by Rebecca McLeod
Rebecca shares with KRL another fun story from the perspective of her pet rats. This one may resemble a certain musical.
Cast of Characters:
Willow: a high-strung blue and white doe, mother of fifteen.
Gonzo: the notorious one-eyed hairless hermaphrodite, mother of eleven.
Cloud: a refined Himalayan rat, a rescue who moved to the Rattery with her young daughter.
Bob: a sweet, but not too bright little blue doe, Sister to Willow.
Sitting round a table fashioned of a Q-Tip Box, the mother does enjoyed a late brunch, compliments of their offspring and indulgent owner. There were scrambled eggs, sliced fruit, and veggies with a little brown bread to round out the edges of the meal. As the hustle of snagging the best pieces of food died down, the does began to compare notes on Mother’s Day and how their individual sessions with their offspring had gone.
“I got ear cream,” volunteered Cloud, who was considered a very fancy rat. She went to the salon regularly to get her tummy bleached and have her ears and nose darkened. The other does suspected a little tail waxing was also done on the sly, but of course no one dared bring that up.
“For eating?”asked Bob.
“No, silly, so that my ears don’t get wrinkly!”
The other does thought about this. They were unable to recall if they’d ever seen another rat with wrinkly ears, but perhaps this ear cream stuff was the reason. All resolved to put it on the grocery list.
“So what did your babies get you, Gonzo?” asked Cloud.
Gonzo scowled. “One of dose cheeky little buggers got me a Father’s Day card instead. He’s definitely getting poop in his stocking this year!”
“But Gonzo, you does have…y’know–” Bob tried to think of a diplomatic phrase, “–spare parts.”
“They just make me awesomer, not a daddy! I know who my babies’ daddy is and he owes me cashews!” snapped Gonzo.
“Eleven babies and then he goes to the Rainbow Bridge before I can raise dem all. When I see him, he’d better have a whole food stash waiting.”
“Men!” Cloud sighed. “I never got so much as a carrot out of Mike. They have no idea what it’s like trying to raise twelve babies at once.”
“I’d like to point out that some of us had more than that,” preened Willow, who held the rattery’s record with fifteen babies, all who lived to adulthood.
“Ya, but your babies were shrimpy,” Gonzo retorted, “My babies can beat ‘em up, no problem.”
“Gonzo’s babies beat everyone up,” Bob mourned dolefully. She had recently been held upside down and deprived of a strawberry by Gonzo’s biggest baby, Snowball.
“Ya Gonzo, you needa speak to your babies about that,” agreed Cloud, who privately thought that Gonzo’s four white daughters, the biggest rats in the entire cage, could use more than just a little talking to.
Gonzo grinned. “They’re my miracle babies. Everyone said I couldn’t get pregnant, but I sure showed them!”
“And how!” muttered Cloud into her piece of watermelon.
“I was a teen mom with no family to support me,” began Gonzo, launching into the familiar story. The other does silently groaned and focused on their food.
“Separated from my mother at a very young age, I was saved from being snake food and rescued by a lady who thought I was a boy and then I got sent here where they also thought I was a boy. The boy rats figured out that I was both and we had an awesome time until Mom freaked out on us. She said that I probably wasn’t pregnant, but I got to be the size of a tennis ball and then one day…”she left a dramatic pause, “I made babies. Lots! And even though I hairless and we terrible at nursing babies, I was awesome at it and all my babies made it and now they’re big enough to beat us up,” she finished in triumph.
“And that’s a good thing?” asked Willow, drily.
“Snowball seems to like it,” said Bob, scarfing a piece of pineapple. She was so happy to have been invited to a brunch where the babies couldn’t take food from her, she couldn’t care what conclusions Gonzo drew.
“At least I not a baby-eater,” muttered Gonzo. Willow spat out a piece of bread, stung by the accusation.
“I never ate any! I shuffled them around! I can’t help it if I’m high-strung!”
“Bet there were sixteen and you ate one!” taunted Gonzo.
“Oh c’mon Gonzo, that’s mean!” protested Bob. “She can’t help her nerves.”
“Well den she better stop talking smack about my babies. They’re my babies and I say they’re awesome.”
“Fine,” agreed Cloud quickly, “everyone’s babies and mothering skills are wonderful. Fight over. Now, what would everyone like to do for Father’s Day?”
The reply was unprintable.
Check out more of Rebecca’s rat stories in KRL’s rodent ramblings section.