We now have 29, as the remaining two "fosters" cannot go back to their owner, so have become permanent residents.
We're also looking after 7 boys whilst their owner decides whether they will need rehoming, and we have 2 kittens due from Templeton in September. They will be the last kittens until numbers have fallen, as I'm spending a fortune on cages, food and dear little toys that they can't possibly do without
. So in reality the total is 36 rats, currently 9 cages (girls, intact boys, two boys who are being castrated on Thursday because of their aggression, fosters...). As you may have guessed they have a room of their own, and as I'm lucky enough to be a full-time student with not many lecture hours, I can spend lots of time with them.
I'm not at all looking forward to the inevitable heartache of their passing. The cost of medical treatment doesn't worry me, I knew that for each rat I took on I was looking at a big vet fund, but I'll miss each and every little whiskery face. We've lost three thus far, but I know that we did everything possible for them.
In future I'd like to have a small rescue facility, so I think keeping my pet numbers low would benefit less fortunate rats who need a place to stay before they find a forever home. Plus then I'd maybe be able to find a volunteer to do the cleaning out whilst I do the socialisation
(joking, I can't think of many jobs more taxing, yet so rewarding)