Jester






Jester was a black variegated.

Jester and Grout came along simply to appease my urge for new rats. GGMR, I believe its referred to in the rat fancy (gotta get more rats).

Jester was a lovely looking boy, and had a half-black tail and a half-white muzzle! As a baby, he was very cheeky, very outgoing, and he used to live with Grout. However, when Grout began bullying other rats, Jester ended up as one of his targets.
When Grout was removed from the group, it left simply Jester and Genghis alone in the Jenny, and with Genghis being so anti-social, it seemed Jester was bored. It also forced him to take on the role of alpha in Grout's absence, and he began muscling up a bit and showing almost Grout-like behaviours, which worried me for a moment.

Rats learn how to be alphas from their own alpha, and as Jester had only ever known Grout, he seemed to think that bully-boy tactics were the right way to go. When I decided to move Eddie, Zep and Springer out of Josh's cage because they were being far too rough with the more gentle boys, it seemed logical to put them in with Jester and Genghis.
At first, Jester wasn't at all sure of these new comers, and I began to wonder if he would accept them. But eventually he did. Later, I ended up with all my bucks in one big cage together, and Jester managed to find himself a fairly high ranking position, and was quite well respected. He was always one of these rats, however, that are easily led. He would ape the behaviour of the more high ranking rats. Sometimes you could almost see his brain ticking over while he watched them, then tried to do the same.

Jester lived to around 2 before he developed a tumour on his back, between his shoulder blades. It was an unusual place for a tumour to grow, and certainly the first one I've ever seen in that location. Due to his age and general condition when it appeared, surgery was not an option.
Here is a picture of the tumour, taken toward the end of Jester's life:



As with all rats with tumours, he got on with things until it became clear he was beginning to lose quality of life, whereupon he was euthanised.

Why Jester? Jester was named after a character in my book, who is a dalmatian rat. The spots and the half-black tail matched too well to pass that up!

Click me!