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Motley

Black downunder spotted

29.3.01 - 11.9.02



About Motley

We hadn't planned on Motley.  We had gone to the rattery to choose a young ratlet to be a best friend for Bokeh.  But as soon as we peered into the ratlet tank, this little spotted fuzz leaped out onto us.  He was the only one old enough to leap up to the tank edge, so he continued to do this for the next half hour or so while we played with all the ratlets.  Somewhat like the donkey jumping up and down in Shrek "Pick me!  Oh!  Pick meeeeee!".  But he was much older than we wanted, so we eventually settled on the pint-sized RiffRaff.  The moment Al said "We'll take this one" Motley leaped out again and into my arms.  Motley chose us... how could we not take him home?

His personality didn't change much from that first meeting.  He was always the cheerful demanding lovable show-off.  So many things made Motley special I don't know where to start...

Motley (or Spotly Motley, obviously how he got his name) was mostly called Mote, or Motey, or MoteyRat, and even sometimes Motus or Manic Mote.  He was a highly animated ratty... always bustling about furiously with things to do, places to see, treats to stash, etc.  He had a particularly charming waddling walk we called The Motley Mosey.  He rarely had time to sit still for a scritch, but when he wanted one he'd perch on the end of the bed and wait for me to come over and put my hands either side of his warm furriness and kiss his head.

He was the most obsessive compulsive rat I've ever met. He stashed everything, even thugged treats off all his cagemates so he could stash them too.  He had a special order for everything in his home that made no logical sense to me, but he was so adamant about where everything was supposed to go that I just let him do what he would.  We'd have fun with him too... offering him the same treat over and over and over again as he bounded up the ladder to stash it on top of his nest box.  So ensconced he was in his need to stash that he was none the wiser that the pile wasn't getting any higher.

He had the most beautiful face... something that could be appreciated only rarely when he'd sit still long enough for us to see it in focus.  A gorgeous whitish muzzle and chin along with a spray of white whiskers amidst the black.  But always the anxious "Manic Mote" expression in his big black eyes.  The only way to get him to sit still for awhile was to hold him upside down in our hands... he'd sit there while I kissed his gorgeous black striped belly and give me an exasperated "OK then, get it over with so I can get back to work!" look.

Mote had two special little friends... RiffRaff and Bokeh.  Even though he constantly dominated them by stealing their treats and peeing on their heads, they both loved him and they formed a tight happy social group.  Roofie and Mote would often hang out together in their hammock, something we'd refer to as a "Hoodie Convention".  Bokeh and Mote used to wrestle together a lot, playfully kickboxing and rolling about cheerfully.  They never seemed to grow up, these three ratlets.

Mote was a messed up little fuzz... he had epileptic type seizures most of his life, along with a hormone imbalance which had him at the vet constantly.  We used to laugh with the vet staff about moving The Grotto permanently into their waiting room.  But through all of this, Mote remained a cheerful determined little fuzz.  Determined to enjoy life to it's fullest.  And he did, right up until the moment he left us during a seizure.

Mote went through life at double the speed of everyone else, so I guess it's only expected he'd reach the end sooner.  He may have only been here a short while, but he didn't waste a second of it.  We will miss your energy, Mote, and your enduring cheerfulness.  But most of all the endearing humour your Manic Moteness brought into our lives.



Photos of Motley


Motley's mottled hood stripe


His adorable downunder belly


Meeting Uncle Statty


The Big Boys (Nimbus and Statty) meet Motley


Lining up his new little friends, RiffRaff and Bokeh, so he can power groom them


All grown up (with his best buddy RiffRaff)


Motley by candlelight


A furry ball of Mote


Tales of Motley


The Motley Mosey

Motley has the most adorable walk.  He doesn't scurry like Bokeh or hop like Roofie... instead he literally swaggers like a cowboy.
I think this may have something to do with the enormous size of his torpedoes... apparently it's a Downunder trait.  But Mote is so manic that his movements always appear sped up.  So he bustles madly about all over the place in a comical fast forward swagger.

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A Motley Moment

[In case our international listers don't know what "Minties" are... they're mint-flavoured chewy lollies]

Minties used to have TV ads where something stupid/embarassing happens to someone, followed by the line "It's moments like these you need Minties".  So someone hands them a Mintie and they laugh at themselves.  From these ads, we adopted the phrase "to have a mintie moment".

Anyway, Motley is known for constantly doing silly things without realising it and getting himself into funny awkward situations, and so the new phrase in our house is "to have a Motley moment".  Some variations on the phrase:  "I threw a Motley!", "You Motley, you!", "What a Motley!" or "I'm such a Motley!"

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


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