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Black varieberk

20.5.2005 - 28.11.07

About Nougat

We adopted Nougat (and his friend Schnoz) from Tracey at bRatpack Rattery.

Nougat (pronounced noo-gaa) was so named as he was sweet and soft and squishy, but a little bit nutty sometimes.  He was a very laid back rat most of the time, happy just lazing about in his loft, or grooming himself while the others ran about madly.  But every now and then he'd get all silly and playful, especially if he has something to chase about.  His fur was so unbelievably soft and pristinely groomed... like perfect soft dark brown velvet.  And that white belly, with it's irregular edges and soft creaminess, begged for kisses.  

Nougat (aka Noogs, Noogie, NougAt The Rat) was quite an independent rat, not wanting much attention as a youngster. I always found this rather unfair, since he was such a big squishy teddy bear of a rat!  But as he mellowed with age I more than made up for it by squishing him whenever I got the chance. He had the most beautiful face, with soft puffy whisker beds and extra furry chins. His whiskers went curly with age. We loved to hold him upright on our laps and watch him fastidiously groom his face and chin and ears.  He virtually lived in his pocket hammock, only ever coming out for treats and play time.  We'd often find him sprawled on his back in the hammock while grooming his expansive white belly. You couldn't help but put your hand in there and rub his soft belly fur, and he'd lick your hand.

He was such a charming funny old fuzz and we'll miss him dearly.

Photos of Nougat

Such a quiet little fuzzlet

With a stunningly marked varieberk belly

He's a little nutty at times

Such an adorable fuzzy muzzle!

Having a chat with his friend, Schnoz

Noogie in the middle

In Santa's sleigh

Bath time!

He's getting more adorable with age...

... and a bit sillier.

Tales of Nougat A little about Noogs

Noogs is an unusual character... he's on a different time schedule
and acts differently to the other boys.  While Schnoz and Husky are popcorning about madly, wrestling and being silly, Noogs is usually off exploring or just doing his own thing. 

He looks like Lamington and is all laid back and squishy when we hold him like Lamington was.  And so when he acts like Noogs he sometimes surprises us.  He's quite a naughty little fuzz, incessantly climbing to places he's not supposed to be.  And while he looks all sedate and dignified, he can go as mad as any fuzzlet if you rile him up.  His passion is chasing the beaded string of my bookmark all over the floor.

He loves his food, which is obvious when you feel his soft squishy white belly and see how much larger he is compared to the other boys.  He's going to be a big adorable squishy rat.

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Noogie's firefly

Noogie has a delightful running gait, perhaps due to the fact that he's a lot larger than most rats his age and he hasn't quite grown into his body yet.  It's like his front end runs normally but his back end is hopping merrily over speed bumps all the time.  This makes him bounce along cheerfully with his tail flinging into the air gracefully.  He's very black and tends to blend into the darkness when enjoying his run time at night.  But he has a gorgeous white tail tip, which glows in the dark so it looks like he has a little flitting firefly that follows him freely.

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Big Noogs

I can't believe how fast time has flown. Or how big this little fuzzlet has grown!  At one year old now, he's well over 700g now and still growing!  He was one of a litter of only two big fat fuzzlets, so he had a good start, and an ongoing passionate love of food seems to be taking him far.  Noogie is a rather enigmatic fuzz.  He's always been a very independent rat, not wanting to be cuddled much and happy just doing his own thing. Unless he wants to play and then he's a big boisterous bouncy ball of mad.  But lately he's been mellowing into a charming squish, with a cheerful, cheeky rattitude.

In his younger days, if you cuddled him - which you simply can't *not* do, being that he's so big and squishy and has a belly that begs for kisses - he'd sit there in your arms and endure it. But with an obvious body language of "I'd rather not, thanks Mum".  He'd even go out of his way to ensure he didn't get attention or picked up.  He had a remarkable way of sitting still until your hands are just about around him and then he'd leap at the last minute to slip through your fingers and bounce off.  One benefit of having such shiny slippery black fur.  Sometimes when he knew you were looking to cuddle him, he would go and sit in a litter tray!  He knows I won't remove a rat from a litter tray!

We've been patiently training him to enjoy being cuddled and I'm happy to say it's working well!  He still likes to slip away before you pick him up if he can, but once you have hold of his huge furry form (he's a two hander) he's putty in your hands.  He tries to resist at first, but can't help himself if you choose his favourite scritch spots. He loves a rub on his rump and will lick and groom me madly.  And he'll even lie limp on his back if I'm scritching the right spot between his shoulder blades!  His fur is always perfectly groomed and smells
deliciously furry, and his soft white belly is beyond adequate description.

