Pearl's Litter, part 2

As Pixie, Nixie and Stu! get bigger, so do the pictures.
Day 17, moving and teething
Day 17, now that the babies are constantly on the move, it's easier to take their picture in the aquarium they are currently housed in. Today they are testing their tiny little teeth on everything-- Cheerios, bedding, me, etc., but still nursing for nourishment.
Day 18, using teeth
Day 18, the babies are such a flurry of movement it took about 20 attempts to get a good picture of them. Mother Pearl is in the background. Today the babies are carrying pieces of kibble around and chewing them, and Nixie bruxed for me after hopping into my hand to explore.
Day 19, wide eyes, good balance
Day 19, today the ratlets have much wider eyes and are practicing all manner of acrobatics. They are also watching (and taking) what the older rats are eating to learn what is good for them, though they will nurse for at least another week.
Day 20, lunch with Pearl  Nixie using Stu! for a table  Pixie inspects Aunt Myst's mouth for menu tips
Day 20, the babies nurse, eat food from the big rats' bowl, and steal food from their elders (Myst is unbelievably patient). I caught Stu! drinking from the water bottle too.
Day 21, thirsty Stu!  Day 21, hanging out with Aunt Myst
Day 21, Stu! is getting easier to recognize in a pile of rats, though his fur is still nice and soft like the girls. Here he has a drink, and you can see his little pink tongue, and remarkable balance. Nixie is right behind him. Pixie still favors hanging around with her aunt. I once heard that groups of rats often sub-divide themselves by color, but never had enough rats at once to test that theory. It could simply be that the more near-sighted pink-eyed rats are more comfortable doing different activities than those with darker eyes and better vision. Or that the rats are just messing with us.
Day 22, hanging with the big girls  Day 22, hanging with the big girls
Day 22, Pixie, Nixie and Stu! now go up to sleep with the big girls on top of the "rat igloo," which until now had been used as a sanctuary for Myst and Pearl when they didn't want to be involved in the babies' bounciness. They don't fit too well, and at the rate they are growing this will be a rare sight. It is so hard to believe they are just three weeks and some odd hours old!

In loving memory of Nixie
September 4, 2001 to June 4, 2003.
Never healthy, but always dear to us, you are sadly missed.
In loving memory of Stu!
September 4, 2001 to July 30, 2003.
The first Rat Knight, well loved and greatly missed.
In loving memory of Pixie
September 4, 2001 to September 7, 2003.
You made it to your second birthday, for that we will always be grateful. Rest easy, little girl.