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Schnoz

Blazed black hooded

1.6.05 - 27.8.07



About Schnoz

We adopted Schnoz (and his friend Nougat) from Tracey at bRatpack Rattery.  Schnoz was so named because  "It's all about the nose!".   That stunningly blazed nose was truly captivating.  I found my eyes drawn to it and followed it everywhere like in a trance.  It would flit about madly all over the place.  It crammed itself through cage wire, up noses, in ears, into armpits, under toys, into drinks, etc.  While I'd be trying to take a photo of one of the other boys, that nose would be waving itself crazily in front of the lens with a "Me!  Here I am!".  That nose always seemed to be somewhere in my vision... constantly demanding attention and taking great advantage of the blazing white headlight which acted like a beacon.  

Schnoz (aka The SchnozMonster or Monster) thought the world revolved around him... he was such a demanding, charming, silly and adorable rat.  As a fuzzlet he never seemed to sleep, always waiting at the cage wire to be let out to play, or go for a shoulder ride or bounce about madly.   In old age he mellowed into a comically wussy and very needy rat, who loved to be with us all the time.  His favourite place in the world was under Al's jumper on the sofa at night, where he'd poke his gorgeous nose out of the various openings to watch TV with us.  

Schnoz was a stunningly beautiful rat, with his spectacular white blaze, flurry of long white whiskers and charming expression.  We knew he was going to be beautiful the moment we laid eyes on him as a fuzzlet.  But his personality blazed even brighter than his nose - hyperactive, quirky, playful and needily demanding in an adorable, irresistible way. This was one very very special rat.   We will miss him dearly.


Photos of Schnoz


Those whiskers are just too perfect


He's very very silly


He's so very photogenic


Enjoying a cheese stick


Arrgghh!  It's the SchnozMonster!


Gorgeous in his favourite loft


Santa Schnoz


Hanging about with his buddy, Husky.


Surfing Schnoz!


He's growing up into a stunningly gorgeous fuzz.


Way too many whiskers!


Look into my eyes... now bring me yogies...


Schnoz says "Cheese!"


Tales of Schnoz


Raisins on the run

Nougat and Husky have taken perfectly to using the litter tray, but Schnoz
still raisins all over the place.  At first we thought that perhaps he was a slow learner, but now we realise that the frenetic Schnoz is simply not capable of sitting still in one place long enough.  So he raisins on the run. 

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Schnozlet Rat, Superstar

Schnoz thinks the world revolves around his nose.  And being such a
bright glaringly white beacon that is always pesteringly waving about in your face, it's kind of hard not to believe that.  He's very much a "Me! Me! Me!" rat, the Schnoz.  Demanding attention constantly, he sleeps by the cage door just in case you come past.  He shoves the other boys out of the way so he can be in the spotlight all the time.

He is, of course, stunning to look at with his white blaze and that spectacular flurry of white whiskers which show up perfectly against his black face.  He's long and lean in body and his fur is pure soft white, even his mismarked hood stripe is gorgeous to look at.  He knows this.  He uses this to his advantage.  Like Nimbus before him, he loves the camera... and the camera loves him.  He flaunts himself.  He struts about.  His faces glows in the flash light.  He's a superstar.

And like most superstars, he's cantankerous if he's not getting his own way.  He's highly vocal about being power groomed or stepped on or having food taken off him or being interrupted during his hours of grooming.  He meeps whiningly at the indignity of not being treated with the lofty respect he is due.  Noogs and Husky take delight in deliberately *not* pandering to his ego.  <grin>

He's adorable during run time, being highly energetic and playful and silly.  We recently discovered he's a good pilot (i.e. he loves being tossed in the air).  Although unlike Schnapps, who held perfect form in the air, Schnoz has a graceful flamboyancy in the air, flinging his limbs and tail out in dramatic style.

He's a chewer.... nibbling here and nibbling there... on ladders and skirting boards and wardrobe doors and clubhouses.  Maybe it's just his ego wanting to leave a "Schnoz was here" everywhere for his fans.  But I'm starting to think that chewing is a genetic trait associated with black hoodedness.  Motey, Roof "The Tooth", Ilford, Schnoz... all black hooded and all chewers.

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Schnoz the Meeper

Schnoz is such a meeper!  While he joyfully leaps and stomps on and grooms and shoves about the other boys, as soon as any of this is done to him he emits the most pathetic plaintive "Meep!".  A sound I translate to "Poor Me!" or in ratspeak "MeePoor" being abbreviated.

When Husky grooms his head it's a sadly downtrodden "Meep!  Meeeeeep!  Meep!  Meeeeep!".  When Noogs steals his treat it's a sulky "Meep!".  If someone shoves him out of the way to get steal some of his attention from mum it's an unfair "Meep! Meep!".

I've never met such a whiner.  For a rat who thinks he's the superstar of the cage - indeed, the world - he's such a wuss.  He has such distinctively pathetic "Meep!"s that even if we're nowhere near the cage we know it's Schnoz meeping and even what is being done to him and by whom.


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Schnoz update

Current nicknames:
The SchnozMonster, The Monster, The WussMonster, Nose That Glows

Newest character trait:
Bluster.  He acts all enthusiastic and confident, but he freaks out at any odd noise or movement.  Thus the nickname, The WussMonster.

Recent mischief:
Picking fights with Noogs, even though he's only half his size, and winning!
Clinging to my neck/shoulders with incredibly sharp claws that grow at about 1cm a week and are honed to razor points.
Removing the paper towels the nest box and pot, stuffing them inside his pocket hammock and then shredding them.

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Schnoz's Pebble Project


Schnoz has a new project.  

He removes pebbles from the wading pool and stacks them neatly on the windowsill behind the curtain.  But he's very
specific about which pebbles he chooses for his project.  He picks each one up, turns it over in his hands to inspect it and then chooses carefully before bouncing off with it.  Sometimes we sit there with him and offer him pebbles.  He looks at them for awhile, sometimes even handles them, then grabs them in his mouth.  If he doesn't deem the pebble worthy he will simply toss it back into the pool with a sploosh.  If it passes inspection, he bounds off industriously with it to the window sill.  He arranges the pebbles perfectly into little stacks and piles, shoving them here and there until they're in some kind of artistic or scientific array only Schnoz knows.

       


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The High Maintenance Rat

Schnoz is a high maintenance rat.  He's very high strung and needy, but in a charmingly innocent way that makes you want to pick him up and reassure him with a cuddle... if only he'd sit still long enough.  He's always been a little nervous... he still flinches every single time I close the cage door!  And he freaks out if something makes an odd sound or scares him, at which times he's called The WussMonster.  When he gets that worried desperate look on his face he needs either a cuddle with mum (where he gets soothed and loved), or buck time with dad (where he gets his strength and confidence).

At all other times he's a hyperactive, highly alert, on-the-go, manic bundle of silly nervous energy.  He's always bustling about, moving things around the cage, ripping paper towels, relocating food, jumping in and out of hammocks, speed grooming, looking out through the cage wire on every level, and generally not staying still for long.  He's the same when you try to hold him, squirming and wriggling about until he's free again.  Although he does have his calm moments when he wants a cuddle, it's often just so he can thoroughly sniff where Ilford has peed on my shirt.  Sitting on a shoulder calms him down, where he leans warmly into your neck and seems to find some peace.

He is stunningly beautiful and after all this time I'm still dazzled by his blazed nose and perfect spray of long white whiskers.  I always wanted a blazed rat... I never expected to get a Schnoz, whose sparkling personality shines more brightly than his nose.

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


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