Sunday, November 30, 2003

Congratulations! I am now a rattie mommie!

Instead of telling you about my Thanksgiving with my family (which was very nice; I made an excellent pumpkin pie), I am going to talk about my new pets!

You might recall that I have been thinking about owning a couple of rats as pets. "Why?" some of you are asking. Well, I wanted a cuddly, furry pet to cuddle and love and call George. Being a tenant, dogs and cats are a big no-no, as in no one will rent to us if we own a dog or cat. Rats are small, live in a cage, are clean and intelligent and very affectionate. When they leave their cage, they don't need to be walked, just allowed freedom to explore a room or a playpen. So, I've read up on them all over the internet, and had a handful of questions for a breeder/owner to answer face to face. Also, I wanted to handle them, just to make extra sure I wouldn't get too grossed out by them. But, I couldn't get in touch with any local breeders, so ended up at a pet store in the area. I didn't like the looks of the rats at the major pet chain. They had one cage of feeder rats and, next to them, one cage of fancy pet rats. Well, one of the feeder rats was wheezing and had blood on its paws, so I did not have a lot of confidence in the other rats.

Before I left for home last week, I popped into a pet store, to check out their cages. I learned that they bred their own rats, so decided to come in today and ask a few questions. Tim came along for the ride. (ok-he drove) Well, I asked about galvanized vs. powder-coated cages, bedding types, etc. The guy said that the rats were bred for food and pets, so they were not handled very often. When I asked to hold one, I was totally expecting to be bit and have the little nipper try to jump from my hand. I was not ready for a curious little furry thing to sniff me, climb up my shirt, and happily sit on my shoulder while I scratched its belly and sides. Tim even got in on the act and took one off me, which, naturally, meant that I had to get another one from the cage. The store had 3 today: one pink-eyed white boy and two grey hooded girls. The girls were sisters and they were all at least 2 months old. Needless to say, I fell for the two girls (I was planning on having boys) and bought a new cage with all the trimmings right then and there. They are now in our computer room and have gotten over the initial shock of the move. They are climbing around their new cage and drinking water. Their names are Janola and Barbara (named after a beautiful nudibranch). Be ready for stories of their antics!

Ha-ha, Mozilla! I saved this blog on Word, so when you shut down, my blog was still saved!!


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