Pet of the Day

February 16, 2012

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Basil, the Pet of the Day
Name: Basil
Age: Eight months old
Gender: Male
Kind: Rat
Home: Dublin, Ireland
   Basil is a husky roan standard rat. I'm eighteen years old and have Aspergers, which means that I often get social anxiety or am extremely nervous around large groups of people. Since having rats, I've found this problem has improved.

    I got Basil as a rescue rat when he was around five months old. He was living a really small tank on his own, and was really sad and depressed looking just sitting in the corner watching the world go by. I took him home with me and had him for a month before introducing him to my other boys, and now three months on he's just my favourite little guy. We have a totally special bond, he tells me what he wants through his movements and squeaks, and if I tell him it's time for lunch he'll run down my leg or my arm and scurry over to stand by the fridge and wait!

    Basil and his brothers will come with me all the time, riding along on my shoulder, in my hood or in my pocket. He walks the dog with me, cooks with me, we watch TV together and he's even known in the local shop from coming in with me (I buy the newspaper for myself and a granola bar for him!) He'll do tricks for this treats, such as spin, kiss and stand, and even though his brothers bully him sometimes so that he has to come out and sit with me, he never acts aggressive towards anybody.

    I have a few pictures I took of Basil today when he was sitting on my shoulder eating breakfast with me (yoghurt for him, because it was Valentines day and he's a true romancer!) He lives in a large cage with two other males called Toby and Scrabble, and Basil is really special. I tend to keep Basil with me a lot, to help me not to get too nervous when I'm out in busy places. He knows tricks and he's really sweet. He likes to give kisses, and he'll squeak really loudly if you try to put him back into his cage before he's ready!

    Basil also absolutely hates his baths. Just recently he had a little accident and injured his foot. We brought him to the vet and he was perfectly behaved for every single examination and prod, he let himself be held upside down and have antiseptics dabbed on the wound, but when the vet told us to give him a bath with salt water every day for the next week, his ears perked up straight away and he let out this really loud squeak at the word "bath"! I swear he understands every word we're saying sometimes! Generally I'd only give him a bath if he's gotten himself dirty or every couple of months just to make his coat nice and smooth. I think Basil is an incredibly special rat.

Basil, the Pet of the Day
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Basil, the Pet of the Day
Basil, the Pet of the Day

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