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Bramble

Black berkshire

30.8.00 - 3.3.03



About Bramble

Bramble and his best buddy The Bear (Ramekin) came to live with us in October, 2000 from Westside Pets & Aquarium, Taringa.  We hadn't planned on getting new ratlets, but then I'm sure this scenario sounds familiar to most of you.  I had gone into our local pet shop to buy some supplies and was inexplicably and irresistibly drawn to the ratlet tank.  There was the blackest of black ratlets in there and I'm a big sucker for black rats.  I managed to resist him for almost 3 days... he's been irresistible ever since.

Bramble was so named because he was berry berry black, and he had the most glossy, soft fur of any rat I've known.  He was mostly known as simply B, or Bumble B in his doddering old age.  His face was a picture of dignified innocence, his character the same.

One can only describe B as a sweet rat.  He was an enthusiastic hyperactive ratlet, he was never mean to other rats, never got into much trouble (unless it involved someone trying to steal his treats), always looked perfectly groomed and loved nothing better than being cuddled.  I would scratch his butt with my fingernails and he'd rampantly lick my hand.  When he didn't want to be disturbed, he'd gently push my fingers away with his nose.  He was always the first to poke his nose out to greet me when I got home from work.

In his older days he remained actively playful, but mellowed into a squish, a laid back old boy who loved nothing more than a cuddle and some chocolate.  He lived his life with his littermate and best buddy The Bear, and after The Bear left us, he accepted Stattles easily and they became great friends.

A healthy old boy, he developed a nasty facial abscess and the infection went systemic.  Despite every treatment we tried, he declined rapidly and we farewelled him soonafter.  We will miss his gorgeous black face and sweet character.  But feel happy to know that a little Brambleness lives on in our website mascot and on TDR magnets on fridges all over the world.



Photos of Bramble


Baby Brambleberry


The Bramble, the whole Bramble and nothing but the Bramble


The Bear and Bramble snuggle in their favourite blanket


"The Bramble Patch" (i.e. his adorable white belly splotch)


Ummm... so where's the sunflower seeds?


A rare calm moment for Bramble


A be-daisied Bramble


Up close and adorable


B with Stattles


Tales of Bramble


Brambleberry goodness

Little Bramble is really coming into his own lately.  What used to be a shy little ratlet has now developed into an impressively audacious, brave and enthusiastic young buck.

He has more names than Prince... Brambleberry, Little Berry, B.Berry, Berryberry, Blackberry, Bee Bop Berry, BramRat, and Bratberrry (when he's being bad).

He has a dark black whiskery cheeky face that reminds me of Dap, but he has a couple of stray white whiskers which hang down under his chin like little walrus tusks or old man whiskers.  He has an oh-too-cute white belly splotch (The Bramble Patch) and the softest, sleekest, shiniest, finest long fur of any rat I've ever met.  It's so shiny and long and fine and sleek that he's almost
slippery.  I have to really hang on to Bramble when I'm holding him or he'll slip out of my hands.  Are all black rats like this, or is Bramble just a particularly slippery character?

He has this sweet way of going all floppy when you pick him up, a little like a rag doll cat, I suppose.  You end up holding this floppy
wriggly bundle of soft squishiness in your hands, with tail and legs and whiskers and other cute bits dangling out between your fingers all over the place.  You can kiss and raspberry his soft fuzzy belly without fear of being clawed in the eye.

He lives for free range time... he's always the first one out and the last one in.  He leaps out onto the sofa with an overly enthusiastic
expression of "Hey Mum!  Here I am!  Play with me!".  Even after the others are back home taking a break from play, Bramble will still be leaping all over the place... and I do mean "leaping"... he can't manage to scurry or saunter like the others.  It's like he's got so much energy in that little furry form that he can't contain it.

He's so audacious with Big Mean Alpha Nimbus, walking right up to him and sticking his nose in Nim's face.  And he won't back down even when Nim gives his warning huff-hop.  I fully expect Bramble to take over the alpha duties when he's a little older.  He loves Uncle Statty and is currently learning to play fight with him.  Statty is wonderful... he never hurts him and even lets Bramble win on occasion.

Like Nimbus, Bramble is not shy of new things.  Far from it... he'll gleefully pounce on my dinner plate and taste everything, always
wants to investigate new places and people and attempts Grand Theft on anything not tied down.

He's the littlest of my boys at only 450g (at a little over 5 months of age)... the others are over 500g.  But what he lacks in size he
makes up for in sheer determination.  He's a special little guy.

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The perfect pet

Bramble is, without doubt, the sweetest rat I have ever met.

He literally runs to me when I come into the room.
He leaps onto my lap and loves nothing better than be cuddled close and get a good firm butt scratch.
He licks me constantly and for no apparent reason.
He's docile and lazy and squishy, and yet he's also very ratty... he leaps about playfully during free range time, he steals treats off The Bear, gets into comical trouble, etc.
He's a wonderful Uncle B to the younger rats... he chases them about playfully and lets them pounce on him.
He truly loves me and shows it.

I have this hope that all new rat owners bring home someone like B as their first rat.  He's truly the perfect pet.

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Blessed Bramble be

I let Bramble and The Bear out for a run in the rat room last night and then went off to the kitchen to do the dishes.  When I'd finished I came into the rat room to play with the boys.  They're always so excited to see me... usually sitting around bored amongst a mountain of toys until I arrive to play with them.

Anyway, I did my usual enthusiastic greeting and The Bear bounded over to leap on my lap for a scritch.  Bramble however, was seated in the litter tray doing his business.  He saw me and looked all agitated and impatient and eventually gave in and leaped out of the tray to run towards me.  But he stopped about one foot from the tray, smiled wryly and ran back and climbed in.  Then he popped out one more raisin before leaping back out and running over to me!  He wasn't finished yet... but he was so good he went back to the tray!  He got LOTS of attention and praise and scritches and play from mum for being such a fabulous rat.

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More tales of Bramble and his friends on the Ratty Ramblings page.


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