More re Adam; Study Rats, Desk Rats, Living Room Rats
The fact is that I don't pay enough attention to rats in my study. I like saying hello to them and having them greet me, but I'm pretty much always concentrating on something after sitting down and can't look after free-ranging a rat. I think this used not to be true; I'd do more casual reading in my study. Now I read on the subway, and my main relaxation time is with TV in the living room.
Past study rats, such as Dr. Butch or Rufus, got tame enough to sit on my desk as I typed. I'd love to have another desk rat, but recently I just don't get rats in my study that tame.
As a result, I wasted a lot of Adam's potential. When we finally moved him into the living room, he quickly learned to sit on my lap during TV, even becoming a rodentist, and then unlearned that-- He could have been one of my best rats EVAR! Instead, too quickly, he had to go into the hospital cage in Womzilla's study, and I didn't pay enough attention to him there.
I'm trying to reframe this to see that while all this is true, it was my loss, not his. Overall, I'm much better at accepting my loss and moving on than I am when I feel guilty about some loss or upset I caused someone else.
And while I can too-vividly imagine human-centered happiness Adam lost out on, I have to drop my own perspective--because really,in rat-centered terms his life was fine, not only compared to a sub-optimal life but as a fulfilled, outstanding life, the kind we want to give our rats. The cage was spacious enough for three sedentary boys; they cuddled together,and he always had a secure place in the hierarchy; most of all, I saw no signs of frustrated desire to investigate outside-cage realms, as actually many rats do show. I think maybe the same adaptability that made him a great pet when I did dote on him also meant that he was happy when I didn't. That is, unlike most rats, who want extra-cage stimulation and human company or just don't want them, maybe he was happy both ways.
One good thing out of my feeling guilty about Adam is that the Imaginary Boys are definitely going into the living room. They're only 3 months old (teenagers!), so they need to be on special food, for growing rats, for three more months. The rescue said we need to, and the Imaginary Boys are indeed are among the sleekest, most muscular, and overall healthiest-seeming rats we've ever had. However, I'd been thinking in terms of living room=the cage with the adult rats, who definitely do not need food for growth.
Yesterday, as I fretted about the past, I realized that for three months we can have the boys in the living room in their Martin's cage. I have long intended to get rid of one of the microwave carts in my study anyway, so the cage can stand on that, in front of or to the side of the big cage. It would help the girls get used to the boys' scent, and we probably could even have girls and boys out to play together, both easing the transition when the boys do go in the big cage. Then the Critter Nation will again be a Seraglio--in this case, a five-female harem and two eunuchs--which it hasn't been for a while. (Adam was not neutered, OK because all the girls are spayed. No intact king in our castle now!)
I just now realized that some piles on chairs in the living room can even go on the lower shelves of the microwave cart. Magazines and such.
The eunuch boys say they are very eager to join us to see Game of Thrones, which they hear has struggles for dominance just like rats do & features one character who's been neutered to boot!
Mood: a bit rushed, overall not really unhappy