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Rats in the COVID Shuffle: The Shrews

IN THE January 16 ISSUE

FROM THE 2021 Articles,
andPets,
andRodent Ramblings
SECTIONS

by Alyssa Nader

Alyssa Nader 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.

Rats: always a handful.

Rattie Ratz mission is to find loving forever homes for all the rats who come our way. Many of our volunteers (including myself!) enjoy our own personal ratties just like the folks who adopt from us. Since we are in the business of rescue, we often come across our future pets at unexpected times and in unexpected ways.

Last January, I interviewed Skye for a KRLM story about their lovely rats, Lulu and Dora. This was pre-COVID, so I got the opportunity to meet the ratties in person and greatly enjoyed their adorable personalities (and a few kisses).

This is normal. Normal rats

Some time later, I received a call from Skye. Due to the pandemic, Skye needed to move, and where they were going was unfortunately not able to accept rats, or any pets. They asked if perhaps me and my sister wanted to take Lula and Dora in.

At the time, we had only one rat who was very old and getting quite sick. We were not sure if we wanted to continue to keep personal ratties, but (as it happens!) new ratties who needed us came into our lives. We considered “fostering” them, but quickly fell deeply in love.

On the move (cage is tiny because it’s just for travel!).

Some pet owners choose to rename a pet when they adopt. I have kept some rat names that I thought were funny, and changed others. Lulu and Dora both had a lovely, distinctive strawberry blonde color, and they were extremely jumpy and fast. One was a little fatter than the other, but otherwise they were all but identical and we generally couldn’t tell them apart. My sister and I did the reasonable thing–we gave up on individual names. We started referring to both rats collectively as The Shrews. It’s definitely a funny conversation every time someone asks for their names.


Collective organism: the Shrews

As rats do (in a whole year), the Shrews are getting older. They have slowed down and come to relax the constant running for a little bit of cuddling. We also moved and the Shrews did well through this journey. Our parents are huge fans. My dad was referring to them as mice for a while, and now loves to come into their room to offer them nuts, seaweed, and other snacks. They are some seriously lovable little shrews.

Rattie Ratz is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to help all domesticated ratties who come to us find a loving, forever home.

Rattie Ratz: Rescue, Resource, & Referral
Click here to email us at: info@rattieratz[dot]com
Call us at: (415) 340-1896

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section & watch for more stories from Rattie Ratz every other month. We also have a Facebook group specifically for our pet articles and would love you to join! Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Rattie Ratz.

Alyssa Blake Nader is a writer and mental health professional living in the Bay Area. She is new to the rat community and mother to two rat brothers named Bitey and Pablo. In her free time, she enjoys creating art, improve performance, dancing to techno, and bothering everyone about rats.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Kathy T. January 19, 2021 at 9:54am

I always enjoy articles about the ratties and Rattie Ratz Rescue.

Reply

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