Session 2: Trying RAT-c with Harriett Again After an Eleven-Week Gap.
This is technically the 2nd visit, but the 3rd filmed session. Part 1 has two sessions: Session 1 was an intro/general meeting, and in Session 2, I tried RAT-C and utterly failed. In the second meeting, Part 2 (this video), I was a little bit better prepared to do RAT-C, but again had many missed attempts. I try to comment about them and add questions in the video.
I came back to film another try a few weeks later, but Harriett was no longer a "CAT rat". According to her human, Shannon, Harriett had taken a turn for the better and was exhibiting intrinsically friendly behaviors. That was my experience of her as well. She roamed around the holding cage with friendly on her face, approached me easily, and did not show signs of anxiety like you see in this video. We did not proceed to try another RAT-C session.
I believe my efforts with CAT did not help Harriett in any substantial way. I wasn't able to do multiple, short sessions over a few weeks if necessary. Also, for the most part, I did CAT incorrectly. I think Shannon's gentle patience, use of positive reinforcement and gentle forms of desensitization, were what ultimately helped Harriett.
I'm sharply aware that this session went far too long. If I have the chance to work with another rat, I will know better about the short sessions!
Harriett had a great peaceful life until her end, about 6 months after this video, in March 2012, when she was due to a mass in her chest, believed to be cancer, which caused her distress. Rest peacefully, sweet Harriett Rat, and thank you for sharing your life with me and trying so hard. Thank you to Shannon also for participating in this experiment and welcoming me to your home and your rats.
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From RAT-C Sessions with Harriett Rat