Today was tail cleaning day! Apparently this is not only a thing, it’s a thing that should be done on occasion to keep rats’ tails from getting too grungy. I used some warm water with a bit of dish soap, an old toothbrush, and my hands to soak and clean and scrub the boys’ tails. I think they look better? I don’t know. I was hoping they would turn coral pink and sparkly, like new tails, but that did not happen. :( Maybe next time.
Bosley was the first victim and was unsurprisingly the best behaved, though initially offended at my mishandling of his rear end. Being Bosley, he forgave me promptly with kisses when it was over, and perked up even more when he realized he’d get to watch both his brothers get the same treatment. He seemed to decide overall that he had no idea what the heck had gotten into me, but that it was very, very funny.
So Duncan finally came out of the cage tonight - probably afraid I was going to ambush and spray him again - and I actually think he is pinker now than he was yesterday. (That blur in the second photo is Bosley, after saying “Bathe him again, Mama, that was funny as balls.”)
I guess I just have a pink rat now. Which is okay! If Duncan wants to be pink that’s his prerogative, and I am not an oppressive shitlord. It’s just that I don’t think he actually cares either way, and, well, I can’t call him the White Whale anymore if he’s actually a pink whale, now can I?
Taxidermy critters below! You’ve been warned.
My taxidermy babies! (Just a handful out of what is a decent collection of mostly wallhanger pelts. My mum finally gave me permission to display “some” of them, so I picked my favourites.)
The first pic is Sitka, my cross fox soft mount. I had wanted a soft mount desperately, and Sitka (previously named Raven) was posted on the taxidermy boards at a very low price. He was, the seller explained, her very first attempt at a soft mount (she was also offering a couple of more recent, gorgeous plushes I couldn’t afford). Sitka was a roadkill fox from Alaska. He’d come with several holes which needed stitching, and a new face entirely. I figured I’d never find a soft mount that cheap ever again, and I wanted one badly enough to overlook these apparent flaws. Well, when he arrived my jaw dropped. He looks great! The taxidermist really undersold herself. He doesn’t appreciate rough handling, but that’s okay because he mostly just curls up in my chair and keeps watch.
I hung my three favourite wallhangers next to my bed: Three, Wolf, and Marion. Three was my first “real” pelt (that wasn’t a little bitty muskrat) and he was #3 in the lot. He’s just about what you’d call a “cherry red” fox. Wolf was another of my “bargain buddies” - his face was badly damaged and got very stiff after several attempts to rehydrate it; the seller said one more attempt and it would fall apart. He’s a monster of a ‘yote (who barely fits in the frame) and has a beautiful thick coat. Marion is a more petite female coyote with a gorgeous orange coat and for me it was love at first sight. Unfortunately, she’d been sold by the time I saw her. But that fell through and the seller contacted me a few months later, wanting to know if I was still interested! She’s the one that almost got away.
Last is Logan, by far my sweetest and most expensive friend. He’s a Lamancha (note the tiny ears) kid goat, soft mounted by an incredibly skilled taxidermist who doesn’t seem to be on deviantArt anymore but used to do a lot of ungulates, sheep and goats. Logan was born on her friend’s farm and died shortly afterward of natural causes. She hand-carved his head form and gave him blue-brown eyes. He’s a little noodly and not posable, but unbearably sweet (couldn’t you just kiss that nose?). And he gets me the weirdest looks from visitors… but people in “taxidermy fandom” will appreciate just what a jewel he is.
Heads up! I am going to be posting a few pics of some things from my taxidermy collection. If such things bother you, make sure you have the “taxidermy” tag blacklisted. If you don’t have Blacklist, I’ll post another warning right after the pics are up so you can scroll past them. Don’t wanna freak anyone out!
Found Bentley curled up like this in his favourite drawer. Sleepyhead.
You may not have noticed, and it’s hard to see in pictures, but for the past month or so Duncan has been a pink rat.
Duncan wipes his nose on himself. Rat snot being red, this leaves big pink swathes in his white fur. I thought it would go away, but instead he added more swathes, and now half his body is pink. And he still looks really handsome as a pink rat, but I would kind of like a white rat again.
Today I bought a waterless spray shampoo for small animals (baby powder scented) and then I lured Duncan out of the cage and sprayed him. Well, first I sprayed a tissue and wiped it on him so he could get used to the smell, and he seemed intrigued and not alarmed, so I sprayed him directly and started massaging him like the bottle says.
Bosley thought it was pretty funny though. He watched.
I patted him dry and set him free. Now I have a slightly less pink rat who smells like baby powder and is really soft. So.
My coworker thinks Phatty looks better after his brushing, even though he still has some tangles in his undercoat. :D I always think Phatty looks perfect, so I couldn’t tell. I was worried he wouldn’t like me anymore after the brushing, since he was pretty grumpy during our grooming sesh, and Phatty is not the most expressive cat at the best of times. I love on him so much and rarely get more than a blink in response. But when he came out of the cage today and I tentatively petted him, he suddenly flopped down, rolled onto his back, and pushed his chin into my hand. I couldn’t resist rubbing his huge woolly tummy, and he kept ducking his head down into my hand. Then I heard him purr!
Phatty still likes me. I am the happiest Whisky.
I hugged him right there on the floor and put my face in his fluffy chest. “You’re so perfect, Phatty!” I said. He just laid there, but he seemed to appreciate the sentiment.
So perfect. I wish he was my cat.