||Ten weeks old|
||PEW Fancy Rat|
||Tampa, Florida, USA|
got all my boys from the back of a pet store in a feeder bin. The back room
was where they kept the rats meant to be food for snakes and the conditions
were awful and smelly. Huddled in a corner of a bin was a group of about ten
tiny, white rats. The employee told me that a mother rat recently gave birth
to a litter of rat pups. They were four weeks old, weaned, and terrified of
everything. I had gone in the store looking for pet rats. This particular
store didn't sell pet rats, only the feeder ones. I knew taming feeder rats
was no easy task.
This litter was actually luckier than most. They had been born in the back of
the store and hadn't been handled by too many people. Their mom had still
done a very good job of making them scared of humans, though, so I still had
a lot of work ahead of me. I managed to find two boys, took them home, and gave
them names, Frank and Henry, they are both PEW (which stands for pink-eyed
white) rats. Henry is the little prince who is always running around, seeking
to be free from his royal duties, and has a sleek body with a high
metabolism. I spent a month learning their habits and gaining their trust. I
wasn't long before I was considered a momma rat to Henry (he may run off a
lot, but he always comes back for cuddles eventually). I eventually got a
third boy, and they all get along fine.
Henry, as it turns out, is very independent and loves secret, dark, hiding
places. He is also an amazing climber, loves to sleep, and loves his hammock.
Eats lettuce surprisingly and loves his cookies and lab blocks. The smallest
of my kids. His favorite game is find out where I'm hiding when it's time to
go back in the cage.
These boys are my best friends. They bring me joy I never thought I could
feel. They love me and I love them back. What amazes me every day is how a
rat like Henry has been through so much can trust and love so much. The way
they run to greet me every day makes me feel like I may actually be worthy of
being a rat parent. And I'm beyond happy.
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