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Cinnamon self

5.8.2004 - 30.11.2006

About Bug

We adopted Bug (and his friend Ilford) from Tracey at bRatpack Rattery.

Bug was a tiny boisterous bundle of popcorning madness.  So named because he was little and animated and always demanding attention.  He later adopted the pestilent nature of his namesake and took on many apt nicknames, including Bugbear, Bugbeast, The Bad Bad Bug, Bugalugs, Bugaboo, etc.  He grew into a big handsome buck who shined with confidence and charm.  

I can't put into words how much Bug meant to us.  He was larger than life.  He had so much character and mischief and fun in him that he charmed everyone he met.  And he loved to meet people.  He was always at the cage wire wanting out when someone visited, like he knew they had specifically come to see him.   If Bug had a motto it would be "No Fear".  He was the most fearless rat we've ever known.  Nothing phased him.  Everything interested him.  He would go anywhere in the house, do anything, try anything without even the slightest nervousness.  Noises never scared him, new places were there to be explored with enthusiasm, even vet trips were fun!  He was the only rat who would venture onto the kitchen floor (the others are terrified of walking on the lino).  But Bug would head right on in and saunter casually along the middle of the kitchen floor looking about with interest like a tourist.  He loved to explore the fridge and the pantry, even the kitchen sink!  That was the funny thing about Bug... he never darted about quickly or warily.  He'd casually wander about the house.  In the mornings I'd open the cage and he'd plonk out onto the floor and go "walkabout".  I never had to chase him as I knew he'd just be wandering happily about in the bathroom or the hall when I went looking for him later.  Although I'd be sure to close the toilet door as he had this icksome fascination with the toilet brush.  :)

Being fearless meant he was usually up to no good (see The BugFord Files).  Peeing on everything, dunking his arms and head into my drinks, pouncing on Ilford, being exasperatingly determined to do everything he wanted.  He didn't simply steal food off our dinner plates... he sat boldly in the middle of the plate to eat what he wanted.  He had rattitude and absolutely no shame or remorse for anything he did.  Life was fun and he was going to enjoy every experience and every moment of it.

Bug was a very hands-on rat.  He loved to be played with and play with you.  As a young rat he loved to bounce crazily about the floor and hand wrestle and be chased around.  He loved being squished and tickled and generally played with like a big furry stress ball.  As he got older he would spend hours sitting upsidedown in my lap with me scritching him as he licked my hands madly.  He had the most gorgeous cinnamon belly fur.  And while I held him in my lap he'd groom himself all over.  He was adorable to watch, especially when
he'd do his face and ears and chin and feet.  
When I held him up to my face and asked for a kiss he'd gently grab my lower lip in his teeth.  He loved nose nipping with a passion,
*always* stalking my nose.  For some reason only *my* nose. <sigh>  But it was fun to have that cheeky overly whiskered Buggy face so close to mine.  His face showed so much character and emotion.  Something that comes through in all the photos we've taken of him.  He really loved being photographed and it shows in his expressions.

I can't tell you how much we'll miss Bug.  H
e was tirelessly enthusiastic, ruthlessly adventurous, exasperating naughty  and an absolute joy to have in our lives.  

Photos of Bug

Trouble twitching in every whisker

With his best buddy, Ilford

Mr Confidence

Meeting Uncle Grub

Party Bug!

Bug fishing for corn

Bug well hung.  :)

A Bug in my boot!

What you see just before he nips you on the nose!

Bug in his Ikea Blimp

Lots more photos of Bug in the Candy Cane Shoot.

Tales of Bug

Breakfast cereal toys

I hate how they put those silly little toys in breakfast cereal boxes!  I dished out my cereal this morning, added some milk and sat down to enjoy breakfast with the fuzzlets.  I scoop up a spoonful and just as I'm about to put it in my mouth I find a little cheeky milk sodden BUG in my cereal!

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A lap Bug?

As I've mentioned before, Bug goes ballistic during free range time.  He loves to run.  But he's also very silly and adorable while he's running.

