A true-life vignette from the world of a former rat hobby breeder:
A long night was ended - Lilith had finished giving birth to her rittens (rat kittens) and was resting and giving them their first feeding. I had given her a couple hours to settle down, but now I wanted to check on the babies - see how many there were, make sure they were all getting full bellies and so forth. As I reached into the tank in which Lilith rested with her rittens (and in which her sister, Jezebel, also hovered nearby), Lilith moved her head toward my hand. I've been nipped by new mama rats before, so I swiftly withdrew - continuing to wait for her to calm down. Another couple of hours passed, and I decided I would take the chance.
Again I reached into the tank, moving my hand gently toward the warmth Lilith cradled next to her body, reaching for a ritten to check. Lilith moved faster, however; her head darted out and her teeth seized my finger ... gently. Surprised, I held still. Lilith tugged carefully on my hand, so I allowed her to move my hand closer to her side. As she reached it, she released my finger and started nudging my hand with her head, until my hand was poised over her back - at which point she looked up at me expectantly.
Well, after all, she'd just given birth. I gave her the back massage she was requesting.
For more information about Katy, visit:
Her Livejournal at http://katya-s69.livejournal.com