You know the rats we got from Pets At Home? Those lovely boys Buzz & Woody?
Well, to cut a long story short, seems they're not males at all. So the boys are actually girls. Thanks Pets At Home for that. The way it happened was this... Woody (the brown and white) had been getting all cage aggressive with us - beautifully behaved out of the cage but if we dared to put hands inside we'd be bitten and attacked. Rather nasty.
Best advice for males aged about 4/5 months is to get them done and talking to the vet they recommended that if we get one boy done we should get both done. Which was fine, they were booked in for the day and I dutifully took them in to be dropped off before work. And that's when the vet looked at them and gave me the news. To be honest I felt a bit of an idiot, because talking to the vet, boys are VERY obviously boys and these VERY obviously weren't, but I ask you - would you know how big a male rats bits were meant to be?
The vets advice was still to get both girls spayed, as this should cut out the cage aggression or at least reduce it so that with training they get used to us as part of their territory inside the cage. The main problem was that it would be both a more complicated op and consequently much more expensive.
Molly was really shocked and upset when she got home and I told her about it. She'd wanted boys because they tend to be less manic and get fat, lazy and cuddly as they get older. There were tears, as she tried to come to terms that her lovely boys were actually girls. But I tried to get over to her that, boy or girl, they were still her Buzz and Woody. And after a little while she calmed down and started to get concerned about the op and how they'd be afterwards.
Off to the vets to pick them up and bless them, they looked terrible; huge shaved patch, massive slash of stitching up their bellies and obviously woozy as hell. The wounds were horrible, and rats being such wonderfully clean animals, don't help themselves by doing their best to clean the stitches away either. But to wrap this up, all was well, Molly's "boys", as we still affectionately call them, are recovered perfectly now and they go to the vets tomorrow for a final check up. Molly has recovered from her shock and now treats them just like she used to.
Meanwhile, Pets At Home have been in touch following an email expressing my annoyance that they got this so wrong. I had a most refreshing conversation with the manager about the problem, and he surprised the life out of me when he started by completely accepting the blame, said it was inexcusable and that the store apologised for all the upset. I know I shouldn't be surprised by someone admitting that the thing that is 100% their fault is actually 100% their fault, but it seems to happen so rarely now. Then, without me even having to mention it, he said the store would cover the vets bills.
Which is why yesterday we were in York on a bit of a shopping expedition, Molly looking for boots, tops and a coat in her new favourite place; New Look. I eventually left them to it and went for a lovely lunch, a read and a bit of a write. Louise and Molly came back a couple of hours later laden with bags and Molly was beaming with the stuff she'd bought. A very good day indeed.
So Molly's lovely "boys" are girls, but she still thinks they're lovely, even if Buzz and Woody have proved to not be the most appropriate of names after all.