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Dapper (black hooded)
Fudge (black berkshire)
Dapper and Fudge were our first rats. After seeing pet rats on TV shows and reading about their particular charms on the internet, I had decided that our life needed some rats in it. So in February 1999 off we went to our local pet shop (Westside Pets & Aquarium, Taringa) and we came home with the boys. Our lives would be forever changed.
Dapper got his name from his debonair appearance and his suave attitude. He was an adorable black hooded rat, with a blow-out on his stripe that made him look a little like a Friesian cow at times (his enormous girth didn't help the image). He had a small black dot on his otherwise white belly that simply begged to be kissed and it was. Profusely.
He loved his food. He grew into a huge rat, a little on the squishy side, but we loved him like that. His was always the first nose to poke out of a hammock to welcome me home. He was friendly and fair with any new rats, welcoming Nimbus and Statty and later, Bramble and Ramekin, with nothing more than a butt sniff and a groom. He loved avocado with a passion. He once pooped iridescent green raisins after eating a pencil. He would happily lie upside down on my lap while I tickled his belly. He developed an enormous foam mining enterprise with his partner Fudge. He loved safaris in our garden and chasing snails (luckily the snails were faster). He used to join us in bed in the morning for a snuggle. He once peed a perfect rendition of a smilie face on our doona. He loved to sprawl inside his much chewed cushion cover on the sofa at night, little bits of Dapper rat poking through the holes. He bounced when he ran.
His old grey-whiskered face was more adorable to me than even the cutest of cute ratlets. He was always so neat and clean and well groomed, so very dapper. He had the biggest balls I've ever seen on a buck. He could smell egg being cooked from 3 rooms away. He was our PR rat (until Nimbus The Socialite took over the duties). He used to peel grapes and leave the skinless blob for me to clean up. He squeaked cantankerously when he didn't want to be disturbed. He had large soulful eyes and wasn't afraid to boggle them. He'd fooff back at me when I fooffed at him. He was so warm and cuddly. He was special. He was our Dapper Rat.
Dapper had a sudden and unexpected heart attack one morning and within moments had left us. Farewell my big squishy boy. We miss your dapperness, but it lives on in this website.
Fudge was named for his sweetness and chocolate colour, he was quiet, shy and smart. He was an incredibly sweet little rat. A scaredy mummy's rat. He was an alpha rat who kept Dapper in line with a firm, but sensitive paw. He was an ardent stasher and impressive donut nest engineer. He had a bruxy eye boggle that would rival a sand crab. He liked to grab hold of my fingers with his hands when he licked cream cheese off them. He had the most adorably soft white kissable belly and white tail light. He was a great shirt-lurker. A socked toe biter. He loved grapes with a passion. He was Dap's best buddy and partner in crime. Although he was a large rat, he always had an innocent "I'm just a little rat" expression on his face. He scent marked my wedding ring any chance he got. He loved to snuggle in Al's shirt at night on the sofa and I often had to beg Al to hand him over to me. His cheerful Happy Ratty Bounce when he stashed stuff had us in fits of "Awwwww". He was a master song writer. He always made me feel missed when I got home from work to his cheerful whiskery face. He was a squirmy rat. He was fast and agile. He was full of cleverness. He was sweet and charming.
He developed an aggressive
cancer on his shoulder, but died from post-op anaesthetic complications.
He knew he was loved dearly. He was special. He was our Fudge rat. I cannot put into words how much we miss him.
These two taught us so much. They taught us that rats have the most amazingly individual personalities. That rats can be your best friends. That rats have humour. That rats can express themselves and communicate with us. That rats are smart and sneaky and cheerfully troublesome. But most of all they taught us that our lives would never be complete again without rats in it. We thank them for that.
Fudge and Dapper
Dap with his favourite food
A young FudgeRat
These nuts are mine... all MINE!
Fudge in his favourite lurking box
The suave and charming DapperRat
Sweet shy little Fudge
Dapper, the gecko
The face of an angel
Tales of Dapper and Fudge
For the love of sushi
Dapper and Fudge were out
for their usual evening run last night while we were having our dinner.
