Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Addition

Our new addition: a yet unnamed parakeet. Still settling in -- he (or she) doesn't quite know what to make of the place, yet. Eating plenty of breakfast is a good sign, though!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


One part of Summer I really enjoy is the arrival of fireflies. The Museum of Science has a website where you can keep track of fireflies throughout the Summer and help scientists learn more about their populations. It's called Firefly Watch.

Plants for Nooch

We added plants to Nooch's Urn today. We selected plants with shallow roots, and that would enjoy shade with only some sun in the morning.

In the center of the urn: 'Chocolate Chip' Ajuga
To the left and right: Purpurea Acaena inernis
Top and bottom: Irish Moss

I have a pretty abysmal plant record -- hopefully I can keep these alive, though!

Monday, June 7, 2010


We're on vacation at a pet resort called Barkwells. It's pretty awesome:

See hilarious commentary here.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


We're on vacation in North Carolina and visited my mom who recently bought some chickens and turkeys.

Cue gratuitous chicken photos...

For the full effect of this trip, you should check out Locksley's Blog.


Guess what?

Friday, June 4, 2010

I love Animal People

In memory of Nooch the rat, I made a tribute donation in his name to AAVS—which is dedicated to ending animal testing. Nooch wasn't a test rat, but he was a great example of how intelligent and sweets rats can be.

One of my coworkers very sweetly donated a tribute to Nooch as well. I realize that rats aren't number one of everyone's list—some people are creeped out by them, don't think they're cuddly, or whatever. I mean, even if someone likes MOST animals, they might not like rats. It was really nice to have someone say, "I know what it's like to love and lose a pet rat."

I was already feeling pretty warm and fuzzy and then I received this email:

It says:

"Rats are quite loved here at AAVS, both personally and professionaly — our condolences for your loss. May happy memories of your buddy provide comfort at this time."

The exchange made my day. I am so grateful for a community of animal people that have such compassion—not only for the animals—but for each other.

<3 !

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rest in Peace, Nooch the Super Rat

After three years of excellent friendship, Nooch the rat has died.

I bought Nooch to save him from being snake food. Fancier rats—ones that have cool colors and markings—usually make it as pets, but brown "sewer rats" like Nooch don't seem to fare as well. So I brought him home to keep me company. He was the first pet I would have since moving from North Carolina to Maryland. I had missed having an animal to take care of. More importantly I was at a rough spot in my life—work was stressful, and to make matters worse I was having neck surgery. The time I would have to take off of work was perfect for bonding with my new addition.

I've had rats before but Nooch was, by far, the best (no offense to Cooper, Lewis, and Oswald). He was puppy like—always seeking out my company, ready for a game of chase, or a session of mutual grooming. He was cheerful and cuddly even when he developed a lump on his side.

Death is hard to watch, but I'm glad I was able to be with Nooch the evening he died.

I wanted to bury Nooch, but I live in an apartment. So, I had to get a little creative. My solution—a small, mobile cemetery in the form of a flower pot.

A flower pot, or urn (if you like), befitting Nooch's final resting place.

We drilled a hole in the bottom and put small river rocks for good drainage.

Next, a comfortable layer of dirt was added. Nooch was placed cozily on that—along with a yogie for the after-life.

More dirt was added over Nooch, up to nearly the top.

Since we'll being going out of town in a couple days we decided not to plant anything just yet. We want to make sure it gets a good start with watering and such. For now, an orange flower will be Nooch's token.

A ritual deserving of a super rat. Rest in peace, Noochy.