Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Raw Chocolate, Goody Gumdrops & No Ratlets

Yes, that's right. NO RATLETS!

*Cough* Cat believes that Zuko may have some trouble with his little swimmers....In other words, he may have low sperm count because MARI IS NOT PREGNANT. Zuko is an older gent, you know. Try 83 in human years!! He's going to be 3 years old in December...

In fact, the anticipated day came, and while Cat was cleaning out the cage, what does she see?? Zuko chasing after Mari for some fun mating action! And, boy, was she having NONE of it! Mind you, his courting behavior could use a tad tweaking. He'd just grab her and start that thrusting action without noticing if everything was---uh---placed correctly. She turned around and BALKED at him. Cat never heard such high chirps coming from a rat before! Unfortunately, clueless, Zuko looked down and began to groom his private part, as if to say, "Ok, dear, better luck next time."  OH ZUKO! 83 years old and you're still full of panache!

Monster Fingers
Speaking of which, Zuko has been his usual self, bugging after Cat to appease his sweet cravings. With all the smells in the kitchen (just look at those goody drops, called Monster fingers) Zuko and Mari have been enjoying many a- Halloween treat. Think they look creepy? Daddy thought so! He made a face but was delighted with the taste! Pumpkin cookies and raw chocolate webs have also been on the treat menu and Cat is hoping to attempt a bobbin' for apples recipe.

RAW Chocolate Spider Web Candy

In fact, Cat has been working on her website, Katz Qzine as of late. Soon, she will be offering raw and vegan classes in the Montreal area, as well as life coaching/psychotherapy and even raw and vegan e-books (some will be free!). Cat has been in the veggy movement of things for over 8 years now and has over 10 years working in the field of mental health & disability. If you would like to be informed of the launch of Katz Qzine, please write to katzqzine@gmail.com. The website should be up and running by the end of October (latest early November). Cat is also available for freelance writing in raw, vegan, health or psychology. Email for details.

Well, the good news about Mari not being pregnant is that she can now go on a much needed diet! The other day, the two of them were having a "move-out-of-my-way" kind of fight. They were both wedged in the door of the dining room, each one with food in their mouths and each one wanting to eat by themselves in the box. Mari just had enough, puffed herself up to three times her size, and shoved poor Zuko right over!! Cat laughed, oh how she laughed!! She scooped Zuko up and told him that justice has been served for all the times he had pounced on his brother Millefeuille and been mean to him. Beaten up by a female, Zuks! remember that!!

Ah, but Zuks is alright. He doesn't have any hard feelings. In fact, although he's gotten tired of Mari stealing his food (even right from him!), he's come up with other strategies to be nice to her, like eating by himself, finding a good hideout in the kitchen where he can eat alone, and even (nicely) pushing her aside to give her a message to leave him alone. Then, too, today Cat caught him grooming her, and so often they snuggle together in the same bedroom. AH, rattie love?! Cat estimated that at 1.5 years old, Mari is around 40 about in human years...and it may be even less (say 1 year, putting her more at 30)...Sleeping around with Zuks, it's like being with her grandpa!! No wonder she's a-bound with energy while Zuks sleeps his days away!

Yes, Cat has noticed that Zuko has gotten les agile and is less mobile. He tends to rest more and he hasn't climbed the barrier to the living room in ages. He's also very careful when he goes into the recycling bin, and Cat has noticed that she has to keep a watchful eye on him when he goes onto her shoulder. Just last week, he bounded down from her shoulder onto the floor, thinking he was still his old, springy self. What happened? He sprained his foot and seemed stunned by the shock of gravity on his older body. Cat, naturally, nurtured him tons of love.
"You'll always be my special little guy," Cat told him.
 As for Mari, she LOVES to zip around the kitchen, and she climbs the living room barrier at least 10 times a day. Cat brings both of them into the bathroom when she takes a shower. She has found them kind of stuffy, as of late...Hm, perhaps too many raw treats!! Dr. Daddy advised no more nuts for a while, and Cat has been giving them plenty of raw veggies and seaweed and even a little bit of cooked brown rice. Mari was nipping at Cat's finger and checking for food in Cat's mouth just last night, definitely signs indicating she's feelin' the new lighter diet!! All in time for Xmas, Mari ;)                                                                                 
Flower Power Salad
 For now, beautiful salads made of veggies and edible flowers will have to suffice!! Autumn is a time for harvesting the bounty after the summer, and Cat has been growing some baby tomatoes, herbs and edible flowers on her balcony! Just the other day, Mari ate herself---no, not literally. She ate some Marigold flowers. They have a peppery taste and their orange hues are just perfect for Halloween. 

