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North Wales Weekend
28 June 2010 ~ 12:38This past weekend Mark & I went to stay with two friends in a small village in North Wales. The weather was gorgeous and we had a fun time. The ladies had numerous pets which is how I got to know them, as one of them, Marie, was a member of a forum for people who own giant pouched rats.It’s cool in Wales as all the signs are bilingual Welsh/English for example ARAF/SLOW on the road. It’s a very old and beautiful language but very difficult to learn if you don’t start very young. The scenery there is also very picturesque and where we were is close to Snowdonia National Park (Snowdon is Britain’s highest mountain).Marie & Kaz have six Gambian Pouched Rats, two very rare Emins Pouched Rats, two chinchillas, six African Pygmy Mice, fifteen fancy rats, two cats, a guinea pig, a Chinese hamster, two dogs called Mandy and Pippa, and a wild rabbit rescued as a baby called Cariad (Welsh for darling). Of the fancy rats, Mouse, a disabled little girl with a left arm that is twisted, was a particular favourite. She’s very feisty, loves people, and gets around on the back of her hand (palm down instead of palm up). She lives with two rat girls she grew up with and their neutered father (only two were left in the litter as a jealous cagemate ate the others).On Friday we socialised with another rat lady, Shirley and her husband, who had driven to Marie’s to meet us, and on Saturday we went to the Welsh Mountain Zoo, which is lovely. Afterwards we shopped in Llandudno, the nearest big town, for souvenirs. Mark was in his element buying red dragon stuff including a large plush dragon.On Sunday we visited Conwy, a smaller, closer town, which is medieval with a castle and some very old houses which we intend to visit next time. (Yes we must have behaved as we have an invitation to go back!) Then we caught the train for the long journey home to London.The minus side to a great weekend is that Mark has decided we shouldn’t get a Gambian Pouched Rat because they are too destructive (they are four times the size of fancy rats), and they aren’t cuddly. But I’m seeking to persuade him that Marie’s pouched rats aren’t cuddly as they are kept in boy/girl couples, whereas other owners with a single female enjoy a close bond if the rat has been handled since birth. (Boys rats bond with female owners but are jealous of their owner’s husbands as is the case with Shirley’s pouchie Bobby).In fact Marie offers us a free pair of Gambians, Patrick & Arianne, but Mark said no. I thought it was a good offer as these rats go for £250 normally! She also offered Mouse to us, because she doesn’t get a lot of time out of her cage due to the large number of animals in the household. But again Mark said no, he was afraid Destiny would bully Mouse and she was bonded with her current cagemates ‘Dad’ and his two daughters Chanel & Cocoa.This is a picture of Mouse looking adorable. I miss her already!