Pet of the Day

July 30, 2010

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Mercedes, the Pet of the Day
Name: Mercedes
Age: Six months old
Gender: Female
Kind: Banded Husky Roan Rat
Home: Lancashire, England
   Mercedes, 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!

Mercedes, the Pet of the Day

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