Stay tuned for more news and adventures with the REAL RAW RATTIES & the REAL RAW RATTIE FAMILY.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


What can Cat say about these two beautiful little creatures??

For starters, Zuko is SUCH a gentleman/rattie! Here's proof:
Who Me, a GentleRattie?!
  • He'll let  Mari steal food from him (unless it's something really good, like a cookie, then he wants his own!). 
  • He has helped her to step down-> one time, Cat hadn't yet put in the ladders in the cage after cleaning it and Mari wanted to come down to the first level. It's a bit of a jump down and what with her being pregnant, she didn't want to risk it. So, Zuko used his body as if it was a ladder and she put her paw on him to help herself get down. OH, ZUKO, HOW SWEET!
  • Just tonight, Cat waved a paper in front of their room and Zuko used a paw to keep Mari from springing out of her cage to check it out. What a protector!! 
I got TONS of E_N_E_R_G_Y!
Princess Mari, of course, is such an adventuress!! She teases him, snuggles with him and checks out what adventures he's up to. Lately, Zuks has become such a grandpa, sleeping away the hours and hiding under the warm sleeping bag. Not so Mari! She abounds with energy!! She's scaled the barrier between the kitchen and living room many a-time, considering it a puzzle to be solved, despite Cat's attempts at rearranging the barrier. She's run all over the apartment, sniffed the shoes on the stairs, checked out the workout/office room, the living room and solarium. She's hidden and played tag with Zuko in the bathroom, hiding behind the broom. She's scaled the kitchen cart on which Cat had placed some kiwis AND managed to snag and eat HALF a kiwi to herself! The little minx threw down the kiwi and brought it to her cage!! She's a pregnant mama and boy will she need all that energy when the ratlets come!!
Speaking of which, it has been 21 days and the ratlets should be on their way anytime soon now. Cat will prepare an aquarium so that Mari can be alone to nurse them....Let's see how Zuko responds when his brood arrives!! 
Mari with Cat is just amazing. She always comes when Cat calls to her. She's groomed Cat's face and hair, and just tonight, she stayed on Cat's shoulder while Cat stroked her soft and ultra-silky fur, kissing Cat on the cheek. AH, MARI, YOU'RE SUCH A SWEETIE!
More pics will be forthcoming when the ratlets arrive (maybe even a video???). Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

