by Rebecca McLeod
Rebecca shares with KRL another fun story from the perspective of her pet rats.
Tommy: the senior member of the Boys Cage; a Siamese, mostly deaf
Spotty Boy: the famous 101 Spots the neutered rat
El Dorado: the handsome young PEW who will one day rule the Boys Cage
Captain Smudge: Tommy’s boyfriend
The members of the Boys Cage are lounging in their hammocks and an old iced tea box. Tails dangle comfortably, friendly grooming goes on, and they make conversation while they wait for “Out Time.”
“Personally, I thought your presentation was just wonderful, Spotty Boy,” says Captain Smudge.Spotty Boy shifts in the hammock and beams modestly. “Weren’t nothin’, just an observation from personal experience.”
An elderly, mostly deaf Siamese pokes his head out from the box “Wut?”
“Observation, Dad! Personal experience!” yells a PEW from the next hammock. The Siamese nods.
“I had one of those there personal experiences once. Nice doe, didn’t get her name but ears like a pair of sails—woohoooo!”
“Ewww! Dad!” chorus half of the cage who are the direct descendants of the deaf Siamese. He grins unrepentantly.
Suddenly their cage door opens and closes. They look up.
“Food bowl? Veggies?” asks Spotty hopefully.
The PEW leans out of his hammock, peering down nearsightedly. “Not as far as I can tell.” He hops out of the hammock and trots down to the floor of the cage.
“Uh, guys? We got a problem.”
“Ladies??” asks Spotty excitedly, nearly falling out of the hammock.
Spotty leans out even further to catch a glimpse of the surprise, and succeeds in falling on his head. Thankfully he bounces, landing in front of the surprise.
“Hi dere,” says the surprise.
Spotty Boy looks up and focuses on a pink shape in front of him.
“Wut the—mah lord, it’s an alien!” He heaves to his feet and hastily back-waddles (not to be mistaken with back peddling) away from the eerie figure.
“Aliens?!” shrieks Captain Smudge, diving into the iced tea box with Tommy.
The “alien” giggles.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Spotty, it’s just a giant pinkie that can talk,” says the PEW, El Dorado, “One of them child proddygees. I saw it on TV,” he adds, with an air of authority.
“Hi guys. I is a Patchwork rat,” announces the figure, “I just little so please to not bite me, ok?”
“You’re a quilt?”
“Where’s the alien?” yells Tommy, peering out of the iced tea box, Smudge cowering behind him. The little alien squeaks and dives under Spotty who cringes away.
“It’s right, you cain’t bite a baby even if they look tasty,” explains Tommy, “Where’d you leave your clothes, kid?”
“I born this way,” says the little creature proudly.
“Ah think Lady Gaga mighta had you in mind when she wrote it,” mutters Spotty, “You smell weird.”
“And you’re fat and has a big mouth and no balls,” retorts the little creature. Spotty glares at it.
“Remember, baby truce, Spotty,” calls Tommy.
“Baby truce is bull pucky,” mutters Spotty under his breath, going to sulk in the litter box.
“You do smell kinda…odd. Are you sure you’re a boy?” asks El Dorado, sniffing at the little creature.
“Never said I was a boy.”
“You’re a girl??”
“Didn’t say that either,” replies the little animal, wandering over to the food bowl, “What’s for dinner?”
“I didn’t catch your name, little, er, rattie.”
“Gonzo. Mom says I weird like him.”
El Dorado sneaks closer while Gonzo’s head is in the food bowl and he makes an inspection of a personal nature on the little rat. His ruby eyes widen.
“Holy Cheeses, you’ve got both!”
“Toldya I was born dis way,” replies the little patchwork, munching on a rat block.
“Mom put you in here knowing that you have a lady part and boy parts?”
“Nope, she got no idea. She finks I’m a boy,” grinned Gonzo.
El Dorado begins bruxxing happily. “Spotty’s got no balls, Dad’s got a boyfriend, and Smudge is gay.”
Gonzo winks at him and flutters his/her ears sassily.
“Might you like to come back to my Kleenex box, Gonzo? I have some leftover carrot and I do believe HBO has a special on tonight. . .”
Gonzo sits up and begins preening his/her whiskers.
“Well, I’m not easy but…”
The other male rats look at each other in disgust and go back to sleep.
Twenty minutes later, I look in on Gonzo and actually interrupt the lovers in flagrante delicto. Gonzo and El Dorado’s babies are now about fifteen days old and the only question that remains is who will be receiving the card on Father’s Day.