I was sitting in the rat room while Bug and Ilford zoomed about me.  Bug decided to leap into my lap for a quick hello.  I picked him up and did some belly kissing and tickling.  This drives him insane... all that wasted time better spent running!  So I place him down and he gallops around the back of me in three leaps, the fourth leap lands him on my lap again.   I pick him up and tickle him some more before placing him down again.  Leap leap leap lap!  Tickle.  Leap leap leap lap!  Tickle.  Leap leap leap lap!  This went on for at least 10 laps before I sent him off in another direction.  He's just so enthusiastic about his running!

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Air catcher!

Little Bug continues to provide us with a wealth of charmingly exasperating comedy.  His offering last night had us in fits of laughter.
We found that if you blow at his face, he tries to grab the air from your mouth with his hands.  Obviously he doesn't actually catch anything, but he tries again and again, little arms reaching out and hands grabbing at nothing.  It was so cute we kept blowing at him until we were both blue in the face.

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Bug, the executive toy

We're considering market Bug as an executive toy.  You know, one of those trendy gadgets that clutter up a professional's desk that they play with while on the phone or to de-stress.

Bug just loves to be handled!  He doesn't sit still in your hands, but in his squirmy enthusiastic way he enjoys being flipped and
massaged and tickled and flopped about and mussed up and blown on and rubbed in your face and played with in all manner of silly ways.

Bug - the new stress ball!  Unfortunately, he's usually the one who *causes* the stress in the first place. <wry smile>

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Bug and his little blue pot

Bug continues to grow like a weed.  His favourite little blue pot, however, does not.  He now only just fits in it all curled up.  Today I decided it was time he was given an adult-sized pot... the same blue pot, but larger.  So I rearranged his cage to fit the new big blue pot and placed his nest box where the little blue pot used to be.

Bug thought this was all so exiting and proceeded to investigate the big blue pot and his new cage setup with enthusiasm.  "That went well!" I thought and off I went to read my email for 10 minutes.

I just went to check on him and found him curled up in a sad little cinnamon ball out in the open on the shelf.  He's got the big blue pot, a pocket hammock, a foofferdome, a nest box, a PVC pipe and an Ilford-ensconced tube loft to sleep in and here he is curled up in a ball on the bare shelf!  The position he was lying in is exactly where the entrance to his little blue pot was.  <sigh>  I offered him his little blue pot back and he immediately climbed on in... poor little Buggy wanted his little blue pot back!  So I rearranged the cage again.  Now he's snoozing happily in his little blue pot.  I don't know what he'll do when he no longer fits in it.

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A 2 year old Bug

Current nicknames:
BugBug, That Pesty Bug, Bugaboo, Oh Bug!

Newest character trait:
Wanderlust.  Any normal rat given the chance to leap out of the cage would run under the nearest piece of furniture, or slink along a wall, or enjoy some time out chewing something in private.  Not Bug.  He casually saunters about the house in the wide open areas, swaggering along with relaxed confidence as he looks about with fascinated interest like a tourist.

Recent mischief:
Continuation of the Remote Control Scent Marking Initiative.
Hot chocolate diving and marshmallow theft.
Tugging on Ilford's fur with his teeth.
Tipping a bowl of pumpkin soup all over himself and the floor.
Being found wandering about the kitchen floor unexpectedly.
Nipping my nose.  No one else's nose.  Just mine.

