Owning rats, or as some say, being owned by rats, is a journey. For me it began with being intensely rat-phobic to where I am now, rat-obsessed (ok, i admit it).


Saying Goodbye...

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I didn't get to write about my last crew. They were sweethearts, all of them. The girls: Lolly (aka Lolly-Dolly), Pepper and Scooter and the boys: Alvin, Simon and Theodore, aka Theodorable (the last to leave). Unfortunately (and fortunately) we got adopted by a stray cat who is a huntress. The kids had to be kept far away from the rest of the family except when Stompy (our cat) wasn't around. Stompy actually reached in and grabbed Simon after jumping over a barricade we had erected to keep her away (he wasn't hurt, but was VERY scared). It just wasn't fair to them and made me very sad. After Theodore died I made the difficult decision not to get any more little rattie friends as long as our cat is with us.

So I say goodbye to this blog and a very sad goodbye to ratties for now. I will leave this blog here for any value it might have to current or prospective rat owners and I hope that others will find a place in their hearts for these misunderstood, loving, social and funny creatures. Every rat that I had taught me something about myself and about life.

R.I.P. little Pez 1-7-08

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Pez was the cutest rat in the world. The pictures cannot do her justice at all. It was something about the combination of her goofy looks, her low-slung dumbo ears, her silly galloping waddle and her crazy, loving personality. Named Pez because she looked like a little pez dispenser standing up, she inspired love and poetry.

She died suddenly. It was a shock. I found her yesterday evening when I opened the cages to give everyone a string cheese snack. When she didn't run to the door I knew. I don't know what happened, she had been out the previous day and was active and happy... maybe a stroke? I hope it was fast. I think it was, her face looked peaceful and her eyes were closed.

I am going to miss that crazy little rat so much. She reminded me so much of my first heart-rat, Penelope. I remember when she was a baby if you picked her up when she was busy she would give this loud squeak, not mad but just letting you know she had things to do, places to go. She loved people and always wanted to be with her people. She was a busy, busy girl but had to have frequent snuggles to get loves. The older she got the more she loved to snuggle. And she would really snuggle - cuddled up near your neck or in your arms, sometimes resting her chin on your hand. And her big, beady eyes would look up at you with love and curiousity.

Sweet rat, I hope you and Penelly find each other and are great friends. Your uncle Bunny will see you soon. You have a big piece of my heart. I'm glad we took these pics a couple of weeks ago.


Holiday Gifts - PEW rat and Fairy print

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This 8 x 10" print by Jasmine Becket-Griffith reminds me of my first rat, Rattie. There is only one left in stock on her etsy site.

You can also see more of her art on her official website www.strangeling.com.


In the spirit of buying handmade and supporting rats and ratlovers, I am going to try and showcase an artist/craftsperson each day until December 12.

This $5 gift pack by Voz features a card with one of my favorite images of a mom and baby rat. It really captures the spirit of rats.

The goodie bag description from Voz's Etsy site:

You get one blank card with an illustration of a mommy and baby rat cuddling, one spiffy magnet featuring an enthusiastic flag-waving rat, and four stickers (two of each design) for fancifying surfaces that are glaringly rat-free.

The card is 4x5 inches and comes with a red envelope.

The magnet is a 2" square photo transfer with a a glittery gloss varnish and sturdy 3/4" magnet on the back.

The stickers are self-adhesive, made of paper and printed with waterproof ink.

You can also find more of Voz's wonderful animal-loving art (including aardvarks and guinea pigs) on her website www.fishcakes.net.


Kind Rats

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This article in the New York Times (shared by Jane A. of the ratlist) about kindness in rats will not be a surprise to those of us who have rats but hopefully it will start to change some stereotypes.

I've had to go no-mail on the ratlist this past year because of my job and husband's health but I pop in from time to time and it is good to see some of the old familiar names still there.

Best-selling author talks about his pet rats

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Fresh Air from WHYY, May 14, 2007 ยท Wondering what your pet is trying to tell you with that bizarre habit or that pleading look? Dodman is the best-selling author of The Dog Who Loved Too Much and The Cat Who Cried for Help. His latest is Puppy's First Steps: The Whole-Dog Approach to Raising a Happy Healthy, Well-Behaved Puppy.

At the end of the interview on NPR (National Public Radio), Terry Gross asks Dodman about the pets he has at home. He mentions a rat (he had two but one died of old age) and Terry asks him "Why a rat"? He gives a wonderful and personal endorsement of why rats make such good pets. You can listen to the interview on the NPR website.


Rat Trick Video

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This link was recently shared by a member of the RatsPacNW group (a great and active group stretching from Northern California to Washington). It shows a very food-motivated rat doing some tricks. I shortened the link to make it easier to get to http://tinyurl.com/ywnedp

Tired of Leaking Water Bottles?

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I've been meaning to post this one for awhile. I thought I would never find a water bottle that didn't leak. I tried several different brands and then I found THE best water bottles.

We moved the rats in the car from California to Portland, Oregon and I kept the bottles in the cages during the move, which you definitely cannot do with regular bottles, and there was absolutely no leakage.

It takes the rats a little while to get used to drinking from it but it is well worth it. The nozzle is brass and the bottle is outside the cage so heavy chewers can't damage it. They can also be refilled from outside the cage which is very convenient at times (definitely when you are travelling!)

They are called Water Buddies and you can get them in various sizes. You can check out the reviews from users and order from here.

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  • Portland, OR, United States
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