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I'm Amanda! So happy you are here. Grab a glass of wine, read along, and let's be friends.

An unconventional pet.

Monday, February 14, 2011
So we've officially accomplished one of the 15 things on our pre-baby bucket list.  Number 14.  We've gotten a pet, but it isn't exactly the goldfish that we had originally planned on.  In fact it's sort of far from that.  Many of our other friends are either pregnant right now or are soon on their way (don't get me wrong - we think bringing a new life into the world is so cool and we're incredibly excited for them) however Kevin and I aren't quite in that phase of our lives yet, and we actually may have temporarily taken a sharp turn into the unconventional.  Not only are we not pregnant or planning on it anytime soon, but we've added a very different addition to our family.  Rats! 

Ok, we all know you're weird Amanda, but RATS?!  Really???

Well it all started off with me looking into what fish we should buy.  I researched diligently to try to find the coolest, lowest maintenance fish in the world.  But during my research I ran into a few snags.  No matter what fish you buy you can't get around the inevitable chore of cleaning out a fish tank, and something about that dirty fish tank smell has always bothered me.  Maybe it's the fish poop floating in water.  Anyhow, even if you manage to keep the tank pristine and beautifully clean, for all your efforts the fish doesn't really provide much in return.  From what I can tell fish don't learn their names, let alone do tricks.  And you can't pet them (unless your my Grandma Tiffin and have very interesting gold fish)

So before I learned about rats, I though that if you wanted a cute furry animal that could learn their name, and cared about you, you were limited to two choices.  Cat or Dog.  Kevin and I both love dogs, but we're realistic and know that a dog's would be much more demanding on our schedules than we're willing to sacrifice, and we would both feel terrible leaving a dog alone to spend all day in a kennel.  Cats can be cool, but I also hate the smell of cat litter, and unless you have an exceptionally cool cat, they mostly just want to be left alone to lay in the sun.  Not to mention that Kevin's allergic to cats. 

Well here's where the rats come in.  I called up Petsmart with very low expectations on receiving quality pet advice, but I was super lucky and got to chat with Jessie, the most passionate and knowledgeable person about animals that I've ever met.  After talking for about 30 minutes on the phone, I asked her what pet she'd personally recommend, and she said that the best pet she ever owned was a rat.  Here are some of the things you may find surprising about rats:

  • Rats are extremely smart.  They are about as super curious and as intelligent as dogs and some are much more intelligent.
  • They are extremely social and get to know their owners.
  • They learn their names.
  • They come when called.
  • They can do tricks.
  • They are very clean animals and clean themselves constantly just like cats.
  • They can eat any kind of food.
  • They cost less than ten dollars and live less about 3 years... not a huge commitment.
  • You can buy two rats so they have a buddy to hang out with and if you need to leave for the weekend, or heck, even the week, you can just leave them plenty of food and water and they'll be fine.
Um, talk about the perfect pet.  Other than those GROSS rat tails....

Before making too many judgements about how gross rat tails are, I'd recommend you actually see one.  I was weirded out by the idea at first too, but once you hold a rat and see their funny furry little faces, their tails don't seem that gross at all. 

So enough of the yapping and onto some pictures.  Here's Kevin showing his niece Presleigh our rat Mims.  Presleigh is a very girly little girl, so we didn't know what she'd think of the rats, but she loved them.  We were a little worried she may scwosh them out of excitement, but she did great.

I took a little video of our rats.  Given the negative connotation to the word "rat" we've actually taken to calling them our "friends" instead of rats.  Makes for some funny jokes.  Yeah.  We're weird.

The last part of the video is Mims doing her walking trick.  That little bugger is smart.  She learns tricks soooo fast.  Oh, and the plastic wall contraption is a rat playpen that we bought online called the Grrreat wall.  It's super easy to put up and they can't escape.  Yes, you really can buy anything online, including a rat playpen :)

So what do you guys think?  Common, they're kinda cute huh?

Meet the rats: Mims and Murphy from Amanda Kohler on Vimeo.


Stacie said...

I love them! I'm honored to have met your babies/friends in person! Such a cute video!

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