We adopted Nougat (and his friend Schnoz) from Tracey at
Nougat (pronounced noo-gaa) was so named as he was sweet and soft and
squishy, but a little bit nutty sometimes. He was a very laid back
rat most of the time, happy just lazing about in his loft, or
grooming himself while the others ran about madly. But every now
and then he'd get all silly and playful, especially if he has something to chase about. His fur was so
unbelievably soft and pristinely groomed... like perfect soft dark
brown velvet. And that white belly, with it's irregular edges and
soft creaminess, begged for kisses.
Nougat (aka Noogs, Noogie, NougAt The Rat) was quite an independent rat, not wanting much attention as a
youngster. I always found this rather unfair, since he was such a big squishy
teddy bear of a rat! But as he mellowed with age I more than made up for it
by squishing him whenever I got the chance. He had the most beautiful face,
with soft puffy whisker beds and extra furry chins. His whiskers went curly
with age. We loved to hold him upright on our laps and watch
him fastidiously groom his face and chin and ears. He virtually lived in his
pocket hammock, only ever coming out for treats and play time. We'd often find him sprawled
on his back in the hammock while grooming his expansive white belly. You
couldn't help but put your hand in there and rub his soft belly fur, and he'd
lick your hand.
He was such a charming funny old fuzz and we'll miss him
Such a quiet little fuzzlet
With a stunningly marked varieberk belly
He's a little nutty at times
Such an adorable fuzzy muzzle!
Having a chat with his friend, Schnoz
Noogie in the middle
In Santa's sleigh
He's getting more adorable with age...
... and a bit sillier.
A little about Noogs
Noogs is an unusual character... he's on a different time schedule and acts
differently to the other boys. While Schnoz and Husky are popcorning about
madly, wrestling and being silly, Noogs is usually off exploring or just
doing his own thing.
He looks like Lamington and is all laid back and
squishy when we hold him like Lamington was. And so when he acts like Noogs
he sometimes surprises us. He's quite a naughty little fuzz,
incessantly climbing to places he's not supposed to be. And while he looks
all sedate and dignified, he can go as mad as any fuzzlet if you rile
him up. His passion is chasing the beaded string of my bookmark all
over the floor.
He loves his food, which is obvious when you feel his soft
squishy white belly and see how much larger he is compared to the other
boys. He's going to be a big adorable squishy rat.
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a delightful running gait, perhaps due to the fact that he's a lot
larger than most rats his age and he hasn't quite grown into his body
yet. It's like his front end runs normally but his back end is
hopping merrily over speed bumps all the time. This makes him
bounce along cheerfully with his tail flinging into the air
gracefully. He's very black and tends to blend into the darkness
when enjoying his run time at night. But he has a gorgeous white
tail tip, which glows in the dark so it looks like he has a little
flitting firefly that follows him freely.
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I can't believe how fast time has flown. Or how big this little fuzzlet has
grown! At one year old now, he's well over 700g now and still growing! He was one of a litter of
only two big fat fuzzlets, so he had a good start, and an ongoing passionate
love of food seems to be taking him far. Noogie is a rather
enigmatic fuzz. He's always been a very independent rat, not wanting to be
cuddled much and happy just doing his own thing. Unless he wants to play and
then he's a big boisterous bouncy ball of mad. But lately he's
been mellowing into a charming squish, with a cheerful,
In his younger days, if you cuddled him - which you
simply can't *not* do, being that he's so big and squishy and has a belly
that begs for kisses - he'd sit there in your arms and endure it. But with an
obvious body language of "I'd rather not, thanks Mum". He'd even go
out of his way to ensure he didn't get attention or picked up. He had a
remarkable way of sitting still until your hands are just about around him
and then he'd leap at the last minute to slip through your fingers and bounce
off. One benefit of having such shiny slippery black fur. Sometimes
when he knew you were looking to cuddle him, he would go and sit in a
litter tray! He knows I won't remove a rat from a litter tray!
patiently training him to enjoy being cuddled and I'm happy to say it's
working well! He still likes to slip away before you pick him up if he can,
but once you have hold of his huge furry form (he's a two hander) he's putty
in your hands. He tries to resist at first, but can't help himself if you
choose his favourite scritch spots. He loves a rub on his rump and will
lick and groom me madly. And he'll even lie limp on his back if I'm
scritching the right spot between his shoulder blades! His fur is always
perfectly groomed and smells
deliciously furry, and his soft white belly is
beyond adequate description.
