Can we just get this over with. All the "Ooooo gross!" and "Yucks!" and "That's disgusting!" and "I just can't get past the tail and beady eyes!"
Get it out...
Here it goes...
DumboSunny started it. She turned 10 years old and begged for a pet of her own, specifically a hamster. I relented and she got one for her birthday. It was nice and fluffy and soft and all, but that's it. The parental division of the Crazy 8s is slow to learn sometimes, so another hamster or two came after that. One met a tragic end. One bit her and got promptly returned, the other lasted and lived a good life. Hamsters only live a couple years. Mama can handle that.
Then came the guinea pigs. Friends swore they were the BEST! My friend said it so convincingly like that. The BEST! Like they were speaking in caps and bold type! My first thought was 6-7 year life span? Wow, that's a commitment! But guinea pigs are the BEST! So we jumped in feet first and got one. Ok I'll admit we actually got 2, one for Livy and one for Sunny. And they were great too... in the beginning. Unlike hamsters, guinea pigs actually like people and interact with them. I recommend them if you're committed to the lengthy rodent life-span. And they were the BEST! for a while. Year 3 and one passed, and year 4 and the girls were getting bored. Year 5 and the other pig passed, and we all were sad for not nearly long enough and strangely relieved.
Patch turned 6 and started a 4 year high-pressure sale to get a turtle-lizard-scaly-ish creature-type pet of his own. I don't do reptiles. So for 4 years I worked a quid-pro-quo high-pressure sale for a pet alternative. On his 10th birthday, he finally relented and along came his rat, Dumbo.
I want to say this loud and clear. This rat is the BEST pet we have ever had! Dumbo likes us. She hops up on the cage when we enter the room to get her tummy rubbed. And rats only have a life span of a couple years. This time I doubt we'll be at all relieved when she's gone.
So I recommend you go straight past the hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, fish, turtles, frogs, snakes, and lizards and head straight for the beady-eyed, oogy-tailed rats. You might be surprised!