The new rats continue, unsurprisingly, to grow.

Yuki is becoming a tomboy. She's big, she's unsubtle, she's kind of pudgy, and she's lazy as fuck, particularly by girl-rat standards. (This is why she's the one who got the name Yuki, in fact; it means 'snow' in Japanese, and is used as a name for both sexes.) Yuki has already tumbled onto the secret of this whole pet deal. If I come by and say hello to them through the bars while she's awake, she immediately scrambles to the front of the cage and goes NO NOT GOOD ENOUGH YOU COME CUDDLE ME NOW. When I pick her up, she conducts a half-assed inspection for concealed food and, finding none, smashes herself into my armpit and goes to sleep. I have to stand there like a B-movie ronin, one arm half tucked back into my bathrobe sleeve, because that armscye seam is clearly there for Yuki to lean her face on, and if I unbend my elbow she doesn't have anywhere to rest her chin. I introduced her to one of my roommates -- a complete and utter stranger -- and not only did she let him pet her, she dozed off on my shoulder.

Edelweiß has stopped flipping out when I pick her up, although she's still not as sanguine about it as Yuki. I just spent ten minutes trying to very gently untangle her from the towel in which I had wrapped my hair, because Eddie had gotten comfortable in there, smashed on top of my head. I have tried to explain to multiple batches of rats now that R-at is not the same as H-at, but the little bastards are all illiterate, and too self-centered to care besides. It doesn't matter so much when they get confused about F-at, or FL-at, and they don't seem to care too much about SPL-at, although it sounds really alarming the first few times they throw themselves at the ground and fail to miss. They're also remarkably good at SQU-at and E-at, but due to the confusing nature of English, those don't rhyme.

Eddie has inexplicably developed a taste for pickles. Honestly, sometimes I just don't even know. The other two will take them and stash them, but Edelweiß devoured her own and then specifically went and stole everyone else's. They all loved my imported pepparkakor, but who doesn't?

I have barely seen Bianca since I last cleaned their cage. I gave them a packing carton full of shredded newspaper as a nest, and she's decided it's hers. Runt or not, Binky apparently packs a wallop. All three of them wiggle into the nest together, I hear a noise that can best be transcribed as SQUBBLBLBBBLBLBBLBLL!!!!, and the two much bigger rats rocket up to the top of the cage to sleep squashed into a Kleenex box together instead. She's clearly okay; she comes out to visit the food bowl and the water bottle, treats I leave near the mystery box quickly vanish into it, and every so often there is a disembodied chittering noise issuing from the unseen thing in the nest. If I get too near her when she's out, though, she scrambles back in -- clearly, this box is the awesomest thing ever, and I will steal it back if she leaves it unattended. Moggie is amazed I have inadvertently managed to get a rat with some sort of survival instinct, small and shallow though it may be.

They got wrapped boxes the last time I reset their house, because I bought wrapping paper for Mog's Christmas gift and haven't got anything else to do with it. The girls showed their appreciation in traditional rodent fashion, i.e., they immediately began eating holes in it with their tiny rat teefs.

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