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Getting Cagey
The Wonderful World of Womrats

I am Shangalang and I am Andy's womrat. It's a ridiculous name, I know. Andy is too busy napping or watching CSI(MS) to start this part of the review about caged animals and other creatures so I've decided to do it for him. After all, who better to write about womrats than a womrat?

What is a womrat?

Good question. We're a species of rodent that seems to be somewhere between a cavie, which is a "guinea pig" to lesser mortals, and a hamster. Our species was made up in Maxis's secret laboratory in Southern California. Following a sudden rise in simdeaths in TS1 households that had a guinea pig, the womrat was created to provide a cuddly rodent that does not kill the next generation of sims. There are five different coloured strains of the species at this time.

How can I get a womrat?

For a start, buy a cage. The FMCU 3000 will cost §250. Then you populate the cage. That only costs §70. The scientists at Maxis only thought to create one-womrat-only cages. Perhaps they were scared that we might multiply and then take over the world. Once you have chosen what colour of womrat you wish to buy, you get to choose its name. Just don't call it anything stupid like Shangalang. I can't stand the Bay City Rollers.

How do I look after my womrat?

Firstly, you can feed us. That costs §10 each time you fill our bowl. Usually, we only need feeding once a day. Then you can get us out and play with us. We are quite soft and cuddly, but if we are annoyed, we can bite. You may need to clean our cage from time to time. Finally, you can set us free. No, that does not mean we will roll around the room in a transparent plastic ball. It means we vanish into oblivion. Poof, we're gone.

What can a womrat do?

Eat, play in the wheel, eat some more, try to climb the walls of the cage, eat even more, roll around in the food bowl and ask for food when the food bowl is empty.

Are womrats immortal?

How do I know? I'm not "Shangalang McWom of the Clan McWom". All I know is that I'm still alive. I have pestered Andy enough to feed me, which he has done, and he gets me out every so often for a cuddle or watches me. Awwww. He even cleans the cage from time to time. I don't feel myself getting any older and I suppose as long as I am fed, I will continue to live. I will find out soon enough if I am wrong.

However, I did hear of underfed womrats dying from fright because they were pestered by cats and dogs with an aggressive personality. Andy doesn't have either a cat or dog yet so that is not a problem ... yet.

Anyway, that is all that I can tell you about womrats. Andy is coming back so I'll get back to my wheel.

Free As A Bird

I can't remember writing that last section. Anyway, it nicely starts off this part of the review as we look at caged pets. As well as womrats, your sims can also keep birds. The process of getting a bird is very similar to getting a womrat. You buy a cage and you populate it. Again, Maxis have made one-bird-cages only. There are five different types of birds and they can be named as well.

Sims can interact with their birds in several ways. They can walk with them, the bird being perched on their shoulder. They can watch them and play with them. They can try to teach them to talk, which is of more benefit to the sim as they can gain charisma this way. If a bird's cage is not locked, the bird can go for a fly around the lot. They are even smart enough to be able to open doors. Don't ask me how. Unlike a womrats, birds make a lot more noise, especially when they want feeding. Also, like womrats, they can be scared to death by aggressive pets taking a keen interest in them.

This is Snoot, who is Dr. Mairi Dobalina's cockatoo. He enjoys flying around and being perched on his owner's shoulder. I only hope his claws are not too sharp, though. After Mairi went to work, Snoot had quite a tough day. Mairi had forgotten to fill his bowl and also Sox, who was one of Mairi's cats, took a keen interest.

Fortunately for Snoot, who was quite agitated throughout this ordeal and did cast off a few feathers, Mairi was able to get back in time, feed Snoot, which cost §20 for a full bowl and secure the door. Fortunately for your the readers, this means that I do not get to dredge up any lines from Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch about Snoot having "ceased to be".

Written at 20:55 on Sunday 29 October 2006 by Andy.

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