by Rebecca McLeod
Rebecca shares with KRL another fun story from the perspective of her pet rats.
Please note: there is no actual timeframe for this story in reality, but I kinda like it anyway.
Cast of Characters:
Pirate: The fearless leader of the rats; tiny and ferocious. Has a soft spot for her little sister Bob.
Bob: Pirate’s younger sister, an engineer, but not always the sharpest rat in the nest.
Gonzo: a hairless doe with one eye and a dozen hooligan babies.
Willow: an anxious blue hooded doe with even more babies than Gonzo. Fond of beauty rituals like tail moisturizing and tummy bleaching.
The Cats (Tikky, Babycat, Floppy)
Mom and Dad (Rebecca and Matthew)
“Mom ditched us?” Bob incredulously asked. “But I thought she loved us!”
“I bet it was that damn Tikky cat that talked her into it. I knew he was up to no good,” muttered Pirate. She’d seen that big tomcat staring at their cage, and she knew what cats were like. Shifty characters, although she rather admired how the little female Babycat would beat up Tikky (who weighed as much as two Babycats). There was a lot to be said for having a strong character.
“I heard Mom say something about it being too cold for us to try and move with her and Dad and the cats. Don’t you remember? She was crying all the time,” replied Gonzo the hairless doe. It was February on the prairies, and she was wearing a knitted Barbie sweater and a toque.
“Ya, and that’s why she brought us to Charmaine’s rat house. I like that Charmaine lady – she makes us a hot dinner every night!” exclaimed Bob happily, patting her little round tummy.
“It’s still not right – even if Charmaine is a better cook than Mom. I’ve got a plan,” said Pirate, leaning in to the circle of senior does. “I say we emig-rat.”
“But my name’s not Emma! I’m Bob,” replied Bob, reaching for another doughnut. Willow had thoughtfully brought snacks.
“Bob, I swear to God, you’re killing me here,” muttered Pirate.
“Oh no, Pirate, I love you – you’re my best friend! I would never-“
“Shut up and eat your damn doughnut, Bob! I’ll explain later!” snapped Pirate, twitching her tail in irritation.
“Ok Pirate. I like doughnuts.”
Pirate suppressed her urge to kickbox her sister around the cage. Bob would always be Bob.
“So what’s emig-rat?” asked Gonzo tactfully.
“Y’know how Mom moved to Florida? We’re gonna join her!”
“My license is suspended – I only looked away from the road for a minute,” replied Willow, “You know how my babies sometimes like to argue, and I had fourteen of them in the back seat and-”
“You’re not driving!” all the does yelled in chorus. Willow’s nervous tendencies hadn’t been helped by childbirth, and with fifteen babies running wild in the cage, her nerves were never going to be the same again.
“Now listen; I’ve got a couple of White Babies doing some research for me on how much this is gonna cost. They’re checking out a couple of options: mail, plane, boat, driving, etc. They’ll get back to us, but we can start fundraising now. I want each and every one of you to start saving human money – apparently cashews aren’t legal tender with the humans.”
“What’s Florida?” asked Willow.
“It’s nice there, very sunny – Gonzo could walk around naked all year long if she wore sunscreen – and they’ve got this thing called an ocean that’s very big and wet and also alligators. Apparently they’re like dinosaurs but bigger.”
“Oh Pirate, I’m not sure if I want a Florida,” whispered Bob, “Jurassic Park made me widdle myself, and I really don’t like baths!”
“Bob, I would never let the dino-gators get you. Now all of you muster our resources and start making money. Gonzo, I want you to get those floozy daughters of yours and organize a carwash. Everyone in bikinis – especially you.”
Gonzo bounced happily. She was an exhibitionist at heart.
“Willow, you need to start up your door-to-door beauty sales again. Get your kids to go with you and carry extra product.”
“But last time they started eating it!”
“Are you a total failure as a mother? Smarten them up, tan a couple of tails or send them to me if you have to. Bob, do you still have that little operation of yours out behind the food pile?”
“Yes Pirate, my ratshine still is going great! The boys say that it makes their whiskers curl with just one sip!”
“Good. You need to start peddling it to people who will pay you, though, and not in cashews. Try the hamsters. They like ratshine, right?”
“Who doesn’t? I mean, I’ve never had any,” blushed Willow, who did keep a suspicious flask in her purse.
“Ok, I’ll see you all in three days and I expect results! Operation Emig-Rat has begun!”
As they trotted away to their respective areas, all could hear Bob:
“I wish I knew who that Emma-rat person was. I never get to meet new people!”
The soft sound of Pirate grinding her teeth stayed with them all.
Check out more of Rebecca’s rat stories and other rat articles in KRL’s rodent ramblings section.