||Six months old|
||Banded Husky Roan Rat|
known to those she associates herself with as 'Mercy,' is a baby
trapped in a furry coat! She loves nothing more than to be pampered and to be
waited on hand and foot, and with her onyx-button eyes and pink nose, quite
often that's exactly what she gets.
She came into my life after I lost my previous rat, Flossie, to tumours.
Having kept rats for a number of years now, a house without a little
furry face peering at you each morning seemed like it had lost much of its
vitality. It didn't take long before a tiny, four-week-old, dark banded rat,
with ears and paws far too big for her body, snuck her way into my life.
Mercy grew quickly into those ears and paws, and the dark markings began to
fade to a beautiful ticked coat with a healthy sheen. Anyone who believes rats
are ugly would need their eyes tested if they said the same of my Mercy!
Her quirky personality flourished once she found her feet in her new
lifestyle. Indeed, out of the many animals I have kept as companions, I have
not known any to have such a diverse variety of characters as rats; each rat I
have kept has been totally unique. Flossie had been a dare-devil and a
trouper, always wanting to please anyone and everyone, much like a puppy.
Mercy, on the other hand, is quite the coward (even a sneeze will make her
jump) and far more prissy and selective in whom she trusts, particularly with
men! But these qualities never fail to make me laugh, and she would not be my
Mercy were she not this way.
Furthermore, I believe she considers herself to have a Mediterranean palette.
She will ignore the more traditional fresh treats in favor of sunblush
tomatoes, feta cheese, and kalamata olives. Never before have I known an
animal eat olives to the extent in which she steals them from my plate! These
treats are kept in strict moderation, of course, despite the faces she pulls
when given a more balanced option!
There of course is the baby-like side to Mercy - she does love to be near to
her family and gets quite upset if she notes I am missing for more than a day.
I was recently away in Uganda for several weeks, and her quarters had to be
moved about the house following family activity throughout the day. Upon my
return, she couldn't stop chattering her little teeth for hours.
Some people refuse to understand the true value of a pet rat and instead write
them off based on their appearance (usually the tail does it) and infamous
reputation. More fool them, as they will never have a Mercy of their own to
greet them whenever they walk into the room, come running when they call,
and snuggle into the crook of their arm as if to let them know that whatever
happens, she'll be there. She's my best friend and partner and a family member
and she always comes first, and I think she's fully aware of that!
Talk about today's pet in Pet Talk!