|One of the best cartoons ever!|
I like rats. I had rats as pets when I was a kid. They're intelligent, affectionate and trainable -- much better than nasty little biting hamsters. Hubby does not like rats. He thinks they have beady little eyes and gross hairless tails. (He's wrong of course.) Because of Hubby's aversion to rodents, I've only had one rat in the 30 years we've been together. Her name was Dot and she was absolutely wonderful. When we got orders to Japan, she couldn't go with us. Instead, she became the third grade pet at the elementary school. She was loved by children until the day she died.
|At 28" X 28" X 18" this thing is huge|
So fast forward to Mother's Day weekend. We went to a Barn Hunt trial and Jedi totally bombed. I signed up for four runs, each with two hidden rats. Out of a total of 8 possible rat's Jedi found exactly one. I was frustrated and assumed that Jedi was just overwhelmed by the new venue. Out of the blue, Hubby said "You know, you really should get some rats to practice at home." Then he reminded me about that eyesore on the porch. I jumped on that like Drogo on a mealworm!
So, all this is to say: Meet Hide!
|Sorry for the picture quality. This little girl is FAST!|
WARNING: Don't get your panties in a bunch. Yes, my rats will (hopefully) be trained to accept the tubes to help Jedi with his barn hunt training. However, they are pets. They are loved and well cared for. Animal Rights Activists can keep their ugly comments to themselves.
Buying pet rats has proven to be more difficult than you would think -- definitely more difficult than it was when I was a child. First of all, very few stores even carry fancy rats. (Feeder rats are a different story.) Those that do -- PetSmart and Petco -- have some strange rodents related policies. Three of the four Petco stores I went to only sold males, the fourth had very large (read old) mangy-looking white girls with pink eyes. Ick. PetSmart stores sell either male or female rodents, but not both. However, they don't advertise which, nor do they always know what the other stores carry. Grrr.
I want female rats. They stay smaller. I think they're more attractive too. Male rats have giant genitalia that they drag behind them and I think rat balls are gross. I also want more than one. Rats are social creatures and I think it would be nice to have a pair. Besides, the cage is huge. So Hubby and I drove around one Saturday. We probably hit 8 pet stores and found one female rat (Hide). A week later we hit another half dozen pet stores on the other side of town. Nada, sans the fugly girls mentioned above.
|Hide (bottom) and Seek (top)|
Hide was thrilled to have a friend. The girls cuddled and Hide was constantly grooming Seek. Unfortunately, Seek didn't appear well. She started sneezing right away. Her eyes weren't as bright and she didn't have the energy of Hide. I was hoping that with good food, fresh air and as little stress as possible she'd bounce back. I was wrong. Two days later Hubby found her dead in the cage. I guess feeder rats aren't expected to be as healthy as pet quality rats. I feel bad. I hope the last couple days of her life we happy ones.
So for now we're going to keep looking for another female rat while loving on Hide. Thankfully, she still appears to be healthy. Soon we'll make rat tubes and teach the girls to go in willingly. Meanwhile, Jedi is well aware that we a have a rat in the house. When I ask him "Where's the rat?" he runs over, noses the cage and sits. Who knows, we may get our RATO title after all! -- K