Hi everyone. This is Star the rat.
Winter is getting closer, the evenings are starting to get dark earlier, and the mornings are starting to get light later. As far as my sisters and I are concerned, that's a good thing; my ratty sister, Skye, and I prefer less light, and our chinchilla sisters, Mollie and Maizie, feel the same way. I'm not sure about our gerbil brother, Baggins... He seems to be happy no matter what, as long as he has water in his bottle, food in his bowl, and somewhere to dig. Our degu brothers, Jacob, Jenks, and Joshua, on the other hand, don't like when it gets dark. Jenks especially will start squealing in distress if there's no light. There's a similar issue when it comes to temperatures: the boys like - and can deal with - warmer temperatures than us girls.
Since all of our cages are in the same room, the human caretakers had to figure out a way to keep everyone happy and comfortable. This is part of why we ended up with the boys' cages in one area, and the girls cages in another.
We each have a fan by our cages, which is used to help control the temperature in the area of our cages (the fan for me and my sisters is on more than the boys' fan). The boys also have a lamp near their cages, which the humans put on for them as soon as it starts getting dark, so that they can have light, while we girls - over the other side of the room - can have the darker environment we're more comfortable with.
Most of the time, we're all happy with this setup. Although, there have been a few days in the past few months when the weather was so hot and sunny that even the highest setting of the fan didn't make it cool enough for us girls to be comfortable, and even the boys needed their fan on full. There were also a few times last year when the human caretakers had to set up a portable heater near the boys' cages because it got so cold (our chinchilla sisters weren't around for that happening). We're all happy with the light thing though: my degu brothers don't complain about not having enough light, and we girls are happy not having to deal with bright light all the time.
It's important to think about things like that if you have different animals sharing your home. Not all human caretakers think about it. I'm glad we're lucky enough to have human caretakers who try so hard to cater to our different needs, and do their best to keep us as comfortable and happy as possible. I'm also glad we're lucky that we don't need to start trying to store up food to survive the coming cold of Winter, which is what our wild relatives will be doing right about now.