We got our first 2 rats, Ratchet and Chamie on June 7, 2003. It’s a very sad and funny story on how we became rat lovers. On a Friday afternoon (May 31, 2003), my daughter and her friend came home and pretty much went straight to my daughters bedroom, saying hi as they went by. I was at my computer so my back was to them. About an hour later, they both left and then my daughter came back in and once again went straight to her bedroom. I knew something was up then, so I went to her bedroom and knocked on the door. She came out and wouldn’t let me in. I said what’s going on in your room? She then told me, “I don’t think you want to go in there, I told Danielle, I would babysit for her this weekend”. I said babysit what, Danielle doesn’t have any cats. She said no mom, it’s not a cat, it lives in a cage. Well, then I started to freak, what lives in a cage. She said, it’s a rat mom, I said, get it out of my house right now. She said Mom, Dainielle has already left for the weekend, so I will keep my door closed, it won’t go anywhere, it’s trained to stay where it’s cage is. So I finally calmed down and said let me see it. She opened her door and on her nightstand, was a small cage, with the door open and the rat was out of the cage and on the nightstand. So my daughter says Mom meet Splinter, Splinter this is Mom. He was so cute, but he was really big. I said he could stay, but she had to keep her door shut and not to let the cats around it. She said ok.
The next night my daughter went to another friends house, I had come to terms with my fear of rats during the day, because my daughter was holding him and had me pet him a few times. While my daughter was gone, I kept checking on him to make sure he had not left the area he was supposed to be in, on one of my checkins, I thought something was wrong, he was in the same place and position he was in the last time I checked. I then got hubby, Mr. Rattitude and he brought him out into the living room. We sat on the sofa with Splinter laying on hubbys chest for about and hour and then he quitely passed onto the Rainbow bridge. My daughter showed up about 15 minutes later and Mr. Rattitude and I had tears in our eyes. She called some friends and we found a box and her and her friends went and buried him.
When Danielle showed up the next day to pick him up, we had to tell her what happened. She said she had Splinter for about 1 1/2 years. I asked what his diet consisted of, because being me, I had been on the internet to see if we had done anything wrong. We did find out that ratties were not supposed to be in pine bedding and were not supposed to eat certain foods, which Danielle had him in pine beding and had been feeding him things he shouldn’t have eaten. I let her know my internet findings and she said if she ever got another rattie she would be sure and feed it the right foods and to not put it in pine bedding.
I thought about this poor little guy all week long so when the weekend came around, I asked my hubby and daughter to go to the pet store with me, I wanted to look at rats. We ended up at SuperPet in Oakville. They had lots of boys, we asked to see 2 specific ones, the girl at the store thought I was used to rats and grabbed one of the ones we wanted to see and just dumped it into my arms. I didn’t know what to do, I hadn’t held one as of yet. Well the one she put on me started pooing and peeing on me, good thing I had a jacket on over my white shirt. I got used to him crawling all over me very fast. My daughter was given the other one and then hubby took it from her. We said OK, we will take them, got them a really hugh cage, carefresh bedding, all kinds of food, bowls, water bottles, all kinds of stuff that day. On the way home my daughter asked what we should name them. I said well I know what we are naming the one who was doing his business on me, his name is Ratchet (ok you have to use your imagination here, sound out his name slowly – now change the fouth letter and the sixth letter of his name and you will know why he was named Ratchet). I told my daughter she could name the other one, she came up with Champagne (for his colour), which was shortened to Chamie.
So now you have the story of how we became rat lovers and we have never looked back and have loved every single one of our babies.