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Silvered black berkshire

24.4.2003 - 23.7.05

About Lamington

Lamington (aka The Wat, LammieWat) was adopted from Lou at Duxes 'N' Bruxes Rattery, and lived with Scramble and Grub.  He was so named because he was a soft delicate rat, with a silvered chocolatey black coat, and he was very sweet.  [Note: a lamington is an Aussie delicacy - a sweet sponge cake, dipped in chocolate icing and then rolled in coconut]

Long and sleek, with the shiniest and softest black fur and a stunningly white belly, he was one of the sweetest rats we've known.  He loved being with us more than anything... if you offered him a treat he would give a look of "Don't want treat!  Want cuddle!" and leap onto you instead.  Being on a lap getting massaged was heaven to Wat and he would go completely limp at the mercy of your hands.  He had a calm and sensitive nature and an air of dignity about him.

Lamington lived to 2 years and 3 months, enduring respiratory problems for a large part of his life which eventually became too much for him.  Despite his problems, he was always such a cheerful rat.  We'll miss his unique Watness... his relaxed attitude, his calm nature, his glossy fur and his adorable soft fuzzy muzzle.

Photos of Lamington

Look at that gorgeous shiny ratlet coat

And that beautiful dignified fuzzy face

Always pleading for cuddles

She loves me... she loves me...

He's quite a dignified and intelligent rat

And he's always emaculately groomed

Although sofas are comfy...

... he prefers his favourite loft

Cream cheese is his favourite treat

He's a very relaxed rat

Tales of Lamington

Dunkin' goolies

The young boys were out for their run this morning.  Lamington had pit-stopped for a quick feed, and his back end was perched on top of the water bowl with his head in the adjacent food bowl.  Grub wanders over to have a drink, only to find the substantial furry butt of Lamington blocking the bowl.  Being a grub, his first response is to <shove> shove> <shove> until...


Lamington slips off the bowl and his goolies flop down into the water.  Lammie leaps into the air in shock (it's a cold morning) and somewhat sheepishly climbs into my lap for comfort.  And no doubt also to dry his cold sodden goolies off on my pyjamas.  <sigh>

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The Licky Lamington

Lamington is the first of our rats to have figured out how to jump the free range barrier in the livingroom.  This means we now have to supervise him every second of his free range time. <sigh>

Anyway, tonight he kept jumping up there constantly, so I had him in my lap half-heartedly scolding him for being such a bad ratty!  So what does he do?  He reaches up and licks me on the lips.  Awwww... what a sweetie!  Knowing full well that I'd been "paid off" for his badness, I told him sternly that he won't get away with *that* trick again!  He reached up and licked my lips.  Awwww... what a sweetie!  Then he jumped to the top the barrier again and I swear he grinned at me!

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Quirky facts about Lamington

His fur is so long and fine and shiny that he's actually slippery when you try to hold him.
He prefers cuddles to treats.
He's laid back.  He will lie calmly in my lap for hours being massaged.  And when being scritched upsidedown he goes completely limp.
He has inherent black rat stubbornness.  If he doesn't want to go home yet, he will cram his head in the door and refuse to move so you can shut it.
He can jump!  He's the only one of our boys who has made it over the play area wall.  Something he does with exasperating repetition.
Despite being plied with copious treats, he remains long and lithe.
Although he loves to run about the room and explore, he always pit stops on my lap for a cuddle on his way past me.  Awww...
He's mostly a nest box dweller.
If you're holding him and he wants down, he just go completely limp so that he slips through your hands.
He has a passion for paper.  All paper towels, newspaper, books, my bookmark, etc. simply must be dragged bouncing across the room and stashed under the bed.
He has a used tissue fetish.
He licks my lips when I ask him for a kiss.

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Lamington wants out

Lamington loves to be out of the cage.  And I don't just mean he likes to free range... he lives to free range.  He goes joyfully berserk during free range time... frantic leaping and running and climbing and just being on mum's lap and getting scritched.  There's nothing more important to him.  So much so that when I put him home to the cage, even after the longest of runs, he hangs out the door and won't let me close it without squishing him.  I have to physically shove him inside with my hand to close the door, and still he pokes his beautiful black shiny nose through with a "Pleeeeeeeeeaaase mum!  Let me back out!" look.