Noogs loves to investigate things.  He'll pin your hand to the floor and sniff it all over and nibble it here and there.  He has a particular love of heads, but he's face safe (i.e. not a rampant rodentist or naughty nose nipper, like Bug).  Everything on your face just needs to be thoroughly investigated with exploring ticklish whiskers and gently nibbling teeth.  His
favourite thing is hair... he'll comb it with his nails and then groom your scalp.

Noogie is also a clothes tugger! I'll be sitting on the rat room floor reading my book and feel this little <tug> <tug> on the back of my tshirt and sure enough there will be Noogie looking sheepish.  At first I was excited, thinking he may be asking for attention, but I've since discovered he's actually a fibervore (i.e. a rat with a penchant for eating fabric). The tugging is his way of tasting things before eating them.  Most of my tshirts have Noog-holes at ground level. He's also eaten holes in the sofa, the bed cover, his foofferdomes and all of his hammocks. <sigh>

His quirky personality also shows up in the way he moves.  He has a rather charming bouncing run. It's like his front feet run normally, but his back end is forever going over speed bumps.  He bounces so charmingly, especially since he's such a big rat!  And when he's all riled up and playful, I ruffle him over the head or pinch his furry rump and he bounces madly about in circles.

Noogs just gets more and more adorable as he ages and as we get to know more of his unique quirks and foibles. 

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Noogie's 1st birthday

Well, I'm sorry to say we don't have any photos of Noogie's birthday party.  At least, no happy birthday photos. 

We bought a nice piece of cheesecake as a birthday cake, but Noogs was *terrified* of the cheesecake!  I can't imagine how such a big squish like Noogs could be scared of a treat!
But it freaked Schnoz and Husky out too and they all spent the birthday party hiding under their blankie.  So I took the offensive cake away and let them have their normal run time.  But they spent it spookily hiding under blankets and in their clubhouse, no doubt fearful that the big scary cheesecake might jump out and attack them. Talk about a bunch of big furry wusses!  Bug and Ilfie had no issue with pouncing on the cheesecake, ending up covered in cream and crumbs.  But then they've experienced a few Grotto birthdays before.

Noogs, Schnoz and Husks finally ate some after mum killed the big scary cheesecake and cut it up into harmless little pieces for them. 

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Noogs update

Current nicknames:
Noogs, Noogie, Big Noogs, Oh You Big Squish!, Noogat, The Gat.

Newest character trait:
Dignified expressions that he doesn't quite pull off without looking incredibly and adorably silly.

Recent mischief:
Climbing in my pyjama pant legs and chewing holes.
Climbing in my tshirt and chewing holes.
Climbing in Al's jumper and chewing holes.
Chewing holes in the sofa.
Bruxing madly and looking smug for no apparent reason... no doubt I'll find something that's been chewed soon.

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Noogs The Comedian

Noogs is one of the funniest rats we've known.  He's not cleverly funny like Nimbus was, or exasperatingly naughty like Bug was, but he oozes an air of silliness completely without realising it.  No doubt he thinks he's a calm, sensible, dignified rat, but his face doesn't quite pull it off.  No matter what mood he's in or what he happens to be doing at the time, he has a constant expression of contented vacancy... like he has no idea what's happening around him and doesn't seem to mind.  He has the same expression when you're telling him you love him, when you're cheerfully scolding him for being naughty, when you're cuddling him... just that adorable, dazed, kind of baffled teddy bear like smile on his face.  That look makes you want to kiss his nose and hug him to you, which I do frequently.  After all, he's huge and squishy, has soft and thick luxurious fur and always seems to smell delightfully like warm cinnamon muffins.

Noogs loves his food with a passion.  Treats are the only thing that bring a distinct change to his expression, when his eyes sparkle with hopeful desperation.  I love to hold him at face level while he eats his morning yogurt drop, just to watch that gorgeous pudgy face as he gobbles it up with glee.

Everything about the way he moves is comical.  He tends to walk with a kind of rolling waddle - perhaps due to his expansive belly and rather impressive buckly bits - interspersed with occasional hops of his back end.  He's always been rather bouncy, tending to bound about if you lightly pinch his rump or ruffle him up.  It's hilarious to see such a large rat bouncing, so of course we tend to encourage it. 

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Why must Noogs always place his piece of watermelon into the dry food bowl?! 
The melon always ends up sogging up the dry mix.  And then when he decides he wants to eat his fruit he ends up dragging stuck-on grains all over the cage.

Why must all paper towels be removed from the terracotta pot each morning?! 
It's not like Noogs spends any time in the pot during the day... he is most definitely a hammock sleeper.  But for some odd reason he can't snooze peacefully in his hammock knowing that there's paper towels in the terracotta pot.

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

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