I hope you can guess by the above photo that Fresno is my new rat co-pet. He’s got his paw right on my nose in the photo above. That is very close to my giant teeth, as you can see, so it is lucky for him that I don’t bite. I am actually hoping that he will scratch my belly, but you’ll have to read the rest of the post to find out if he does.
Some of you may remember that I had a really cute rat co-pet named Bakersfield. Sadly, rats do not live very long and Bakes died last winter of apparent old age. The pet store said he was 2 and he lived with us for 1.5 years, which would have made him about 3.5 years old, which is quite old for a rat.
After Bakersfield died, Melly said she wouldn’t get any more rats because of their short life expectancy. But Melly is not a woman of her word and so on June 4th, she came home with a new little rat.
The day before she bought Fresno, Melly took this photo of him at the pet store. I don’t know how she managed to leave him there but after she posted that on Facebook, everyone said she should go back for him. So she did.
This is Fresno’s new home at our house, directly under a poster of Caplin Rous! Fresno was only $10 but that cage makes him a pretty expensive pet. Still, both Melly and Fresno love the cage so it is worth every penny. And Melly filled it with lots of fun toys for Fresno that he mostly just ignores.
Unfortunately, Fresno started sneezing a lot and so Melly had to take him to the vet. It turns out he has an upper respiratory infection. Luckily the vet said it is easy to treat and noncommunicable, except to other rats. The vet also said we caught it early and otherwise Frez is in good shape. That meant that Fresno was free to meet his new co-pets!
We started out with WBB1 because they are closest to the same size. By himself, Fresno looks pretty big but it turns out he is very small because he is even dwarfed by a guinea pig!
Fresno tried really hard to be friends with WBB1 but WBB1 must be British or something because he is very dignified and aloof.
It is hard to remain dignified and aloof with a rat crawling over your back, but WBB1 did a pretty good job of it!
Then it was my turn to meet Fresno. I was pretty surprised to see him and even more surprised that he doesn’t act at all like Bakersfield. Bakes was a calm, easy going rat, but Fresno is on the move all the time! He’s like that Energizer bunny, only a rat.
I used to love it when Bakersfield would crawl on me. Little rat paws are pretty good at scratching. I got all poofed up in the hope that Fresno would scratch me, maybe even better than Bakersfield. Maybe Fresno could scratch my belly!
Do you see how blurry Fresno is in this photo? That is because he is moving too fast. Sure, he crawled on me, and that is good, but all he did was run down my back and off one of my hind feet. It was so fast I hardly had time to appreciate it. Melly says he might slow down when he gets a little older. I sure hope so!
Melly took Frez into the family room and I followed along. I am a pretty social capybara and I really want to be friends.
I think Fresno likes me, he even kissed me on the nose, but he just can’t hold still for very long.
Later, Frez was sitting on Melly’s lap and I came over to investigate. Also, Melly gives me treats sometimes when she is sitting in that chair.
I really want to be scratched, and I don’t mind begging. But it didn’t do me any good. Still, Fresno is new around here, if he slows down like Melly says he will, I think I can probably teach him to scratch me. And Melly says she might get him a friend so maybe I could have TWO rats scratch me!