To be let out to run is Lamington's ultimate joy.  "Bah!" you're thinking "No rat would put free ranging ahead of the real ratty ultimate joy: treats!".  But our Lamington is one rather special rat.  When dinnertime comes around, we'll have the usual trio of mad piled up at the cage door begging furiously.  I place dinner in the cage and the two minkies pounce on it with enthusiasm.  Lammie, however, is still at the cage door, hanging his body out, begging to be allowed out to play.  Again, I have to physically shove him back in there  to close the door.  Lammie looks pleadingly at me through the wire again, while I say "But dinner is in there!".  He shoves at the door and it's not until he resigns himself to not being let out that he turns around and pounces on his dinner bowl.  Meanwhile the minks have scarfed down all the best bits from dinner.

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Lamington's motto

"Stubbornness gets you everything you want"

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Oh Lamington!

I have never met such a demanding scritch rat!  He literally spends his entire free range time pestering me for a scritch.

He leaps into my lap with a joyful "Here I am!  You can scritch me now!".  And so I rub him and scratch him and massage him and tickle him and stroke him, and he just sits there and writhes about and licks and grooms me and generally just enjoys being scritched.  The other boys like being scritched, but it's sort of like they endure it because mum enjoys doing it... Lammie actually honestly loves every minute of it!

After awhile when my fingers and lap have gone numb, I stop scritching him and encourage him to go off and play.  I shove him off my lap with much reluctance on his part, he runs off, bounces joyfully around in a circle and leaps merrily into my lap again with a "Here I am!  You can scritch me now!".  <sigh>  Talk about demanding!  Lucky for him I enjoy scritching him!

When the scritching session has gone on for awhile he gets tired (being scritched is such exhausting work!), so Lammie lies flat in my lap.  I offer him my hand and he leans his head on it (usually cushioned in the curve between thumb and finger).  I stroke him slowly from nose to tail tip, over and over again.  He lies there all limp, closes his eyes and blissfully zones out.

He's such an odd rat... so different to others I've known.  I love his quirkiness and his love of scritching.  My adorable Wat!

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Mornings with Lamington

I let the boys out for their morning run in The Rat Room while I clean their cage.  This is not a simple task when the group of rats being run involves Lamington (aka The Wat).

I take Scrambler, Grub and Lamington from the cage and plonk them all on the bed and they have their "good morning snuggle".  i.e. I lean my upper body on the bed and they all climb inside my tshirt.  They stay in there all squirmy and warm for awhile, I cuddle them, someone pees in my shirt, and then one by one they wander off to do their rounds of the room.  So I start cleaning their cage.

Within less than a minute, Lamington appears on the floor at my feet.  I inevitably trip over him, shove him accidentally with my feet, or drop something as I try to work around his furry form.  He sits right in the most inconvenient spot and looks up at me with a cheerful "Here I am!  Cuddle me!".  I give him a scritch, tell him I have work to do and I'll be with him soon.  He licks me enthusiastically and looks disappointed as I go back to my cleaning.  After repeating this little exchange at least twice, he eventually moves to the shelf under The Grotto and sits watching every move I make, waiting impatiently.  The very moment I say "OK, all done!" he leaps off the shelf with glee.  I sit on the floor and he bounds over to me, leaps into my lap and the scritching begins.  I rub and scratch his lower back and he licks my hands, squirming and
writhing this way and that in pure delight.  He will stay there indefinitely given the chance, but I have to shove him off my lap occasionally so I  can cuddle and play with Scrambler and Grub too.  The Wat waits nearby, ready to pounce the moment my lap is free again.

By the end of their morning run time, my fingers have RSI (Repetitive Scritch Injury), The Wat is dazed with bliss and the minkies are lined up on the wooden bed post in "The Grotto elevator" spot... they wait there for a lift home.

Once home, everyone gets a yogurt drop, followed by breakfast, and then they disappear into their favourite haunts to groom and snooze.  Everyone, that is, except Lamington who waits by the cage door in case he can score just one more scritch.  If I open the cage door to give him one, he leans his body out the door and won't let me close it again.  I literally have to shove him out of the way to close the door.  Eventually he gives up and bundles up in his favourite nest box or hammock for the day.  When I visit the cage during the day he's the first with his head poking out looking hopefully for a scritch.

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

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