by Stephanie Cameron
Stephanie Cameron is a volunteer with Rattie Ratz Rescue in the bay area of California. Each month KRL will be featuring at least one animal rescue adventure story, and every other month there will be one from Rattie Ratz.
As any rat owner can attest to, once you’ve owned rats, it can be difficult to not have them in your life. The house just seems so empty without the sounds of the water bottle, frantically spinning wheel, dinner time munching and all other manner of noises associated with having rats. Rats may have small bodies, but they have a large presence and an even larger impact on the lives of their owners!
One such quiet household belonged to Jessica Goodman who contacted Rattie Ratz Rescue in August of 2016 because she knew it was time for some more ratties in her life. She has owned pet rats all her life and missed their furry little antics. Rattie Ratz quickly matched her up with two bonded neutered males, Mischief (agouti Berkshire) and Midget (black Berkshire). The boys were soon affectionately renamed Frankenstein and Dr. Teeth, aka Frank and Doc for short. Soon after adopting Frank and Doc, Jessica adopted a third male (black dumbo hood) from the Peninsula Humane Society in Burlingame. He was renamed Mortimer (aka Mort) and became a half-brother to Frank and Doc.
According to Jessica, “Frank is by no means a monster and is way more attractive than the creature portrayed in books and movies. He is so mellow–to the point where he reminds me of a big floppy dog that gets to lie in the sun all day and his only concerns are eating and playing. He particularly enjoys avocado and wheat crackers (obviously in moderation!) and definitely perks up for his special treats!” Frank is a big lazy boy who enjoys long naps and gets his exercise by walking – “a brisk walk if he is feeling frisky that day, while the other two smaller guys are running circles around him.” Frank reminds Jessica of an “older grandpa type figure who must think to himself ‘those silly whippersnappers’ when the two zip by him.”
Doc has been affectionately named after the leader of the Muppet rock band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem who debuted on The Muppets Show in the 1970s. Although Doc doesn’t have an orange beard, Jessica tells us that “the puppet and Doc have the same happy innocent look in their eyes and Doc (I swear!) smiles and has a little smirk that reminds me of the puppets (who is also always smiling!). He is just totally carefree, joyful, and doesn’t seem bothered by anything or anyone!” Doc is missing part of his tail–he came to Rattie Ratz like this so nobody knows what happened – but it doesn’t slow him down in the slightest. Doc’s personality seems to fall in between the other two males and he gets to enjoy the best of both worlds. “He can get frisky and playful with Mort or just take an extended nap with Frank – he is content either way – and just follows his fellow rat mates depending on what they are doing and where. Doc is an almond and hard-boiled egg lover when it comes time for special treats!”
Although Mort wasn’t adopted from Rattie Ratz, he is just as important in the Goodman household and takes seriously his role as younger brother to Frank and Doc. Jessica describes Mort as a lightning bolt. “He is pure energy mixed with undying determination. Whether Mort is hiding his favorite treats around his rat castle or playing with his mellow rescue brothers, he gives each activity 110% and will do it twice as fast as anyone else can!” Mort is named after Mortimer Mouse, a Mickey Mouse character that debuted in the 1930’s as Mickey Mouse’s rival. According to Jessica, Mort is just as intelligent and crafty as his namesake. Mort loves everything and is so full of life and eager energy that sometimes his own body can’t keep up with him. Every once in a while Jessica will see Mort running so fast during play time that he either trips over himself, or he will crash into one of his brothers – causing quite the rattie pile up! Mort is also a lover of carbs and his favorite snack is anything bread (which I’m sure a lot of us humans can relate to!). Mort is the shoulder rat of the group and this is when Jessica and Mort have special bonding time.
Jessica no longer has a quite house, but a home full of rambunctious and curious rats that are always ready to share a cuddle or wrestling match. Jessica tells us that: “I could not have been happier and more surprised by how much personality and tenacity these bonded boys have. Both Frank and Doc have come out of their shells, with training and patience from me, but also from their other rescue half-brother Mort. The three boys are quite a sight to see, I believe they all have gained positive behavior traits from each other, but also now have a general sense of true happiness. Although each of the three rats is extremely different in demeanor, they make a great team, and together (myself included!) have shown that true bonds can be created despite your differences and backgrounds.”
If you would like to know more about Rattie Ratz Rescue you can visit their Facebook page. If you are interested in adoptable rats or volunteering for Rattie Ratz Rescue you can visit their website: www.rattieratz.com.
Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section & watch for more stories from Rattie Ratz every other month. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Rattie Ratz.