Thursday, 22 December 2011

Surprise Rat

I would like to announce the unanticipated arrival into my life of a small white rat. I say unanticipated because I did not set out with the design of acquiring a rat, or any pet for that matter, but somehow I have!
It all started with the invite to a bbq. One of my housemate’s colleagues was having a bbq and, like the good friend she is, my housemate didn’t want to leave me on my own for an evening so took me along too. It was a fairly quiet night of socialising and meeting new people. I enjoy meeting people here as it’s nice to have a break from the student life. I think I was the youngest there and the age range went up to mid-30s which makes for slightly more mature conversations. Well not that much more mature as we still got tipsy and talked about anything at all but its nicer wine you drink while you’re doing it. We had a really nice bbq with the best steak I have had in years! It was soooo amazingly good. Oh and they made little brownies and decorated each one with a strawberry and icing so they looked like little Santa hats!

Where was I? Oh yea, rat. So earlier that day the host of the bbq had found two small rats in her garden. They seemed domesticated and were happy to be handled so she assumes they are lost pets. She scooped them up into a big plastic box and was going to poster the neighbourhood the next day to see if anyone claimed them. But over drinks that night she said that if anyone wanted them and they weren’t claimed then they were welcome to them, and me, having had about 3 glasses of rather nice sauvignon blanc, instantly volunteered to take in the little homeless rats. Didn’t think anything of it the next day but then we got a text saying that the rats hadn’t been claimed did I still want them? I said when I came here I would take every opportunity that came my way so I agreed to take these rats.

The next day I went over with our empty recycling box with some shredded newspaper and a shot glass of water in the bottom.  These are rats, they won’t care that they are technically in a bin. I was a little concerned that they would be a boy and a girl, not that I have anything against rat couples but I do have something against millions of rat babies. So I was intending to see what sex they were when they were there and take both if they were both boys or both girls and take one if they were one of each. But when we arrived we were told that “the quiet one” had passed away during the night. So no problem with breeding if you’ve only got one rat! The one that was left was a little albino boy rat so I took him home.

On the way home we discussed names and toyed with the idea of Ted or Barney (from how I met your mother) or Leonard or Sheldon (from the big bang theory) and as Sheldon is such a great character we decided for Sheldon. So officially he is Sheldon but mostly he is called Shely or Rat.

New Cage
Today I went shopping for him and he has a new fancy cage! It’s got a little house for him to sleep in and 2 floors and a tunnel and a wheel! To be honest its cooler than my own house. I live in a bungalow with not a tunnel or wheel in sight. He is very happy with his new home as it means he can see out too! However he isn’t so keen on the nutritionally balanced, vitamin enriched rat food I bought him. Previously he has been eating little bits of whatever I am eating. So far I know he likes tomatoes, cheese, peanut butter on toast, and sausages. Wasn’t keen on celery, carrot or strawberry though. Silly rat.

My other housemate came home today too, I had forgotten to tell her that I had adopted a rat in her absence and I was a little worried about what she would say. I don’t think she’s over the moon with the idea but she is happy now he has a proper cage. She even held him earlier! Well, kinda, she held his first two paws and then decided she didn’t like it, but its more progress than I was expecting at this point!

I have no idea what I will do with him when I go home. I will look into importing him home but that probably needs vet checks and injections and lots of expensive things like that so I might just have to find someone that wants a lovely pet rat.

But its funny how the world works isn’t it? It hadn’t occurred to me at all to get a pet while I was here but now it’s happened nearly accidentally I’m very glad it has. Its silly how happy getting this rat has made me, I have been showing him off to friends back home on Skype and some of my friends here have come round to visit him already! Because honestly, who could say no to this face…