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Schnapps

Agouti self

11.10.02 - 25.7.05

About Schnapps
Photos of Schnapps
Tales of Schnapps



About Schnapps

Even before we could bring Rumpus and Spritely home, I stumbled upon a tiny little agouti self at the local pet store and he just sort of followed me home (as they are wont to do).  Schnapps (aka SchnapperRat, Snap, Napper) was named after the "ardent spirit" and also because he was so tiny when we got him home he was only one small mouthful of rat.  He was terribly cute as a ratlet... all rich, ticked, soft, sleek, shiny fur, and a cheeky little agouti nose.

Schnapps was the most rat-like rat we've ever known.  He looked like a rat, he acted like a rat, he scurried along walls like a rat, and he gnawed like a rat.  He could probably have passed for a wild rat if he wasn't so docile and licky in my hands.  He was a dominant alpha rat, always huffing and fooffing at the younger rats, and incessantly exploring and scent marking his world.  In his old age he mellowed somewhat into a wonderful cuddler and licker, and let us kiss and scritch what would have to be one of the most adorable soft agouti bellies ever.

Schnapps lived to a wonderful old age with never a health problem his entire life until the end.  We'll miss his wild ratty determination, his gorgeous agoutiness and all of the wonderful warm furry cuddles we shared in his old age.



Photos of Schnapps


I can only just reach, but I'm growing like a weed


Staring at the air... "I want to fly when I grow up"...


Schnapps loved to fly


The incredible licking SchnapperRat


Sharing a treat with his best buddy, Rumpus


Charmingly grown up


On his favourite perching shelf


Looking so relaxed and comfortable in his favourite loft


He loved corn


Tales of Schnapps


Schnapps' special spot

Schnapps is a rampant little excitable fuzz... he's in contant motion, running about investigating, fooffing, snuffling ears, cramming his fuzzy muzzle up noses, leaping about madly.  It's almost impossible to hold him still even for a second.  He's squirmy and, being so little and lithe, he can slip through your fingers in the blink of an eye.  I've virtually given up on being able to see his gorgeous agouti face in focus, or being able to scritch him for any length of time.

Until today.

I finally found his special spot!!!  Every rat has one... it's that scritching spot that sends them into that adorable trance like state of absolute boggle-eyed bliss.  Often accompanied by rampant (and painfully cute) reflexive licking.

Schnapps's special spot is between his shoulder blades.  I stand him up with my thumbs under his armpits and scratch between his shoulder blades with my fingernails.  He instantly zones out... dazed blissful look on his fuzzy pink-nosed agouti face, appreciative writhing as he leans into the scritch, and then rampant licking of my thumbs.  His face is so darned gorgeously blissful when I scritch his spot, it's almost painfully cute to witness.

I'm just so happy I finally found his special spot!

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Schnappervescence

Schnappervescence:  the bubbly and audaciously cheerful personality of our pint-sized agouti fuzzlet.

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Quirky facts about Schnapps

He's an enthusiastic alpha rat.
He is the worst scent marker of any rat I've ever known.  He spends much of his time at the water bottle "fuelling up" just in case he gets the opportunity to mark.
He goes all limp and mesmerised when I rub him between his shoulder blades... lying there placidly upsidedown in my lap, licking my thumbs.
During free range time, he starts by doing his "rounds".  That is, re-scenting, shuffling, and rubbing himself on all the special ratty meeting points about the room.
He's a loft dweller.
His beautiful soft grey agouti belly has one *tiny* dot of white, which gets kissed often.
He cheekily nips Rumpy to encourage him to wrestle and play.
He's the most rat-like rat we've even known.  He's an agouti self, he skulks in dark corners, runs along walls, freezes or flees at strange noises, gnaws things, stashes food, etc.  I often wonder if the pet shop sold me a wild rat by accident.
He has adorable pink lips.
He pines for girl rats... he went frantic when we were pet sitting some girls, and if I've touched any girls he will suction onto me with his nose.
He loves to fly.  That is, be tossed into the air over and over again.
He grooms Rumpy's head incessantly.
He grooms himself belly-up in the hammock.

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Schnapps' motto

"Be prepared - drink all night, scent all day"

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The Dapper Schnapper

Schnapps, now 2 years 9 months old, is an absolutely charming dignified old buck.  He's always been a very ratty rat... all action alpha agouti.  But lately his hind legs are becoming weaker and he's showing his wonderful old squish side more often.

He's enjoying being cuddled a lot more.  He loves to be held and rubbed and scratched while he madly licks my hand.  He even loves just being held while I walk about the house, so he can sniff everything and inspect his realm from above.  He spends at least an hour each night parked in Al's sleeve, just his furry nose poking out.  He was always so independent, but now he really craves (and thrives on) his time spent with us.  He's a lone rat now... no doubt he's missing his RumpyRat but he refuses to accept another rat.

We've rearranged his cage to make it easier for him to get around.  Placing everything he needs (nest box, foofferdome, litter tray, food and water) on the lower level and lowering his hammock.  He still manages to climb the ladder on occasion, so we have the upper level set up with a warm snuggle sack, a small nest box, a lowered loft and I always leave him a treat and fruit up there too.

While he can still amble along on his own, it's becoming quite an effort for him, so we've started "hovering" him.  i.e. holding his rear end off the floor in our hand and letting him run about on his front legs.  Snap took to this like a fat rat to avocado!  The moment I held him in my hand he darted off across the room with enthusiasm!  There was no need to train him, or any uncoordination, he just immediately took advantage of the assistance.  He literally powers about the house, so fast sometimes that I can't keep up with him on my knees.  He hasn't quite figured out that mum can't fit underneath furniture yet, and when I have to let him go to manoeuver around something he looks at me with an impatient "Well, get back to it!  I've got things to do!".  The only problem is that he loves to scent mark and my hand cops all of it.

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


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