Would your grandmother invite a rat to Thanksgiving?

September 18, 2012

The rat

I don’t remember a lot about my first mouse. She was followed by a series of adventurous, devious hamsters that dominate my memoria rodentus. But I do distinctly remember one time when my Grandmother visited us in California. I took my mouse and ‘surprised’ her with it, dropping it on her shoulder. Her face is as vivid in my mind as the day I moused her. I have never seen her look so aghast, and she wasn’t play-acting. She was a good sport about it during the visit, but she and my mouse agreed to keep their distance.
Today, our first rodent joined our home. We had planned on a hamster, but after babysitting one, they seemed a little too easy to get lost. A little research on rats suggested they are quite intelligent (‘what does that really mean?’, my husband asked, ‘can it tutor the kids?’) and easy to care for. It has even been suggested that we can clicker-train the rat to do tricks. While this sounds great, I suspect our new $2 clicker will find a cozy place next to the foreign language DVDs, the dusty piano, my canning and quilting equipment, and the yoga ball.
After we bought the Luxury Rat Pet Home, we picked up our new friend at the Humane Society. (Yes, we went with one of the older rats that didn’t quite make the cut the first time around. I’ll let you know how that pans out). My kids were so excited, and it was time to let the grandparents, aunt and uncle know about Sammy.
Their uncle gushed over the picture of the rat, and asked what he could send to Sammy to make him the most ‘killer’ rat palace ever. He and my daughter rattled on about obstacle courses, etc., for a while. Then she called her grandmother, my mom, who had been through my mouse and 3 hamsters. She also thought Sammy was adorable, and I left them to chat. After a bit, they hung up, and my daughter said, “Sammy can go with us to California when we visit for Thanksgiving.” Now that’s one awesome grandmother, who clearly hasn’t seen how big the cage is.
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