Dali is a roan dumbo rex.
Dali came to my attention after a post on a rat group on Facebook where someone put up a link to his advert, asking if anyone local to him could go and collect him. When I realised he wasn't too far from me, I offered to contact the seller and take the rat on. He was living alone, in a fairly boring and barren cage, looked thin, and his photo showed him clinging to the bars looking very lonely, almost like he was pleading for someone to come and get him.
After talking to the owner, she explained that she had previously owned two rats, but one had died, leaving Dali alone, and she did not wish to get any more rats, but knew Dali really needed company. When I went to collect him, I was surprised how thin Dali was. His spine was very angular, and he was like a little scruffy tube of skin, no fat on him at all, and it was also apparent that he was very young.
The owner seemed a caring person, and she did the right thing for Dali for looking for a new home for him. I still don't really understand why he was so thin, as she wasn't neglecting his feeding, though she did seem a little ignorant about rat nutrition, so chances are he simply hadn't had the ideal diet for a growing baby.
Once here, it became apparent what a lovely boy Dali was. He was so playful, so bright, and so full of joy at everything. Due to his young age, I put him into a group with Russell, Valjean and, at the time, Javert. He fit in perfectly, and was clearly over-joyed to have companions, bouncing about all over them and play fighting with my hand!
Dali put on weight fast, and within only a few days, he looked much better. He simply needed a bit of decent chow, and some protein. Animal protein is important for young rats, but a lot of casual owners don't realise this and put babies straight onto a generic rat mix (most of which are not great to begin with) without adding any extras, which can result in poor development. With a bit of meat, some scrambled egg and some good quality fresh foods, Dali was a lovely chunky boy.
Dali is older now, but has retained his kitten-like behaviour. He is a genuinely lovely, fun-filled boy who gets on with all other rats, and his only issue is perhaps being a little too over exuberant and keen to play when everyone else wants to sleep!
Why Dali? I named him after Salvador Dali, who has been one of my favourite artists since I was young.