Family Magazine

Rats Are Lovable Pets

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

Rat siamese1 Rats Are Lovable Pets

When most people think about rats they think of dirty, flea ridden, sewer dwelling vermin that spread diseases. Or the plague. Or traps.
Growing up I was scared of rats. Had never seen one or held one but they freaked me out.

Then my brother brought a tank of baby ones home. My mom and I in a rare instance of her being a human looked after them. We fed them, kept them clean and stimulated. Till one day my brother took them and set them free in a field while I was at school. I was devastated.

A few years down the line my partner had two huge female rats and he taught me to look after them. I was fascinated. We left them with his ex and they both died.

About ten months ago I found a tiny baby rat in my living room. It had somehow got in from the open kitchen window. He was so small and scared and squeaking with fright. We knew he was wild so put him back outside.

The next morning I found him half frozen, shaking and in shock on my back door step. He had been there all night and was barely alive. I brought him in, put him in a box with some hamster bedding and sawdust etc. I got him to eat a bit of porridge and drink some water and he buried himself in the bedding for a few hours in a quiet, warm space.

We bought a cage that day and named him squeaks. Despite being wild around me he was calm and loving. We got him checked out and the vet said to put him down but I refused. He said wild rats don’t make good pets.

It didn’t seem like a good enough reason to end his life. I took him home and he made himself happy in his cage. He loved watching me wash up. He would come to my voice, he would put his paws through the bars to be stroked or his back pressed up to be stroked. I didn’t handle him as such but stroked him and got his trust.

He became my little mate. We soon learned he thought he was a bat, hanging upside down and chewing on some special toys we got him to keep him amused. He loved his food and strong cheese, the odd crisp and bit of chocolate spread. He loved pastry too. And peas.

We read up all about rats so we could care for him and I fell in love with him. I felt like he was meant to be with me as he stayed there that night.

He got out of his cage once and it took us a week and a half to get him back but he let me catch him. He would pop up every night so I could see him and run off again.  When we caught him he was bigger. But still loved me.

For nine months we had him and he was very funny. Very loved and adorable. Then one day I took some photos of him and it was like he was posing. Normally he would run around but this time he stayed still, even looking at the camera so we had some lovely shots. By now he was reaching sexual maturity and wanted a mate. We had been talking about looking into it with a vet.

The morning after the photos I got up and put the lamp on near his cage. One of his doors was open and he was gone.

That was a month ago and we have not seen anything or heard anything since. He was gone. We left food out that went untouched. Water untouched. It broke my heart that he was gone. We hoped he had got out a pipe and gone back to being wild. But there was no sign of anything so its just blind hope. I missed him. Missed my mate when I washed up, missed him tapping on the bars for me to talk to him.

The cage stood empty but ready for him in case he came back until today.  Today max came into my life. Max is a black and white hooded rat ( fancy rat) who is fully grown and sexually matured. He was in the pet shop, on his own, hand reared and lonely. My partner brought him home for me.

Max was never brought because he was too big, but while hes a bit of a monster rat hes so tame and has a gorgeous face.
He can be handled and stroked and trusted around kids as hes known them his whole life in the pet shop.  Knowing nobody wanted max breaks my heart. Hes very curious and playful already. He came to me no quibbles and continues to display very beautiful traits.
He ate for me and took my carrot too. Hes let me handle him and hes already tried to drag my partners fleece in his cage while hes still wearing it! He loves the smell of lynx on it.

Max isn’t squeaks, but hes definitely going to fill the hole left by squeaks.

Rats aren’t just what people seem to think, they are also beautiful, intelligent, affectionate and very funny little things and now max can live out his life with us being loved, having lots of attention and fuss and be happy not left to rot in a pet shop.

Don’t write rats off because of their reputation. They aren’t all bad and don’t need to be trapped or poisoned the way people do it so readily.

If you find a rat in your home remember he has a heart and a mind and treat him with kindness. They get a bad press but they can be amazing to keep.

This inspirational post was written anonymously by a mom who is either a member of my Facebook mums group, a Twitter follower or has been submitted to me via email. I have full permission to share her story. If you can relate to this post and would like to share your own anonymous post please contact me. You could help us share the blogs love to helping others by sharing via the social sharing buttons.

 Rats Are Lovable Pets

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