Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New additions to the family

Don't ask me why, but less than one month away from having enough $$ saved to buy that IPod Mini she's been wanting, Emily decided she wanted pet rats. So this morning I was off to Petco for a book, which she read cover-to-cover. Then back to Petco, where she purchased a nice large 3-level cage, food, bedding, toys, and of course, the rats. She chose 2 females: one is all white and the other is black and white. They are named Brooke and Summer, respectively (I wanted to name them Paris and Nicky). Campbell is understandably intrigued. He is remarkably well-behaved with them while they are in their exercise balls. But I wouldn't trust him near them otherwise. After all, he was bred to ferret out rodents such as these. Remember the mouse incidents of this past winter? They are cute little things. It will be neat if she is able to teach them some tricks. The small animal person at Petco told us about one of her rats who likes to go for rides in the car and will ride on her shoulder. It has figured out that the blinking light on the dashboard means the wheel is going to turn and will run down her arm and wrap its tail around the steering wheel so it can have a ride around the wheel. I think that's hysterical! (Don't count on hearing any stories like that about Emily's little girls, though.)


Helene said...

What a good mom you are to let her have pet rats in the house. It would never happen here :)

Caltechgirl said...

having had WAY more experience with rats than most people (I had pet rats as a kid and I worked with rats for 6 years doing my thesis), I'll say this:

1. let her have females only. males are SMELLY and can be very territorial (read: MEAN). Females that have never raised a litter of pups are generally super friendly and a good kids' pet.
2. rats are super smart for rodents. They can be trained to do all kinds of simple tasks using a food reward (like a piece of fruit or sugary cereal. Most of them LOVE froot loops, in my experience)
3. make sure the cage stays clean. Rats can get stressed pretty easily, and they can get pretty sick if their house gets too dirty.

Enjoy your furry little friends :)

DJG said...

Not this chick....drew the line at cats!!!

Rick J said...

Never had pet rats, although, back in college days I remember seeing a dead one about 10" long in the trash can. Bet it wasn't related to Brooke and Summer. As a kid we usually had a dog. Virginia's little brother had a duck (Reg) as a kid. Not a very bright critter if I remember correctly. It got too close to the fence and the doberman next door ate poor Reg one day. Come to think of it, rats might be just the ticket. :)

Philip said...

Rats, eh? I think I'll stick to my search for a new cat. Looking forward to some rat cam pics.

Marie said...

Oh boy! I guess they're all the rage now... We have a trap if you ever need it! ;-)

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