June 3, 2005 8:29 AM   Subscribe

Ratablog If the rats could type (or more accurately, if they could type actual words and refrain from peeing on the keyboard) they would tell their own stories. They can't, so we will.
posted by srboisvert (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Awwww... Now my ratties have a blog to read.

Wait, WTF am I saying? Please shoot me.

It is here I announce my rats' totally awesome names: Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein. Yeah, they're little ratty literary wunder-lesbians.
posted by loquacious at 9:54 AM on June 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

I find myself struggling to adequately articulate my profound disgust with this blog, the implied cuddliness of the repulsive vermin showcased therein, and its deeply pathetic creator.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 9:56 AM on June 3, 2005

Yep, Max...you did struggle with that articulation... and failed, I'm afraid... (based on the use, therein, of the word "therein", and the use of a seemingly nonword "cuddliness"). I also have problems with people that "find themselves"...people who are actually able to "lose themselves" in the first place just have no credibility with me... they seem to be very, very, careless.

(and...nonword may be a nonword, I'm not sure)

that was fun.. :)

last... cute naked rat was hard to not look at..... makes ya want to knit a little blanket or something for it.
posted by HuronBob at 10:26 AM on June 3, 2005

Thanks for this. A short visit for me, and I probably won't come back to read more, but the memorial page reminded me of my own little Ratboy. He was a great rat. I put a little memorial to him on my own website. He was a hooded rat (Long-Evans variety, to be precise). My wife and I loved him a lot more than we thought we would. Lots of good memories of the fat little guy over the short few years he lived with us. I don't think I could have another pet rat though, what with my current crop of catboys. They seem to think anything smaller than them is food.

MaxVonVerminHater - sure, people who have rats as pets get that sort of thing all the time. To put it into perspective though, rats are mammals, social, and are actually quite friendly. A much more interactive pet than say, a gecko or other lizard (not social, will never bond with you, etc.) and easier for people who can't keep a dog or cat for reasons of space or housing restrictions. Unlike the other popular rodent pets, rats are used to living in groups (hamsters for example - most varieties anyway - are antisocial loners) and as such will readily bond with their owners. Rats also do not smell terribly bad (mouse urine is amazingly stinky!) so long as you keep clean bedding available. Much like a cat box - it only stinks if you don't do your job, which is not the fault of the animal using the facilities.

So fine, don't like rats if you don't want to do so. It's understandable, they have a bad reputation (undeserved as it may be). But before you vent your disgust at the idea of others wanting to have a pet rat, think about this: A postdoc in my lab is from south India. He personally doesn't understand why anyone would want to share his or her home with a non-human. "Why have a dog or cat?" he asked me. "What's the point?" The idea of actually inviting a (probably dirty) mammal into the home just didn't appeal to him at all. What you keep (or don't keep) as a pet is as much a cultural choice as it is a personal one. Like any cultural thing, it makes sense to err on the side of polite acceptance of other people's "odd" habits, rather than openly expressing your distaste for the practice.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:43 AM on June 3, 2005

I like rats. So far I have had pretty good experiences with them. When I was 11 I had two as pets. When I cleaned their cage I found my fathers cufflinks from his dresser drawer, and many other shiny things. Seems they could open their cage, explore the house, then return and close it.

Once I left my NYC loft empty for a few months and had a few move in. They made their nest in the cashmere sweater drawer, got to give them credit for taste.

When I got back I said "hey you guys, get out of here" and they did. I know other people have had different experiences, but rats take a lot of shit for not having fluffy squirrel tails.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:02 AM on June 3, 2005

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble typing actual words and not peeing on the keyboard.
posted by MrFancypants at 12:34 PM on June 3, 2005

Hey, I identify. I take a lot of shit for not having a fluffy squirrel tail either.
posted by ancientgower at 12:51 PM on June 3, 2005

I like it! Very whimsical...and pets blogging is one of the best things about the internet! Rats are kinda cute.
posted by davidmsc at 1:42 PM on June 3, 2005

A much more interactive pet than say, a gecko or other lizard (not social, will never bond with you, etc.)

Hi. Wrong.

My spectacled caiman, Scott, bonded with me immediately. Rather, he bonded with my hand, but after the stitches came out he never bit me again. We had a very strong bond. He would come when I called, and walk on a leash. He never bit me again, and would swim up to me and open his mouth like a big smile. :)
I'd like to see some dumb rat eat a fish in one bite.
The idea that herps are unable to recognize their owners is bogus. Their capacity for learning complex tricks and such is lacking, but they know who feeds them, and when. They won't betray you and if you spend time with them (really spend time with them) they can be just as loving as a retarded furry meat sack.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:26 PM on June 3, 2005

Thank you for the name of my next rat. Though it would probably be better suited for a ferret, and prefaced with "Super", as in "super retarded furry meat sack".

Rats seem to be more like dogs than cats. They do ridiculously stupid things like leaping off the tops of bookshelves, running into walls, falling off things, and otherwise bonking themselves stupid.

The ones I have now like to box and roughhouse. I'll thwap them about the head or haunches lightly a few times and they go *poinging* around the room and come back for more.

They also like yogurt. Except they don't know how to eat it, so they just try to grab big gloppy fistfuls of it and run off like they can actually carry it. And like dogs, a dab of peanut butter keeps them busy for hours.

Years and years ago as a youngin', I had a rat that developed a taste for kite flying. As in flying on kites. My brother and I would take our rats down to the park to just hang out and do ratty things, and one day we decided to bring our kites with us.

Honestly, we never even thought of intentionally combining the two activities. One rat or another was on one of our shoulders just as we were launching the kite. The rat ran out on to the kite and grabbed the crossbar, and the next thing we know there's a rat is 50 feet in the air, gingerly walking around on the back of the wobbling kite and just checking out the view.

We panicked, frantically winding in the string to bring the rat back to earth. At about 15-20 feet or so the rat jumps, lands in the grass, bounces a foot in the air, and comes running happily over to us, only to repeat the stunt again on the very next kite launch minutes later. So we left him up there, letting out a hundred-plus feet of string. He never fell off or jumped from any serious heights, but would usually jump off within a dozen or two dozen feet from the ground, which he seemed to be entirely ok with. We didn't know then that rats are designed to fall from trees and other heights, so it always freaked us out.

They lived for quite a long time for ratties - over two and a half years - despite all of this.

Today, the ASPCA and/or PETA would probably flip a heavily-powdered wig over this kind of thing. But we never, ever forced the rat into going flying. He would run out and grab the crossbar on his own basically every time we would go fly kites. That rat got up there on the end of a 1000 foot spool a couple of times.
posted by loquacious at 3:46 AM on June 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

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