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Say, I Haven't Posted about the Rats in a While
Here is the ratty update:

Hera: Still on antibiotics for the Respiratory Infection That Will Not Die, but stable and active despite the occasional godawful snorking. She's definitely an old rat now -- back legs a touch wobbly (though they don't seem to have weakened any more since we first noticed, so that's being a good slow decline), napping even more than usual, hard to wake up, appears to be getting a bit of a cataract in one eye -- but a happy old rat.

Aphrodite: Also getting up there; she's a lot slower than she used to be. Friendly and interested in what's going on outside the cage, but has mostly quit trying to break out and explore. Fonder of hammocks than she once was.

Huginn: Has been attempting to climb out and explore when in the small cage for cleaning purposes lately. Good snuggly rat, always comes up to the door in case the visiting human has food and is quite happy to stick around for social interaction in the absence of snacks.

Odin: The quiet, out-of-the-way rat. He's been very background-y lately -- healthy and unobtrusive.

Thor: Poor fella seemed to be having a bit of a paranoia relapse this evening. About two weeks before we left on vacation, he'd been experiencing sudden pains in his backside somewhere, and came to the natural conclusion that other rats were persecuting him, so he was getting himself into a lot of fights. Once we realized what was going on, we separated him and had him on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for a bit, which seemed to resolve whatever the underlying hidden problem was. He's been good for a while, but was squeaking in a very aggrieved manner earlier. Settled down after a little time apart to cool off, so hopefully he was just having an irritated moment and whatever-it-was isn't coming back.

Tethys: Much calmer than she used to be. Willing to come up to the door if there's food, but quickly backs off if there isn't. Still likes watching people through the bars; still doesn't like to be touched, but will tolerate being picked up with much less scrambling than historically.

Calypso: Still a freaked-out little rat. A bit scared of people, generally avoids contact, looks jumpy a lot. I suppose she's happy enough.

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I used to know someone else who had rats named Thor and Odin, and had named other rats after other gods. Is this a thing in the rat-owning community, or coincidence?

Hm. I suspect it's because (a) rat owners are likely to be kinda weird and (b) weird people are likely to name their pets after mythological figures. So probably not a direct effect, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were some correlation.

If this is true, I would expect other "weird people" pets like ferrets and lizards to also be named after mythological figures at a higher rate than, say, cats, dogs, or hamsters. Barnyard and wild animals, like goats and raccoons, are probably owned by a different, more outdoorsy, sort of weird person and I would expect them to show different naming patterns. I wonder where I could get a good set of data? Maybe my vet could help -- do pets have medical confidentiality?

I'm a bit saddened that our birds have no particularly naming convention. I couldn't find a good Japanese name that had meanings akin to "read" or "rainbow" or "sun" ("Asgard" popped up from being described as 'accessible from a rainbow ridge') and Coco already had his name, being a rescue birdie.

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