It was sushi, so of course, the boys got some... isn't it nice how they
make those little avocado rolls just the right size for rats?
The boys excitedly disappeared under the bed with their prize. Later on it was time to get them home to the cage. We call them and Fudge darts towards the cage as usual. As Dapper ambles out and makes his way to the cage, he stops, gasps in shock
and dives back under the bed!! I'm thinking... what the hell is wrong with Dap?? I hope he's not going to be trouble to catch tonight, maybe he wants a game. Next thing out he comes again, this time toting a half eaten sushi roll, and heads for the cage. The gasp was an "Oh my god, I forgot my sushi!!". Of course, as soon as Fudge finds Dap in the cage with sushi, all hell breaks loose and my hubby ends up crawling under the bed to locate the remainder of Fudge's sushi roll while I restrain two brawling rats. :)
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I cleaned out under the bed in the rat room yesterday much to the boys' chagrin (they prefer a rat sty). I located Fudge's special stash at the back corner of the bed, which was deviously covered with a piece of fabric (so Dapper couldn't find it, apparently). It contained:
5 partly gnawed macadamia
7 dried up spiral noodles
1 moldering piece of cherry (which stained the carpet)
2 yogurt drops (half eaten)
assorted bits of torn mattress fabric
a nibbled Myer receipt
the cleaning tag off the bedspread
a much dented 10 cent coin
half a chewed wine cork (my hubby must have given him that one)
a blue pen lid
15 cm of elastic from the mattress protector
a piece of the spine of one of my textbooks (from the bookshelf)
the dried remains of a moth
2 pieces of sweet potato from last night's dinner
a golf ball sized bundle of chewed carpet fluff
3 slivers of wood from the base of the wardrobe doors
a curtain hook
and a lump of something white and squishy, which may be egg
It constantly amazes me how diligently they stash everything they find, whether it is of use to them or not.
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Musings from the hammock
<Dap> You know, Fudge,
we've got it really bad. I bet there's millions of wild rats out
there in the world who are living the high life while we're stuck in this
<Fudge> Yeah, those wild rats have got a free and easy life
<Dap> They'd have much nicer nests than these ratty old hammocks Mum made us
<Fudge> Yeah, and they'd be cleaned out whenever they pee in them, not just twice a day when it suits Mum
<Dap> And I'll bet they aren't woken up early in the morning to be fed breakfast in bed.. they'd get to sleep in
<Fudge> And in the wild there's no loud vacuum cleaner or TV noises, nothing to be scared of...
<Dap> They get to frolic all day and night with all the other wild animals
<Fudge> And they don't have to endure that torture Mum calls "scritching"
<Dap> Hmmm... well, I kinda like the scritching...
<Fudge> Well, what about the nail clipping then?
<Dap> Oooh and wild rats get to eat anything they like whenever they want it
<Fudge> There's food lying all over the place just waiting for them to eat it
<Dap> Yeah, and nice foods too... not like this awful stuff Mum cooks for us... if I have to eat another dinner of rice, pasta, beans,
ham, vegies and creamed corn I'm gonna barf!
<Fudge> Yeah, you'd think she'd feed us something good!!
<Dap> And they'd get the treat they want the FIRST time they ask for it... none of this being offered 3 other treats first before Mum gets it right!!
<Fudge sighs> Yeah, wild rats have it soooo good
<Dap sighs> I wanna be a wild rat
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The foam mine
I'm a geologist myself, and it seems my rats are taking after their mum and throwing themselves whisker first into the mining industry. Their current interest is the economic potential of foam. Yes, foam. That spongy aerated stuff that cheap mattresses are made from. As yet, I'm not sure if their actual ore target is the foam itself, or whether it's just the gangue of a more prospective substance... they're being very secretive about it.
