About the upcoming Washington DC trip: I said there would be no Charley updates, but I was probably wrong about that, because today I bought my first laptop. Mortgaged my soul to the credit card company for $750, but interest free financing for 18 months so even I should be able to pay that off. So I can take the laptop to DC with me and update Charley from there. If I want to. I will kind of be on vacation after all, and might not want to spend four hours a day writing up casefiles.
I also bought another rat. Her name is Gypsy and she’s kind of freaked out, still not entirely convinced I’m not going to eat her. She’s a rex. She’s just a baby now, but her hair will become curly as she gets older. I would have preferred to wait a bit to get another rat, but I didn’t want Belle to be alone for too long. Rats are very sociable critters and get depressed if they don’t have ratty companions.
Next time I put them in my car on a hot day, I’m putting in a frozen water bottle too, so they can cool down. One lesson learned the hard way. 😦
Welcome, Gypsy! I bet she’s adorable.
And welcome, laptop! Wow. But please don’t feel like you HAVE to do updates. I think I speak for all of us when I say we want you to enjoy your vacation and we won’t mind if you take a break.
I want to enjoy my vacation too, but I get kind of antsy if I don’t update for too long. I guess it’ll depend on how I feel about it once I get to DC.
Gypsy is indeed adorable and Belle loves her already. Belle’s got her pinned down and is grooming her as I type this.
Oh, now isn’t that sweet?! If that doesn’t make Gypsy feel welcomed, nothing will!
BELLE: Hold still, I need to show you how much I love you! Why can’t I get your fur to lie flat?
GYPSY: *thinking* Is this a sorority initiation or something?
Loud raucous announcer voice: No! It’s EXTREME RAT MAKEOVER!!! (flashing lights, hysterical applause and blaring techno music)
Belle: (cranking up best toothy smile) Remember, you only get ONE chance to make a FIRST impression!
Gypsy, to herself) Oh good grief.
A rat named “Gypsy”—I’m thinking she came with her own tattoos and wallet with one of those long chains.
No, Anthony, remember we talked about gypsies not a week ago? She came with an armful of bangles, a crystal ball, glittery eyeshadow and some bright-colored shiny scarves.
My mistake! I thought the young rat rode with the Gypsy Jokers MC.
And speaking of gypsies, King James V of Scotland was notoriously fond of the Romani; for this, he was contempuously referred to as “the Tinker” (a.k.a. “The Gaberlunzie Man”) by his courtiers. His affection for the travelling folk lasted, according to some early historians, until he was caught with his hands up the rich and billowy, colorful skirts of a gypsy queen (a.k.a. Aimee, lol) and was soundly thrashed by her family, the Faas.
Things went downhill from there; James VI (a.k.a. James I of England), his nephew, ordered all gypsies out of Scotland in 1603.
And the Beauteous Gypsy Queen put a curse on the British Monarchy that has held, to one degree or another, to this very day.
I don’t really blame James V. I mean, who would choose ruling over people who laughed at and despised you and were always wanting favors from you when you could be riding around in a caravan playing music and learning wondrous and magical secrets?
The Gypsy Jokers sound like a singing group. Mandolin, banjo, dobro… the works.
The English monarchy fell to grief when James I’s son Henry, who would have made a great ruler according to all accounts, died aged 18, probably from typhoid, and thus the throne eventually devolved to his brother Charles. Then came Cromwell, the Civil War, the beheading, the Restoration, Charles II, the Plague of 1665 and the Fire of London in 1666, etc., etc., and all because of The Curse of Aimee and Her Gypsy Kin.
Somewhere, a pet rat is smiling.
Yep, told you so.
Recently read a book about everyday life in Restoration England. VERY interesting. I like a book that tells you the stuff you REALLY want to know about long-ago times. What people ate, wore, did in their spare time, that kind of thing.
Would that be “Restoration London” by Liza Picard?
Bought that new when it was published and, since I’m too direly poor to afford new reading matter, re-read it last month.
Sample sentence: “Gypsies upset the authorities then as now; they were called ‘lewd persons calling themselves Egyptians and pretending to tell fortunes.'” (At least according to the 11 June 1669 “Calendar of State Papers Domestic.”)
Those English—they couldn’t leave well enough alone.
As a matter of fact, that is the exact book I read! Only the title was something like “From Poverty to Pets, Wallpaper to Women’s Rights” and on and on.
Yup, that’s the subtitle.
At the time of the Great Fire, there were a couple comets—no doubt cast there by gypsies as evil portents of what happens to a people once they ban the Romani from Scotland—whizzing about the sky.
You can’t say those stuffy old intolerant Brits didn’t receive fair warning.
I wish all “books about other countries/times/peoples” were as good as that one. Too often they’re dry, overtechnical, what have you. Like the book about Mongolia I tried to read a couple months ago? It was so dull I didn’t even finish it, and anybody who knows me will tell you that it has to be a TERRIBLE book to make me quit reading it and not pick it up again.
For a wild-n-crazy kinda Brit viewpoint, read Samuel Pepys (“PEEPS”)’s diaries.
Peeps! I still get a laugh out of that sound.
Liza Picard’s book had many exceerpts from Peepin’ Sam’s diaries in it. One thing stood out: them people was nasty! I mean, he washed his feet only under duress! I bet the Gypsies were cleaner than that.
Yeah, the Peep-meister beat his servants, had affairs on his beloved wife, and spun many the ribald tale. And life was very aromatic in 17th c. London.
Pepys thought he was going blind and thus quit writing his diaries, which probably explains the lack of a good “This night, I orgied with the gypsies; and so to bed” sequence or two.
Did he really go blind, or was it just something he thought?
He was having severe vision “issues” and probably was told that if he didn’t cut down on his workload, he’d go blind. But optometry back then was rather underwhelming, and no, he didn’t go blind. Unfortunately, the only workload he cut was his diaries. “Our loss.”
Have you thought about adoption? There are all kinds of rat and small animal adoption groups, because so many of the poor things get abandoned by owners and kids.
Have you looked at Petfinder.com
The problem with the rats sold by pet stores is that they come from breeding mills that are as horrible as the puppy mills.