Noogs loves to investigate things. He'll
pin your hand to the floor and sniff it all over and nibble it here and
there. He has a particular love of heads, but he's face safe (i.e. not a
rampant rodentist or naughty nose nipper, like Bug). Everything on your
face just needs to be thoroughly investigated with exploring ticklish
whiskers and gently nibbling teeth. His
favourite thing is hair... he'll comb
it with his nails and then groom your scalp.
Noogie is also a clothes
tugger! I'll be sitting on the rat room floor reading my book and feel this
little <tug> <tug> on the back of my tshirt and sure enough there
will be Noogie looking sheepish. At first I was excited, thinking he may be
asking for attention, but I've since discovered he's actually a fibervore
(i.e. a rat with a penchant for eating fabric). The tugging is his way of
tasting things before eating them. Most of my tshirts have Noog-holes at
ground level. He's also eaten holes in the sofa, the bed cover, his
foofferdomes and all of his hammocks. <sigh>
His quirky personality also
shows up in the way he moves. He has a rather charming bouncing run. It's
like his front feet run normally, but his back end is forever going over
speed bumps. He bounces so charmingly, especially since he's such a big
rat! And when he's all riled up and playful, I ruffle him over the head or
pinch his furry rump and he bounces madly about in circles.
gets more and more adorable as he ages and as we get to know more of his
unique quirks and foibles.
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Noogie's 1st birthday
Well, I'm sorry to say we don't have any photos of Noogie's birthday party.
At least, no happy birthday photos.
We bought a nice piece of
cheesecake as a birthday cake, but Noogs was *terrified* of the cheesecake!
I can't imagine how such a big squish like Noogs could be scared of a
But it freaked Schnoz and Husky out too and they all spent the
birthday party hiding under their blankie. So I took the offensive cake away
and let them have their normal run time. But they spent it spookily hiding
under blankets and in their clubhouse, no doubt fearful that the big scary
cheesecake might jump out and attack them. Talk about a bunch of big furry
wusses! Bug and Ilfie had no issue with pouncing on the
cheesecake, ending up covered in cream and crumbs. But then
they've experienced a few Grotto birthdays before.
Noogs, Schnoz and
Husks finally ate some after mum killed the big scary cheesecake and cut it
up into harmless little pieces for them.
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Noogs, Noogie, Big Noogs, Oh You Big Squish!,
Noogat, The Gat.
Newest character trait:
Dignified expressions that
he doesn't quite pull off without looking incredibly and adorably
Climbing in my pyjama pant legs and chewing
Climbing in my tshirt and chewing holes.
Climbing in Al's
jumper and chewing holes.
Chewing holes in the sofa.
Bruxing madly and
looking smug for no apparent reason... no doubt I'll find something that's
been chewed soon.
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Noogs The Comedian
Noogs is one of the funniest rats we've known. He's not cleverly funny like
Nimbus was, or exasperatingly naughty like Bug was, but he oozes an air of
silliness completely without realising it. No doubt he thinks he's a calm,
sensible, dignified rat, but his face doesn't quite pull it off. No matter
what mood he's in or what he happens to be doing at the time, he has a
constant expression of contented vacancy... like he has no idea what's
happening around him and doesn't seem to mind. He has the same expression
when you're telling him you love him, when you're cheerfully scolding
him for being naughty, when you're cuddling him... just that
adorable, dazed, kind of baffled teddy bear like smile on his face. That
look makes you want to kiss his nose and hug him to you, which I
do frequently. After all, he's huge and squishy, has soft and
thick luxurious fur and always seems to smell delightfully like
warm cinnamon muffins.
Noogs loves his food with a passion. Treats
are the only thing that bring a distinct change to his expression, when his
eyes sparkle with hopeful desperation. I love to hold him at face level
while he eats his morning yogurt drop, just to watch that gorgeous pudgy face
as he gobbles it up with glee.
Everything about the way he moves is
comical. He tends to walk with a kind of rolling waddle - perhaps due to his
expansive belly and rather impressive buckly bits - interspersed with
occasional hops of his back end. He's always been rather bouncy, tending to
bound about if you lightly pinch his rump or ruffle him up. It's hilarious
to see such a large rat bouncing, so of course we tend to encourage it.
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Why must Noogs always place his piece of watermelon into the dry food bowl?!
The melon always ends up sogging up the dry mix. And then when he
decides he wants to eat his fruit he ends up dragging stuck-on grains all
over the cage.
Why must all paper towels be removed from the terracotta pot each morning?!
It's not like Noogs spends any time in the pot during the day... he
is most definitely a hammock sleeper. But for some odd reason he can't
snooze peacefully in his hammock knowing that there's paper towels in the
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More tales of Nougat and his friends on the Ratty Ramblings
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