Hi!! I've been watching youtube videos of pet rats and what they need to have an awesome life.
Have I gone completely nuts? Sometimes i think i may have.
My daughter has been wanting a small pet for herself. She really wants cats, but my husband is allergic. So no cat. Ever. My thots on the whole idea: Cats pee in litter boxes and then step in their pee next time they have to go and then walk around the house. So i wasn't too sad that we can't have a cat. I like petting others' cats and holding them no problem, but i'm not crazy about having to clean out a litter box.
Then Katrina suggested hamsters. Little Rodents. Vermin, if you as me. One of her school friends had one for awhile. She seems to think she will love having and holding one of these furry rat- wannabees.
She's spent awhile talking about this hamster she needs and finally i told her we could go to the pet store to PRICE what it would cost to buy and outfit one of these critters. ( We could just catch a mouse the next time it comes into the house and give it a home in a cardboard box- all for free, but no, she wants one from a store.)
You've all heard about my total dislike of mice and cleaning up after them more than once on this site. So what am i thinking????
After we saw some stuff at a major chain store, we went to this other store, not quite so bright and shiny to see what they had. The lady there, when she heard our interest in hamsters/ gerbils asked us if she could interest us in a rat. She showed us the rats and told us they were more social than hamsters, less skittish and you could train them too. Right. They Poop, don't they?!! And pee. I don't want my house smelling of rat pee; neither do i want to find one under my foot some night. Actually what i really don't want is to be walking in my living room and noticing rat poop on the floor.
The lady had all the answers for my questions. She said her husband feels the same way..She has or had rats that play with her preschoolers play with on the coffee table. (Remind me never to put food on HER coffee table.) Their poop is dry, hard and easy to pick up. It's not 'dirty' as the rat is healthy and only in her house. She knows where it's been. For pee, you just have a towel around or put the item (ie a shirt) in the wash. Like baby messes. You spot clean the cage every day or so and clean it out each week. REal deep cleaning of all the toys, containers, warm fuzzy cloths etc. once a month or so. It can be done with just plain vinegar.
One video person puts all her plastic stuff in the dishwasher each month.. I'm assuming it's the regular dishwasher, not a special one just for animal stuff. (not so sure of that idea- i'm leaning towards a bath tub instead, or maybe just wiping with vinegar ). Today one of the workers at the cozy pet store, let us pet one/ hold it. OK i pet it. Twice. Just little times. Then it had a runny poop, which the guy said was stress poop. That might happen the first day we bring it home. HOW COME NO ONE ELSE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS?? I was just getting used to having to pick up some dry stuff off some chair and not having to disinfect the spot where it was laying, like i do when it's mice poop..Now i have to deal with runny poop, that the rat can step into or put its tail thru. Ug.
The lady we saw yesterday said she lives in the country also and gets/ got mice and hates that. But rat stuff is ok with her. She says I don't have to walk around the house after my daughter disinfecting wherever she let that rat out. OF course, if it's on a table where i'd later put food (ie my coffee table) she will be expected to do a wipe. Which will deter her, hopefully, from wanting to play with it there. I want to clean only enough to not be dirty. Not ocd clean.
The rest of it seems ok. They don't eat much, they can be taught to do tricks- even to be litter box trained!!! Definately the first trick Katrina will have to teach them.
They actually have cute little faces, and dumbo looking ears. Am i being convinced? Or is this just shopping therapy? You know, i get to go shopping for lots of stuff, and get the shopper's high. Will i come 'down' in a week and wonder what the **** i was thinking.
Or is this just a way for me to 'prove' to myself- and everybody else (like anyone actually cares) that i have licked this ocd thing? Or just so i can get the reaction of other people when i tell them we have rats? Can't wait to tell my daughter's therapist. He's the one i broke down to when we got mice last year and couldn't take it. Now i'm saying we want to house the critters.
Now here's the mom in me that wants to Use this in some way- In order to get the rats, Kat will need to do ........... x for her therapy. I just can't think what, except that she will have to feed the fruit and veggies to the rats herself . (Katrina has a very bad ocd phobia against fruit and veggies)
We took dad to visit the rats tonight cause he's less eager than i am to get new housemates. My female 'got to shop' thing is overriding my eww feeling.
Who would have guessed!!