Issue 1 BARMCA Newsletter Nov. 4, 1996

the newsletter of the Bay Area chapter of the Rat & Mouse Club of America

Hey-what's this?

Just what it says: the newsletter of the Bay Area chapter of the Rat and Mouse Club of America-BARMCA (we say it "barm-kah", even though this usually results in someone offering us a tissue). There are a number of reasons why you might be getting this newsletter. Most likely, you are a member of the RMCA living in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Or possibly you asked to find out more about BARMCA. Or, just maybe, someone out there wanted you to get some weird mail…

What is BARMCA about?

BARMCA exists to further the primary goal of the RMCA:

"…the dissemination of high-quality and important information about the proper care of all domestic rats and mice as a means to advocate responsible pet ownership and breeding."

BARMCA also exists for social contact among those who share their lives with rats and mice (and are thus shunned by normal people-just kidding). Its history can be traced back to a string of intermittent rat gatherings attended by Bay Area people on the "rats" e-mail list (more on the mailing list later). Despite this, BARMCA is not a singles' club.

What does BARMCA do?

That's pretty much up to you. For the most part, BARMCA folks get together every once in a while to eat food and share stories, information, and advice. Other things get done when BARMCA members decide to organize and implement them. There are other activities as well, described below. And if you take the initiative, more things can happen. One thing BARMCA so far has not shown any interest in doing is running shows.

Who runs BARMCA?

That, also, is pretty much up to you. We are a very informal organization. In fact, we don't really have any officers-there's just a loosely organized group of people doing stuff.

The closest thing we have to a leader is Brian Lee. Brian kind of generally coordinates stuff. Another BARMCA figure, who gets to mention himself because he's the one doing the newsletter, is James Kittock. James also runs the e-mail list and organizes Rat & Mouse Days. Other people doing great stuff are mentioned below.

How can I find out more?

This newsletter should give you some idea of what we are up to. You can also contact the people listed in the "Contacts" section. And there's more information online: the RMCA has a site on the World Wide Web at

and you can find out about the "rats" e-mail list by sending an e-mail message containing the single word "info" to

Important note

Future versions of this newsletter will be sent electronically (fax or e-mail) where possible to save printing and mailing costs. Please let James know if you want to receive the newsletter by fax or e-mail, along with the appropriate fax number or e-mail address. If you want to receive it by regular mail, that's OK, too, but since BARMCA is totally funded out of people's pockets, a small donation would be appreciated (some first-class postage stamps would be just fine!).

BARMCA Events-November 1996

Meeting-Saturday Nov. 16

Everyone is Invited!

BARMCA is having a general meeting on Saturday, November 16, starting around 5:00 and ending when people get tired. We are meeting at James' office (contact him if you need directions):

(contact info removed)

We will order pizza and soft drinks and ask you to chip in a few dollars when you come. Rats & mice are invited, too, but please make sure animals are healthy and bring them in a carrier. If you plan on coming, or think you might come, please RSVP with Brian, so we know how much pizza to order (if we have too much, the rats won't complain…).

Get provisions cheap, too!

Brian will order 50lb. bags of high-quality ("delicious & nutritious") lab block from Western Research in Hayward. We'll divide up the bags at the meeting. Brian expects it will work out to be about $2 to $2.50 per 5 lbs. He also offered to pick up some bags of CareFresh and SaniChip (both excellent and safe bedding materials), which Western carries at a great price. If you are interested, contact Brian a.s.a.p. so he'll know what to get.

Rat & Mouse Day

also Saturday Nov. 16

You're probably thinking, "every day should be Rat & Mouse Day," and you're right. Unfortunately, not everyone is as enlightened as you. Rat & Mouse Days are one of our ways to educate others and show off our cool pets.

A Rat & Mouse Day consists of BARMCA folks sitting at a table in a public place with informational literature to share and friendly animals to greet strangers.

BARMCA's first Rat & Mouse Day will take place at a great little pet store:

The Pet Place
777 Santa Cruz Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(415) 324-7387

We'll be setting up around 12:00 and wrapping up around 4:30, just in time to head down to Mountain View (about 20 minutes away) for the BARMCA meeting. If you're interested in helping out or want to come by and need directions, please contact James.


Brian Lee (contact info removed)
general stuff, meetings, supplies, animal care guide

James Kittock (contact info removed)
general stuff, newsletter, Rat & Mouse Days, pet store reviews

Rebecca Oliver (contact info removed)
library display

Amanda Svensson (contact info removed)

RMCA 13075 Springdale St., Suite 302, Westminster, CA 92683 (714) 901-7153
general information about the Rat & Mouse Club of America

BARMCA Projects & Ideas

Library Display

Rebecca Oliver is looking for folks creatively interested in putting together or contributing to the development of a traveling display. The idea is to create a library display about Rats & Mice. Please contact Rebecca for more info or if you want to help out!

Rat & Mouse Rescue / Animals Needing Homes

Amanda Svensson is working with the Santa Clara Valley Humane Society to develop a rescue relationship. She will need a secondary contact and any support BARMCA members can muster. At the moment she has 3 adult rats for adoption. Two are young black hooded girls who are quite sweet. The other is a large beige hooded male who, although he does not seem to have been handled previously, has already become a real lap rat. She will also have 6 beige and black hooded rat babies and 1 agouti female up for adoption in the near future. Contact Amanda if you're interested in adopting or helping out with the rat & mouse rescue project!

Linda Racine, who volunteers at the Peninsula Humane Society (PHS), writes: "PHS [currenty] has no rats. They do have one really great white mouse, Mickey, who has been there for several months. He's very social, although I worry about him, since I seem to be the only one who ever handles him. There were no rats or mice from the Belmont pet shop they closed down. However, they did get some Russian hamsters. At the moment they have four females and one male. They are the cutest little things. I understand that they are normally not very social, but these guys are extremely social. They climbed right into my hand and loved walking around on my shirt. The male really liked being petted. They were also very active this afternoon." For information on adopting these animals, contact the PHS: 12 Airport Blvd., San Mateo, CA 94401, (415) 340-8200.

Animal Care Guide

Brian is working on putting together our own animal care guide. We'll use information from the RMCA and other sources. This guide will be made available at Bay Area pet stores, vet clinics, etc. Contact Brian if you want to help out.

Pet Store Reviews

Is anyone else disturbed by the conditions in local pet stores? Have you ever wanted to do something about it? Or have you found a store that you really like, and want others to know about it? James has an idea to compile a guide to area pet stores that contains both consumer information and animal advocacy information. He'll discuss this at the Nov. 16 meeting; if you can't make the meeting, contact James directly.