by Kim Davis
This story is by Kim Davis, a happy rat mom who adopted her two girls through Rattie Ratz.
I became a first time rattie mom back in June 2016. Misty was approximately three months old when we got her, and extremely shy. Every day I would offer her a treat as I walked by her cage, making sure to talk softly and to not make any fast or sudden movements. I would pet her very gently, but never ask her to come out. Soon, we got to the point that when I opened her cage door she was willing to climb onto my shoulder. She still wouldn’t step onto my hand, so I had to lean down and offer my shoulder each time.
Once she got over that initial shy stage, Misty became a completely different rat. She is inquisitive and fearless. She has a great time running all around the house and she amazes us with her athletic abilities. Her favorite thing to do is play in our dresser. She burrows into all the socks and t-shirts and climbs up and down the back of the drawers. It’s like a four story condo for her! She also “steals” items from around our bedroom and takes them back to the dresser. Occasionally we find an entire stash of rat treasures at the bottom of the drawers.
We knew from doing our rat parent homework that most rats are much happier with a friend to play and snuggle with and share grooming duties. So in January we contacted Rattie Ratz and fortunately they had a shy, young female (now our Ruby) that they felt would do well with Misty. We introduced them slowly, putting their cages next to each other so they could see and smell one another without feeling territorial. They acted anxious at first, but quickly settled into eating and grooming without seeming to care much about what the other was doing.
The next step was switching the girls to the others cage. Again they seemed excited and jumpy at first but quickly settled down. Finally, we put Misty and Ruby in the shower stall together since it was a confined but neutral space. They took to each other almost immediately.
Ruby is kind of like the annoying little sister that follows Misty everywhere, even when Misty throws out an occasional back foot in protest. Ruby is the affectionate one who gives kisses and is more easily startled. She is also a hoarder. Ruby steals all the food (sometimes right out of Misty’s hands!) and takes it to their hideout. She is rounder and less agile than Misty, so she often can’t get to all the places her sister goes. Misty is the daredevil, leaping from cage to counter and counter to passing shoulder…she basically uses us humans as bridges to get from one place to another.
We are happy to have Misty and Ruby as part of our family and I share stories about them to anyone who doesn’t know much about rats or feels that they are dirty, mean or scary. Nothing could be further from the truth! I tell them our girls are funny, smart, entertaining, clean, social, and that they even come when we call them. I bet they can’t say that about their teenagers! 😉
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. We have several pet rat related articles this week to celebrate World Rat Day on April 4. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Rattie Ratz.