PRINCESS MARIGOLD: New Addition to the Real Raw Rattie Family

Hello! Meet Marigold! She's the new raw rattie in town! She came to join Cat last Thursday...
Mari: Bounding with Energy!
Cat was at work and the man there said he was going to take her to the pet store. What?! She had been living with another female rattie, who passed away, and the family felt that they weren't paying much attention to her. So, it was a trip to the pet store---and possible euthanization as Marigold is over a year old (and who'd want to adopt such an "old" rattie anyway?).
Step in the heroine: ta-da: Cat came to save the day and rescue the fair lady rattie.
"Sure, I'll take her home with me," Cat told the family.
The man gave her a box and she punched some holes in it. On the bus ride home, Cat frequently made sure to check up on the silent missy, offering her finger, at times, as a means of comfort that she was right there if she needed it.
And what a missy indeed! What a flirt!!
Cat figured there might be some action, heck, even some trouble, when boy met girl, or male rattie met female rattie.
Marigold was in heat! Zuko was trying to catch her all night, but this one, she's got energy, boy!
Mari (her nickname, pronounced Maw-ree), would hunker down, wiggling her little tush and ears. She'd wait and then, when Zuko approached and was quite close, she'd bound away! Zuko never seemed to tire of trying to catch her, but it seemed clear that she had the advantage. Running all over the kitchen, it was apparent that she was the jogging queen. Zuks, he remains the rock climber!
Zuko, in the end, actually seemed to be winding down...or was it that he was trying a new approach? Mari was flirting boldly with him; he'd be trying to find where she'd gone and hid herself, and she would pop over to see him, almost rubbing noses with him as if to say, "Here I am!"
Zuko became quieter, almost stopped chasing her, in fact. He appeared to be...waiting.
Cat got tired of watching the ratties run around in the kitchen and went to watch a movie with Daddy. They both heard squeaks and squeals...Later, Cat found the mucous plug in Mari, indicating that Mari was no longer as pure as when she first arrived.
WOW! So much action happened in one night! The REAL RAW RATTIE family got a new addition, Zuko had a hot and steamy date, AND a long-term girlfriend that he knocked up in the first night. THAT'S RIGHT FOLKS, MARI IS PREGNANT!
Well, that last part might be tweaked a bit as Cat researched that ratties can have lots and lots and LOTS of babies...and it wouldn't be fair to be putting multiple pregnancies on Mari, especially with her age.
Indeed, female ratties go into heat every 5 days. They can have multiple litters and the number of babies, or ratlets, can be between 6-15, possibly even up to 24!!
Cat isn't sure what plan of action to take after the ratlets are born: she may neuter Zuko or else she will have to keep Zuko and Mari in separate cages. The latter seems a might unfair; a bit of an understatement as Zuko was having a royal fit. Cat had separated Mari and Zuko for the night, not wanting to hear all the mating noises (ratties can mate up 100 times in 24 hours!!). Zuko, being Zuko of course, was having none of it! He eventually settled down, but only after: throwing over his water dish, overturning his litter box, dismantling the staircase and biting the cage wires. Ah, Zuko!
The next day, Cat washed the cages and put them together. Zuko was also put out because he LOVES his BIG HOME INTACT. He loves having TWO rooms for himself and climbing up to where his room is located, right under the penthouse floor. Now, of course, he's been sharing his quarters with Princess Mari. She's all female, all right!!! She's already made attempts at re-decorating the place, removing what she purports is too many papers in the bedroom and (just today) displacing the contents of the litter box (stinky already?!).
Mari and Zuko have ceased to mate, but Zuko still chases her around, playing and teasing her. She has tons of energy, loves to jog and even bounded up onto the kitchen/living room barrier! Zuko and Mari play in the long plumber's tubes, hide behind the kitchen cart- Mari is even small enough to squeeze behind the wall and the home cage! Like Zuko, she loves to climb the cage and check the view from on top....They certainly seem like a match made in heaven!... Let's see what happens when the kiddies arrive and what kind of parents they are going to be!! That should be in 2 1/2 weeks! Stay posted on events until then!
Ps. Cat is doing a JUICE FAST!
PPS. Better and MORE pics of Princess Mari & Prince Zuko (and the RAW RATTIE TRAIN) coming soon!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No Ordinary Moments

