I did something the other day that completely pissed off my husband, I bought a rat. An adorable rat that I named Henri, who was doomed to become snake food. I can blame this on my addiction to garage saling because that is what started it all. I came across a cool, small animal cage at a sale for only $3.00, so of course I had to buy it. Most people would then get a rabbit, guinea pig, or even a hamster to go in it. Not me, I bought a rat and named him Henri. I figure that my husband will get over it since I reminded him that I don’t complain much about his race car or the other piles of junk that he is restoring. A rat is a lot cheaper to take care of than a 1969 Firebird, trust me.
I first owned pet rats when I was eighteen, a pair named Ricky and Rachel Rat. They were smart, fun, easy to get drunk (remember, I was still young), and loved to go cruising in my 1974 Vega. They were quite the sight sitting on the dashboard as I pulled through McDonalds. We freaked out a few people, needless to say. I loved those rats. By the time they passed away I was married and I promised my hubby I wouldn’t get anymore. I kept that promise until we had children. Our kids ended up having rats but this was only after we tried all of the other small animals. They had rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and birds but none of them even compared with a rat. All guinea pigs do is eat, crap, sleep, then eat some more. Rats like to play and give kisses. Try kissing a guinea pig; they are not smart enough to kiss back.
Rats tend to have a bad name because they are thought to have caused the bubonic plague but I would think that the hygiene of the time probably was a bigger cause. I couldn’t imagine living in a time where something as simple as hand washing wasn’t exactly common place. Add that with dead bodies lying around and people urinating in the streets, well, what do you expect? The black plague isn’t the only thing that has given rats a bad name. The movie “Willard” was a horror movie that first came out in 1971 then was remade in 2003. Yeah, I saw both and they were creepy. Not creepy enough for me to avoid rats.
If you are thinking about getting a small pet for yourself or children, give a rat a chance. They are funny, smart, and love to play. Ignore the creepiness about them and just have some fun. You will be amazed at how wonderful a pet they can be.
(Rats make great pets, 2010)
(2010). Rats make great pets. (2010). [Web Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW1E1vPzrU8&feature=related
Michele Peterson-Rufener is Secret Laboratory’s Home & Health Editor. Michele is a former advertising sales representative and a freelance writer; she is currently seeking a degree in marketing and is a columnist for Examiner.com. Read Michele’s blog at http://happyblonde.wordpress.com/.
Email Michele at email@example.com.