a good little mother.

My kids had an impromptu biology lesson this morning, and I'm happy to say, they all did very well with it. It was gross for them at first...but then they were all very intrigued, and are very concerned with the well being of the babies and Evangeline. So far, we have learned that we can't handle Evangeline or her babies for a day or two. We also learned that baby rats go through growth stages quickly.  First is the "Pinky" stage, then they will be "Furries" and then "Crawlers". Now we just need to figure out what to do with them all! But for now, we'll just watch them grow, and watch how God has instilled in his creation the natural mothering instinct.  It is so amazing!

Welcome to the world little rat babies!! What a crazy day!

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