Zep was a capped siamese.
Zep came to me, along with his brother Eddie to give Jigsaw some company. Jigsaw was an extremely playful young rat, and at the time was living with older boys who were not tolerating his exuberance, so he needed some babies to play with.
Zep and Eddie were put up on the rehoming forum and were the result of p@h mis-sexing their rats, resulting in an unplanned litter. A worker from the branch took the pregnant mum home and fostered her and her litter, then found new homes for them.
Zep started life looking quite different to how he does now. Originally, he had a toffee coloured hood and a white head spot:
But about a week after picking him up, he turned completely white, save the brown smudge on his nose. It was such a gradual change that I didn't even notice at first, then one day I said to myself 'wait a minute....didn't he used to have a hood?!'
Zep and Eddie were both quite nervous on arrival, but I was told that being with older rats really brought them out of their shells, and this was very true.
The second they met Jigsaw they were both bold enough to come out of my pocket and explore, trailing along behind him and going everywhere he went. And Jigsaw, of course, was fantastic with them and took on the mummy role happily.
Zep was the boldest of the pair, and fancied himself a bit of tough guy. He loved to hand wrestle, and liked to pull your clothing in through the bars as you pass by; a habit he had almost certainly picked up from Jigsaw.
Zep went on to become a rather dominant rat, and eventually had to be removed from the group, and housed with just Eddie, as this was the only rat he would get on with long term. Zep was lovely with people, he was just an alpha type rat who had always been the boss.
Like a lot of pets@home rats, Zep developed internal cancer. He'd been losing weight and condition for a while, and when I gave him a check over, I found a small, grape sized, hard mass in his belly. The vet confirmed this was attached to his liver. Zep died at home, seemingly in his sleep.
Why Zep? I wanted to keep with the SAW theme for at least one other rat, especially as these guys were acquired to live with Jigsaw, and Zep was a character from the first SAW movie.