The mineral potential of the Rat Room was initially discovered by DapFudge Mining (DFM) Ltd about 12 months ago when they were permitted prospecting rights to the area. After several months of investigative analysis of the area via seismic surface sniffing, they deemed the Mattress Site worthy of further investigation. The fabric duricrust was then penetrated and grab samples were taken at random over the entire area of mattress outcrop (a rectangular topographic expression of ~3 square metres). The areas prospectivity can now be readily observed in the large amount of foam float scattered about the surface, whether in situ or sourced elsewhere (and transported via furry tonka truck) remains to be determined.
The geochemical reports on samples apparently came back positive for economic potential of the deposit, as mining operations are now under way at the Rat Room Mattress Site. Work started on Pit No. 1 in early winter, under a cover of mystery (the site was draped with a mattress protector and work proceeded only during the hours of darkness). It was open to public inspection after mining was completed last friday. It consists of a large roughly circular open cut pit of 35 cm diameter, with ore removed to a maximum depth of ~20 cm where impenetrable and non economic wood was encountered. Mining operations have since been relocated to a more prospective deposit further south.
Work now proceeds diligently on Pit No. 2, a 20 cm diameter open cut presently at a depth of ~ 10 cm. The toothed drag lines themselves are operating around the clock, but production is limited overly by the erratic and unreliable gangue removal contractor (i.e. Mum can't be there 24/7 vacuuming up shredded foam fragments from the pit).
On-running investigations utilising new technically advanced equipment have now permitted access to the deposit from below, with several small shafts and horizontal drives suggesting the potential for transition to more profitable underground mining operations in the future. The Rat Room Mattress area has excellent potential for further economic discoveries. If you are interested in purchasing DapFudge Mining Ltd shares see your stockbroker a prospectus.
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Or when Dapper first met his new little ratlet friends.
Ladiiiiieeeess and Gentlemennnnnnnnnn!
Welcome to the Wrodent Wrestling Foundation Squeakdown!!!
<raucous cheering from the assembled masses as the brave combatants enter the ring to warm-up>
In the blue corner we have
DapperRat, weighing in at 750g for the SuperHeavyweight Division.
<Dap stands up tall on his back feet and sniffs the air to a riotous roar from the crowd>
And in the red corner, we have Nimbus and Statty, weighing in at 235g and 110g respectively for the Featherweight Division.
<both leap around in nervous excitement as the crowd goes wild>
The tension in the air mounts, the crowd starts chanting for things to get under way... then... <ding!><ding!><ding!><ding!>
<Dap> Mum, I'm sleepy.
I'm just gonna curl up under this cushion.
<Mum> But Dap! You've got to meet your new pals... they're at the other end of the sofa!
<Dap> That's nice... can I go to sleep now?
<Statty> Oooooh look!! A new big furry toy!! Weeeeeeeee...
<Dap> Hey! <nudging Statty away with his nose> I'm trying to sleep here!
<Nimbus> Oooohh... hehehe Lets jump on him! <foofffing wildly>
<Dap> Hey! Get off me! Mum!! Get these pesky little things off me!!
<Mum> Come on, Dap, show them who's boss!!
<Dap sighs> OK, OK... <gets off his lazy butt and sniffs them a bit>
<Dap starts to get a little excited and flips Statty over with his nose>
Oh! What a beautiful
move... and Statty is down for the count!!
<squeak!> <squeak!> <struggles up and leaps back onto Dap with playful excitement> And the crowd goes wild...
<Mum> Yayy!!! Dap!!!
You can do it Dap!!!
<Dad> Go DapperRat!! Groom their furry little hides!!
<Nimbus> Arghhh!!! He's sniffing my butt again!!
<Dap> Hold still you little squirming troublemaker! <groom>
<Nimbus> Hey! Statty, you're not supposed to help him hold me down! <squeak>
<ding!><ding!><ding!><ding!> And the combatants return to their respective corners for a respite.
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Dapper and Fudge's songs
Dapper and Fudge were well known on the ratlist as rock stars. Fudge, the shy dedicated songwriter. Dapper the extroverted performer. They produced many song parodies, a selection of which is archived here.
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More tales of Dapper and Fudge and their friends on the Ratty Ramblings page.
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