Monday, June 29, 2009

Oh, Rats

I'm an animal lover, but I draw the line at insects, rodents, and reptiles. They freak me out and I really don't want them in my house, let alone as pets. We have a dog and probably always will and for as long as we've had kids we have had fish (constantly replacing them as they die).

This morning we awoke to find the two fish we've had for quite a while belly up. In the past I just replace them before the kids notice, but this morning my daughter was quicker than I was so I leveled with her and told her they had died. What followed was a series of questions about how they died, why they died, where they'll go now (after we ceremoniously flushed them down the toilet), and what new pet we can get next.

I suggested more fish. However, my daughter said she was "over" fish and wanted a turtle. I like turtles, think they are cute but after a quick google search revealed they are one of the worst pets you can get a child due to the fact they are carriers of salmonella which apparently is transferred pretty easily to a child, that idea was nixed.

A friend suggested a rat and as I was doing a little research my daughter saw a picture online and it was love at first site (Yes, with a rat!) "Oh, that is so cute. I love that rat. I want to get it and it can sleep in my bed with me, and I'll tuck it in." My response. "Seriously?" I hate rats. We have little field mice out here in the desert and I hate seeing them running around. The last thing I want is one in my house that I invited in to stay. After hours of talking about this rat I relented and agreed to go to the pet store.

Right away she and my son fell in love with a Fancy Blue Rat (whatever the heck that means). As I was talking to the "Rodent Expert" the kids just sat there talking to her. I couldn't resist. We got the rat, and the cage, and the food, and all the other millions of things a rat needs.

I'll admit that she's got a good temperament; she lets the kids poke and prod her and she seems happy for the attention. And I'll even admit that I am slightly fascinated by how coordinated and agile she seems to be. But I don't want to touch it or hold it or clean its cage or do anything else that will put me in contact with it. Domesticated or not, it's a rat.


Joanne said...

Oh was I surprised! I thought for sure you'd nix the rat idea! They sweet-talked you right into it, didn't they? You're just a softy at heart :)

P.S. What's the rat's name?

hereinfranklin said...

My sister had two gerbils. One gave birth and the other one ate the babies. So you might want to spay your rat.

Moxymama said...

What can I say, I am weak. :)
I told my husband that my biggest fear was that they gave me a pregnant rat...only time will tell....we got a pregnant beta fish once who gave birth to over 20 babies and then she killed them all.