I Wish I Was...

A rat. More specifically, one of my rats, or another domesticated rat. When I come home in the afternoons, the first thing I do is go say hi, and they're always asleep. I always keep the top cage door open, because rats are smart: they won't jump unless they know where they're going. (Their smarts manifest themselves in other ways, which I'll get to later.) So I say something to wake them up, and a couple of faces will poke up out of the hanging basket they like to sleep in, and one will peer out at me from the wooden hutch they also like... they blink sleepily at me, and usually Benny will yawn two or three times before stumbling out of the basket to wander over to the door so he can sniff me, lick me, etc. I'm almost guaranteed a "Benny Stretch," which is where he yawns hugely (sometimes making a "smack smack smack" noise afterward) while outstretching one of his arms to rest on my hand. Then I walk away, and they all go back to sleep. Occasionally all three will attempt to pile into the hanging basket, and much squeaking and rearranging ensues, until they all pass out, the one on the top hanging out around the rim and another's nose barely poking out between the bodies of the other two. (That's 5.5 lbs of rat butt in there.)

Several hours later, I open the bottom cage door after I've set up little fences around the things I don't want them to get into, and they all scamper across the floor, fighting and sniffing and dragging socks and paper and stuff back to the cage. Grover, the prettiest one, has an uncanny instinct for places I don't want him to get to, and no matter how hard I try I can't seem to keep him from getting out of the fenced-in area and going behind the TV, into my pile of dirty laundry, etc. I can't figure it out, and even weirder, when I realize he's gone and call for him, he always comes! He pokes his head out from behind the cage, or wherever, on the wrong side of the fence, as if to say, "Yes? What are you freaking out about?" I don't think he really even knows he's in trouble, I just think he's the most curious and the smartest. He was the only one who ever figured out how to get down off the couch (that sucked) and was also the only one to take flying leaps off of the side of the cage into the pile of dirty laundry to, once again, find his way out of bounds.

Then I rustle the food bag, and they poke their little noses out from wherever they've been chewing on something, and then they all pile back into the cage. I listen to them crunching and squeaking (in their infinite battles for supremacy... no one ever actually wins, they just get their bellies groomed) as I fall asleep, and then when I wake up in the morning I go say hi again first thing... and Benny is curled up in a ball, Grover is stretched out next to him, and Pintado is resting his chin on Grover's back. What a life: sleep, snuggle, scamper, eat, sleep, snuggle.

LadyLaurenJayne LadyLaurenJayne
26-30, F
2 Responses Nov 29, 2007

What a delightful trio, and a lovely tribute to the quirks of their daily lives!

We had 3 when we were kids , cool pets! We had everything...My dad hated it and drew the line when we brought home a pelican, someone shot.