I’m overrun by rats!

But the crazy thing is, I bought them.

Fink has turned out to be the most amazing pet. He loves my son, Nick. We’ve had hamsters in the past who loved us, would stand on their hind feet and hold their little arms up in a plea for us to hold them. One, Nibbles, would get nervous at the vet’s office (the girls at the desk snicker when I bring hamsters and snakes in for care, but they’re pets, aren’t they?), and he would want to be held just like a little kid in the pediatrician’s office.

But Fink is on a whole new level. He wants to be with Nick all the time. He’ll sit on Nick’s shoulder and give him kisses and groom his hair. He tries to clean his nose and ears, and even tried to climb in his mouth to see if anything in there needed cleaning. And apparently they click their teeth when they’re happy. Nick clicks his and Fink clicks back. Then he wriggles inside Nick’s shirt to sleep.

So Sheri had to have one too — Louie. Here both rats are on my shoulder:

The first time we put Fink and Louie together, we were worried. Fink was so much bigger already, and we were worried he’d attack another male rat, but Fink was delighted to see Louie. He immediately started grooming Louie’s fur and licking his face. It was so cute. And though he is very sweet to anyone who holds him, he definitely knows and prefers Nick. He’ll get inside Nick’s shirt and just hang out for an hour or more. Nick will be laying in bed watching TV, and you’ll see what looks like a tumor moving around under Nick’s shirt.

Louie thinks if he hides his head in your sleeve, no one can see him. The cats do the same thing, hiding behind the curtains, their tails sticking out.

Forget all the movies where rats kill babies and bite everything in sight (though Fink did eat a hole in Nick’s shirt to taste some cinnamon sauce). They are sweet, gentle, loving, sociable, and very intelligent.

The negatives are, they poop a lot and have sharp claws, and since they like to crawl around on you, pooping and sharp claws are a distinct negative. Frequent cage cleaning is a must. And they crave attention. If you don’t have an chunk of time every day to play with a rat, don’t get one. It wouldn’t be fair.

About alisaacarter

I am a writer of young adult novels, wife, mom of three, lover of animals, former magazine editor, reader of anything paranormal, and coffee fanatic.
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7 Responses to I’m overrun by rats!

  1. menageriecat says:

    Hooray for ratties! I’ve had my girls since February (well, my first one anyway). They’re an absolute joy in my life, and I’m so happy I brought them home ❤

    Don't worry about poo and pee on you! My girls did those on me at first, but as they got more used to me and my scent and my presence, they potty trained themselves and haven't gone potty on me since 🙂

    Also, if you get nipped, don't worry. It took me awhile to learn their body language, so if you're a first time owner I definitely recommend reading up on rattie behaviour!

    • alisaacarter says:

      I’m so glad to hear that! I’m not loving the poop. So far neither rat has nipped, but I’ve been nipped by hamsters several times. No fun, but not deadly, certainly. I’m glad I’m not the only cat lover with rats!

      • menageriecat says:

        I’m not a fan of the poop either, but look on the bright side: it’s not messy (unless they’re sick) and it doesn’t stink nearly as much as cat or dog poop! I actually don’t notice the smell at all. I’m happy to meet another rat lover! Hooray!!

      • alisaacarter says:

        Louie was when we first got him — pretty nasty! Thank God he’s settled in!

      • menageriecat says:

        I remember getting my Maxine to settle in. It wasn’t easy, so I got her a companion finally (I couldn’t because my father wouldn’t let me, even though I was nearly 21 at the time). She finally got settled in about a month later. Her and her buddy were kinda rescues from a petshop that was mistreating them 😦

      • alisaacarter says:

        It’s sad, but to the pet stores, the rats are just snake food. Every rat you buy is one less in a snake’s tummy! Save the rats!

      • menageriecat says:

        Gotta adore rats and the love they give ❤

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