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Monday, September 23, 2013

Oh rats!

Don't oog out on me now!
We have some new family members...
This is Ronnie.  Not Rhonda mind you but Ronnie.  Because this is Boo's rat that he got for his birthday so Boo got to name her of course.  And he thinks Ronnie is the most awesome name for a Rat in the whole wide world.  He's kinda odd that way.
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.  
So here's the thing about rats.   We've had rats before in our family.  We've also had guinea pigs and hamsters and gerbils and fish and other slimy slithery things.  And we have come to the obvious conclusion... that rats are the best family pet for children in the whole wide world hands down without question!!!!

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! 


  1. Oh, you should've told me you were interested in rats. I could've given you some for the ones roaming my attic. Yeah, I'd share with ya. I'm friendly that way. ;) Yours look waay cuter than the one that got squished by our garage door.

    1. Oh we have THAT KIND too and here they are called roof rats! They are vermin and NOT friends with Loretta Swit at all! She's picky that way. Hard for city folks to get away from them. In our neck of the woods every other house has citrus trees so the rats are WELL fed robust creatures that have night parties on the roof.

  2. Okay, I LOVE rats! My husband and I had some pre-kids, and they are seriously amazing pets. One of ours lived until he was 5, which is FOREVER AND A DAY for a rat. They were both neutered males and so, so, so unbelievably sweet. They're also easy to train -- you can easily litterbox train them, and they can recognize and learn their names when called! We could call ours and tell them to lay on our shoulders while relaxing on the couch and they would! Seriously, the best pets. And way cleaner than people think! So sad that we lost ours and still miss them. Would love to get more one day, but we have a pretty crazy cat right now that makes that impossible! :(

    1. Sound like we're in a 12 step program. Hi, my name is Nancy and I love rats! I agree they are just beyond sweet and so sweet with the kiddos. Our sit with us too and watch tv. These girls are just babies yet, so the sleep a lot and we can't take them out for long times yet so they can get lots of naps. And 5 YEARS??!! That's is forever. We had one that almost made it to 3 years. Broke my heart when she was gone.

  3. I knew a girl named "Roni", short for Veronica.

    1. Cute! I actually like the name Ronnie. I just think it's odd he came up with it out of the blue. I asked him where he'd heard of it before and he said no where. Silly moppet!

  4. I love that you named your rat Loretta Swit. (Yes, I did have M*A*S*H pajamas in 4th grade and no I don't care that I got teased about it at a sleep over. My M*A*S*H pajamas rocked!) But I do have to take issue with one thing you said, on behalf of the spirit of Ratty, my sweet, long departed pet rat, male rats can also make wonderful pets (though I'll admit it's possible Ratty was a particularly special rat). Love, love, love the pic of Mimi with the huge grin with Ronnie in her lap and Loretta Swit stretching up as though for a kiss.

    1. We've never had male rats. Only female. So I don't actually have first hand experience. This is only what I was told by the store employees on several occasions. And they may be totally wrong, it's happened before!!! And ps--ya, M*A*S*H and Loretta Swit still rocks!

  5. Is it me, or are Mimi and the rats on the kitchen counter?

    I had a hamster and a couple pairs of mice growing up.

    1. Yep! Well it's actually the kitchen island. It's her favorite place to be and see all that's going on. Maybe it's wrong, but I let my kiddos sit on the counters. For the rats, I actually put down a big white board underneath.

  6. LOL!! I had to laugh at Shecki's inquiry because that's the same thing I was wondering!!! I will say, Mimi's BIG SMILE is so adorable. That girl LOVES HER RATS!!!

    I have never owned a rat, but we had a hamster named Alysheba after the famous racehorse. Oh my did we love that hamster. I don't think my sister-in-law visted us for the entire 2yr lifespan of good ol' Alysheba!! She was very afraid of her and thought she looked to much like a rat!!

    Well I will admit that Ronnie and Loretta Swit are kinda cute, and no doubt awesome pets, but I just can't get past those tails!! Bre has asked for one, but I quickly deterred her to the fish section. (sidenote:hated the fish even more)

    PS Love the pics of Mimi and the rats! (but the tail lying across her hand in pic#7 almost sent me into a fit!!)

  7. I've never owned a rat myself, but I've known several great rats, including one that lived in a preschool. If the kids stuck their fingers in the cage, she would just suck on them. So sweet. I think about one for my classroom every so often, but I'm not sure where we would put it. We already have a fish tank (and the kids adore the fish, so it stays), and I'm guessing that like the dwarf hamsters I used to have as a teen, and the current fish then need to be away from the windows... not much space for them, and I really don't have time for one more thing, even a low maintenance thing. But they would be fun!

  8. You crack me up! and the pictures are great as always! But If I had to pick a pet.......I'll take that little Mimi:) She's a doll.


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