Ah, Zuko...What can Cat possibly write about you this time? Actually, LOTS! There is always something happening here with the REAL RAW RATTIE FAMILY!
Take last night. Alter ego Zuko was laid aside as Chev, for the first time EVER, lay sprawled on Cat's forearm while Cat petted him with her other hand. He just stayed there for what seemed like a long time, letting Cat stroke him.
"You don't have Mille to groom you anymore, do you?" Cat empathized with Chev at the loss of his brother.
Cat continued to coddle Chev, then started to get tired as 10 minutes had passed and she was standing in this rather awkward position. There just happened to be a chair a few feet away and as she slowly and carefully sat herself down, that was Zuko's trigger to come to life! That ended Cat's pet therapy session and Chev's caregiver grooming service.
Today, Cat felt, as she has many times in the past, that Zuko was just like a beautiful little pup. He paddled into the bathroom and jumped into the garbage to munch on goodies & treats as if Halloween happened every day. He made his perusal of the apartment, checking the odors of the shoes on the stairs and in the closet, skirted around the living room where he found it rather dull as Daddy was off at work, and then darted back into the kitchen where he found a cozy spot in the old sleeping bag Cat had thrown down and curled into a ball to take a much needed nap. Later in the day, he followed Cat around, digging in the plants on the balcony as Cat did the laundry (Oooh, not that parsely was not up his alley!), hiding behind the kitchen cart where it was warmer than outside (fall has arrived, Zuko!), and supervising Cat as she cleaned the home cage to make sure it was clean AND had some cozy new papers for his room AND had the food that he had hidden in the dining room. Of course, he stayed on Cat's shoulder for a bit as she did some chores around the house, then, tired of his adventures, he slipped back into the sleeping bag and cozied up in its warmth.
"Oh, Zuko, don't tell me you're becoming a grandpa now!" Cat complained teasingly.
No response.
When Cat checked, he was curled up in a ball. He opened one eye slightly as if to say, "What? What do you want?" then closed it back as Cat crept away.
Night, night, Chev/Zuko!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Yep, it's true! Cat came home tonight after working late and began to make herself a green juice. Zuko, quiet all day in the home cage while Daddy enjoyed his day off reading and researching, perked up quick when Cat came home.
"Let me out of here!" he seemed to say."I'm STARVING!"
Cat gave him a few mac nuts to appease him, followed by a piece of apple from the local organic farm. Yet soon enough, he was bounding after her, tugging on her pant leg to be let up and supervise what she was up to.
She put him on her shoulder and he climbed onto her arm. She was squeezing juice out of a cotton bag that was hanging from the cupboard knob and into a bowl. She started to laugh; Zuko began to lick the juice that was dripping out of the bag!! She didn't think rats liked green juice!!
Yes, in fact, they DO!
Zuko jumped off her arm and onto the counter. He saw the cap to the water bottle that Cat had forgotten to replace and threw it onto the floor. UH OH, Zuko was already getting into TROUBLE and it hadn't even been 10 minutes!! How time flies in rattie time!
Zuko came straight up to the bowl and started lapping up the green juice.
Cat laughed. "I guess it must be good, Zuks, because I haven't even tried it yet," she told him. He continued to drink the juice and then, Zuko being Zuko, went to go see what other fun objects he could explore while on the counter.
Here's the simple recipe to a great juice, rattie approved!
Simple Apple 'n' Orange Juice
  • 1/2 head of lettuce
  • 4 apples (Jersey Mac, Lobo & Paula Red), cored
  • 1 orange, peeled & seeded
  • 1-2 cups of spring water
Put all ingredients in a a high speed blender, like the Vitamix, and pour into a nut mylk bag. Hang the bag from the kitchen cupboard knob, and let gravity do the work for a while as the juice drips down. Then, squeeze out the remaining juice. Makes around 1 liter. 
There is an option, here! You can add 1-2 tbsp of chia seed to the juice. Chia seed is hydrating and it swells in liquid. It's great for people who have digestion problems as it soothes the intestines and provides fiber. It also contains all the essential amino acids, not to mention being high in calcium, anti-oxidants and Omega-3.
After his juice feast, Zuko found himself having a shower with Cat! He wasn't too pleased to be having a bath;even though Cat made sure the water spray was gentle on him by shielding him with her body, he still didn't care for the "waterfall" spray, not now and not any day!
When Cat came out, he came to see her. Usually he protested when she would towel him off; this time, he was asking for it! She took a towel and dried him off. Then, he wanted OUT of the bathroom. He waited rather patiently, and as soon as they returned to the kitchen, he let it be known that in no uncertain times had he forgotten that he ALWAYS got a treat after a bath!!
Ah, Zuko, you're such a character, but a clever and intelligent one to boot!!
He appreciated the soaked sunflower seeds, shoving more than he could handle into his mouth.
"Pig!" Cat name-called.
Caught, Mister! You're in TROUBLE, Zuko!
He finished his meal with a twig of clover, a dandelion leaf, a piece of lettuce and a few soaked pumpkin seeds. Lately, his diet has been HIGH raw, at about 90-95%. He loves his nuts, seeds and avocado! Coconut oil is sometimes a real treat, as well, but he keeps himself in shape with all the exercise he rigorously puts himself through EVERY DAY: hopping into & fishing in the recycling bin, rock climbing up the barrier that divides the kitchen & the living room, running around in the living room & even sometimes doing a few stairs (hey, those shoes are a wonderful odoriferous adventure!)...Of course, can't forget to mention the MANY occasions he rock climbs into the laundry hamper...that's one of the best adventures of all!! Well, OK, climbing into the refrigerator to check what goodies are in there may come in as a narrow close second.
A Sleeping Delicate Flower (Chevrefeuille/Honeysuckle)
 Yep, after a nice full belly and some aerobic activity, you'd think Zuko would take a nap...Sometimes he does, but that usually happens after the lunch meal. Nope, he's gotta do his laps and rituals, and that recycling bin has some new treats in there, he can smell them! Hm, is that a scampering noise Cat hears on the counter? No...maybe a kind of slapping noise, like the one that Zuko makes when he climbs the kitchen cart and uses the wire attached to the portable, electric range to pull himself the last leg up onto the counter...No, all seems quiet...TOO quiet...Time for Cat to check up and see what Zuko is up to!
Stay alert for more recipes and adventures with Chev/Zuko and the REAL RAW RATTIE FAMILY!