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A day in the life of Bug

Wake before anyone else.
Groom noisily against the rattling cage door until everyone else knows I'm awake too.
Climb back into the hammock, park on top of the trying-to-sleep Ilford and continue grooming my fur to cinnamon perfection.
Mum's up!  Rush to the cage door, stand up and look excited.
Get a quick morning scritch through the cage wire.
Pace about like a caged beast and rip up the velcroed down towel bedding with impatience as mum open's the blinds... this takes way too long.
Grotto door opens and I flop onto the floor and saunter out into the hall... the whole house is mine to explore!
Before I get three paces I'm scooped up and cuddled and squished and scritched and kissed.  I squirm, lick her fingers madly and nip her nose. She tells me she loves me and places me on the bed to play.  I ponder that if she really did love me she'd let me explore the whole house...
I pout as she puts the gate across the Rat Room doorway.
She flips me over and tickles my belly until I leap up, nip her nose and bounce joyously across the bed to the clubhouse.  Which I flood with pee.
Mum lets Ilford out, gives him his morning cuddles and places him on the bed.  I barge out of the clubhouse, pounce on Ilf and pee on his head.
Wander over to the wading pool for a quick refuelling.  Stand about in the wading pool, shoving pebbles about.  Then bounce over to leap on mum's lap wth a sodden squelch.
Climb up to the look-out and lean out as far as I can to see down the hall.  Dad pokes his head in and gives me a scritch.
I wander down the ladder to the floor where I saunter suavely about the whole room, nibbling here, peeing there, grooming a little, munching some dry food, tussling with Ilford, etc.
Help mum do the morning cage clean.
Pace about expectantly with Ilford at the bottom of the dresser until mum *finally* gets the hint that it's yogie time!
Mum places the yogie tub on the floor and lets me take the lid off.  I dive in head first and grab two in my mouth.  I pretend I don't have one yet.  Plead a little.  Look concerned.  Mum closes the lid and scoffs at me.  I look adorable.  I swagger off with 3 yogies.
Scooped up and back in the cage, but too busy hanging on to my yogie stash to care.
Park flat on the perching shelf and watch enviously as Schnoz and Nougat have their morning play time.  Glare at them until they run away.
The Grotto is wheeled out into the livingroom for the day... that means breakfast! 
Pace impatiently and rip up velcroed down towel bedding while I wait for breakfast.
Pounce on bowl of fruche.  Eat my fruche.  Go looking for Ilford's bowl of fruche to finish it off too.  This takes awhile as mum's taken to placing his bowl in a different spot each morning so I have to look for it.  Find it empty and toss it off the shelf in exasperation.
Pace about until fruit arrives.  Nibble fruit.  Place fruit in dry food bowl.
Climb into litter tray and bask in the glory of mum's approval.
Climb into the hammock on top of Ilford, despite his protestations.
Groom some more.
Sleep lightly... if mum comes anywhere near the cage I need to already be at the cage door begging adorably.
Sounds and smells from the kitchen wake me at lunchtime.
sound of ripping velcroed down towel bedding alerts mum to my awakedness. 
Enjoy tasty treat.
Beg for more tasty treats until mum places me back in my hammock with Ilford.
Sleep all afternoon.
Wake before everyone else.
Groom noisily against the rattling cage door until everyone else knows I'm awake too.
Climb back into the hammock, park on top of the trying-to-sleep Ilford and continue grooming my fur to cinnamon perfection.
Dinner time!  Rush to the cage door, stand up and look excited.
Pace impatiently and rip up velcroed down towel bedding while I wait for dinner.
Stuff my face with dinner.
Laze about in a contented post-dinner slump.
Later in the evening I rip up the velcroed down towel bedding to let mum know it's run time. 
While waiting for mum to set up the livingroom play area, I park at the cage door with Ilford, shoving with impatience at the cage wire and grooming Ilf madly to vent some of my pent-up energy.
Grotto door opens and I immediately leap out onto the floor.
An hour of boisterous overenthusiastic playfulness, exploration, naughtiness, gnawing, scent marking, leaping, cuddles, climbing all over mum and dad, annoying Ilford, etc.
Help mum do the evening cage tidy up.
Play some more.
Do the "flat rat" in the castle door, looking exhausted, until mum picks me up and gives me an extra special end of run time squish.
Unsuspecting, I nip her nose with ease.
Park flat on the perching shelf and watch enviously as Schnoz and Nougat have their evening play time.  Glare at them until they run away.
Laze about.

The Grotto is wheeled back into The Rat Room for the night... that means bedtime treat!
Pace impatiently and rip up velcroed down towel bedding while I wait for bedtime treat.
Grab bedtime treat with enthusiasm and take it into the pot to munch in private.  Steal the remainder of Ilford's bedtime treat.
Wander about checking the cage is all in order.
Wait by the door for goodnight cuddle.
Mum gives me a goodnight cuddle and tucks me into the hammock with Ilford.  I look content and sleepy.  It's all an act. 
Lights go out.

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More tales of Bug in The BugFord Files and on the Ratty Ramblings page.

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