I think my rat Pee Wee might have had a stroke. I was watching Rachael Ray dine in Cleveland for $40, and I heard the rats scuffling in the basement. I went down to check on them, and Pee Wee was lying outside their box, with the other two sitting in the box with their heads poking out, looking at him. I picked him up, and he just lay floppy in my hands, instead of squirming and crawling all over the place like he usually does. He was breathing kind of heavy but didn't seem to have trouble breathing, but he didn't seem to want to move much. He moved his head all right but didn't seem very interested in the treat I gave him. I checked him out for any physical abnormailities and he looked normal, so his unusual behavior is probably due to something internal. If he did have a stroke, at least he has a decent chance of recovering. He's two years old, and strokes are fairly common in older rats. I'll check on him again in the morning, hopefully he'll be ok. The other two seemed concerned about him, so I hope they'll take care of him.
Also on the animal front, lubing up a pill with butter and sticking it down a cat's throat is an interesting experience. My poor cat Belle has recently been the victim of repeated bullying by a neighbor's cat. She's around 14 and isn't the spry young predator she used to be. She's still a tough one but has calmed down quite a lot and isn't as fast as she once was. A couple months ago, a cat bit her on the back, and it was a nasty, infected mess. Then last week, her cheek seemed swollen and eventually started leaking yucky stuff, so it was off to the vet AGAIN. She's been a good sport about this, even though getting her to take medicine is an adventure.
I think I know which cat did this. It wasn't one of mine, though. Dude is scared of Belle and not even remotely aggressive. Moccasin pushes the other two around a bit, but he would never try to hurt them, and I've seen him run inside with his fur all ruffled before. One of my neighbors has 7 cats, and I've heard they're all nasty creatures. We'd seen a black and white cat hanging around the house before, and I think that's the culprit. My mom and I went across the street the other day to ask a neighbor (not the one with 7 cats) to see her cat, because we'd heard theirs was black and white. I looked at their cat, Marlowe, and it didn't look like the one I had seen, and my neighbor said the other neighbors had a cat that looked similar to theirs. Plus, Marlowe is shy and doesn't go out much, so I ruled her out. I think it was definitely one of the 7 evil cats a few houses down. But apparently the people in that house are unapproachable. A year or so ago, we had a young stray staying with us a few weeks, it was a tiny brown tabby, deaf and with leukemia, but it was incredibly nice and demanded attention constantly. I think my mom asked the neighbors about it and they said one of their cats was probably the father, but they weren't going to do anything about it. The cat eventually went to a local home for cats since we couldn't risk him infecting ours, but I'm annoyed that these people have all these cats that are apparently mean and aggressive, which makes me assume they're not taking good care of them. And if one of them is attacking my cat(s), I'm not going to put up with this. If I see that cat again, it's getting the hose.
But for now, I'm just going to hope Pee Wee and Belle will recover all right, and I'll devote my attention to the handsome, silver-furred, 4-am-wake-up-call creature snoozing on my bed right now.
(Oh, and the icon is Moccasin when he was a kitten, eating spaghetti)