Starting up slow

So I’m starting up slow… got me a place to live…it’s quiet and green..and for some reason there’s a great big church in my front yard that goes ‘BONG!’ every few hours

 

Anyways, I wrote the following blog a few weeks ago, but I still thought it was nice enough to post. More posting can be expected, but I’m not sure I can start blogging every week right away…I’ll try though.

I’ll also try to keep the music updated (try being the operative word here).

 

For what it’s worth..I do love my animals… The first thing I do every day is descend into the basement and take care of them and weigh them. It’s actually a great way to start your day. They recognize me, they feel safe with me. It might seem irrelevant to be known and recognized by a bunch of labrats..but its strangely reassuring. Like hearing your footsteps on a wooden floor. Feeling the world resound with your presence. Having proof somehow, that you’re there, and that you were there yesterday, perhaps be there tomorrow as well. This is why people carve their name in a tree trunk and then go back to look at it the next day. I was here.

 

But I was talking about my rats. When I just had them, they would squirm and try to escape when I took them from their cage to weigh them. Holding my hand over the weighing-basket would scare them enough to keep them still for a few seconds, but after that they’d be at it again. Now they sit quietly on my arm until I place them in the weighing basket. And when I put my hand over them, the rear up to sniff my hand. When I bend down to read the scale dial, they reach over the edge to sniff my nose. And these are wildtype rats, the big brown ones, just like the ones people have running around in their attic. They have not once tried to bite me. While, one of the much cuter-looking white Wistar labrats I’m also taking care of tried to bite me today! In fact he did bite me, only his jaws weren’t strong enough to cut through my skin yet. Little white bastard!

Oh well, things aren’t always what they seem I guess…

 

On a less pensive note: All the above mentioned rats  are all dead now. The Wistars where finished in an intensive and highly organised experiment that started at 8:00am and ended somewhere around 1:30am. Yes..you did read that correctly.. And no, I can’t say I recommend spending your night like that to anyone. It’s actually pretty surreal, finding yourself in the basement in the middle of the night, drenched in paraformaldehyde and blood (and some other stuff you REALLY don’t want to think about), sitting at a desk ripping the fixed organs out of rat after rat to get to the thymus and adrenal glands, with a big box of perfused rats still waiting.. Good thing we where there together, my supervisor and me. At least there is one other person sitting at the desk cracking open skulls and extracting brains, whom you can chat to while doing two perfusions at a time.

 

The wildtype rats I was so attached to, I had to kill myself, for no other reason than that they where not needed for research anymore and where occupying much needed space. For those of you that think all scientists are cold, hard bastards; I cried. I cried for my silly labrats that I promised myself I would not get fussy over. Guess I’m a big softie after all huh..

 

Oh well..this blog is getting long enough..too long in fact….well you’ll hear from me soon

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2 Responses to Starting up slow

  1. Flora says:

    ja je bent een softie maar ik ben trots op je , je zou ze allemaal kunnen laten leven in een kooitje en dan naar Aruba komen kan je ze ook gezellig weer los laten bij de Cascabel ?
    Dan werden ze opgevreten door die krengen van onze zolder.
    Overigens ik herkende de geur onmiddelijk toen ik terug kwam uit nederland, die ratte geur van jouw lab, toen hebben we dus die kooitjes uit gezet, nu stinkt voor het eerst in 8 jaar mijn huiskamer niet meer.
    Arumum
     
     

  2. Linda says:

    Ach lieverd toch,
     
    Het valt ook niet mee om de ratten die je zo lang hebt verzorgt dood te maken.
    Maar het hoort er nu eenmaal bij.
    1 ding is zeker, je bent wel goed voor je dieren
    en dat het je dan nog zoveel doet, is een uitting van emotie
    waar veel mensen ( wetenschappers) een voorbeeld aan mogen nemen!
     
    Goed gedaan Sien!
     
    Een knuffel, Linda

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