Monday, September 6, 2010


Zuko had a mini adventure when Cat put Zuko on her shoulder and went to post a letter. He was happy to be getting outside again, but unfortunately it was quite cool and Zuko protested! He hid between Cat's arm and body, trying to warm himself.
"What are you going to do in the winter time?" Cat laughed.
Perhaps Zuko will get some winter digs?? Nah, he'd just shred them within a few short minutes after putting them on!
Speaking of shredding, Zuko had a fun new way of getting into TROUBLE this evening. He hid in the bathroom and when Cat entered, what did she find? The toilet paper had been wrapped around the toilet and the trail ended somewhere under the washing machine! OH ZUKO!
Cat laughed. It was too amusing to get mad at Zuko. But it his antic was a little bit early for Halloween!
Cat took up the toilet paper that Zuko had unraveled and balled it up. She threw it behind the washing machine and heard little munching noises.
ZUKO!!! Eating toilet paper after the feast he ate, with the cooked potatoes and the raw macadamia nuts, not to mention a small piece of gluten-free cake from Daddy's birthday party?! Sheesh!!
ZUKO, you are truly one of a kind!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Zuko's BIG Day

It all started last week, when Cat took Zuko out for a jaunt. She wanted to take a little walk to get in some exercise. A light bulb flashed above her head.
"I know," she said. "I'll take Zuko!"
So Cat put Zuko on her shoulder and brought a bag with her in case Zuko was too scared to face the REAL WORLD.
Zuko sat on Cat's shoulder as she walked down the end of their street and turned right onto another street. His eyes were bulging as he took in all of the sights and sounds of urban life: cars passing by, streetlights aglow, crickets singing, and the smell of summer flowers in the air.
Zuko scrambled from Cat's right shoulder to her left shoulder, trying to get in different angles or perhaps for a more comfortable position. He didn't like it when she walked too fast; it was too bumpy!
But then when they came to the park, he wanted to be let down. Cat was afraid. He was such a little guy compared to squirrels and cats and dogs. She didn't want anything happening to him.
She put him in the sandbox and hovered close by. He didn't care for and instead when running onto the grass, sniffing around trees like a miniature dog. In fact, that's exactly what Cat thought: that he was just like a mini MINI dog!
She scooped him up and put him on the slide. He was too chicken and climbed down the stairs. So she took him again and went on the slide with him. Whoa! What a ride!!
He went on another slide all by himself and then Cat and Zuko went on one final slide ride together.
Cat picked Zuko up and put him on her shoulder. She continued to walk down the street, this time turning onto a busier street.
Zuko, however, having loved the freedom of running on the grass, kept wanting to be let down.
After several attempts, Cat held him in her hands close to her stomach. He waited patiently enough, but when they got to another big park, he ran happily around on the cool grass.
Daddy was coming home from work, so Cat told Zuko that it was time to go back. She walked quickly at times and Zuko protested. She offered him the bag she had brought, but he wanted nothing to do with it. So she held him in both hands on her chest, close to her heart, and he seemed to feel comforted by the gesture. Zuko had one more big run in the first park he had played in, and then Cat and Zuko returned home.
When Zuko got home, he was played out! It was Zuko's BIG DAY and he wanted to rest!!
Of course, Zuko being Zuko, he rested for not even half an hour before bounding out of his cage and making a bee-line for TROUBLE in the bathroom. Oh, ZUKO!! You're incorrigible!! But you're so LOVABLE!