This is Loretta Swit. Not Loretta mind you but Loretta Swit. Because this is my rat that I got for no reason at all so I got to name her of course. And Loretta Swit ROCKS my world and I think it's the most awesome name for a rat in the whole wide world. I'm kinda odd that way, just in case you wonder where Boo got it.
We also have a dog named Hawkeye. (Which Mimi calls Hot Guy. Which makes me convulse with laughter every time she says it.)
It's a long story.
Ok, it's a short story.
We really like M*A*S*H.
Okay I know what many of you are thinking... so just get over the beady eyes and tail already! It's a cute little long rat tail, and it is what it is, and really that tail is pretty cool when you stop and think about how rats use it to balance and all. So stop going all oogy at your computer screen over the rat tails.
Unlike all those other little fur balls we've had, rats actually like people. They get excited to see you when you walk in the room.
They're curious and friendly and sweet as a pea!
A rat makes a fun friend while you do homework!
A rat cage is easy enough for a child to clean... alone.
Rat food is cheap enough that a child can easily earn enough money around the house to buy it on his own learning all about saving and spending at the same time.
Not to mention that the whole family really likes Ronnie and Loretta Swit and spends time with them. Mimi and the little ones need to be supervised of course, but as you can see, this little girl adores the new family members!
And as a mama who has her feet firmly planted in terra firma, rats only take a 2 year commitment.
I can do that.
I can do 2 years of Oh-you-told-me-you'd-take-care-of-everything-but-looks-whose-responsibility-it-is-now! And in actuality, both boys have taken on the full responsibility of their pet rats and still loved and interacted with them almost daily even a couple years after we got them.
A couple tips from the mama who has now purchased several.
Be sure to get female rats. They're just nicer all the way around. Call around before you go, stores are usually either a "boy" store or a "girl" store.
When picking out a rat at the store, don't get sucked into the cute one or pick by color. Pick out the one that is curious to see you and not skittish. Ask the folks that work at the store which one they like. They usually have a favorite already.
Aquarium cages, although a bit more expensive, tend to keep in all the litter compared to the wire cages. Well worth the extra money in my book.
So if you're looking for a fabulous first pet for your child, to teach responsibility, caring and follow through, don't overlook rats just because of their beady eyes.
On behalf of all her friends, Loretta Swit says thank you, tail and all!