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It’s virtually impossible to follow me on any social media and not know I own a rat named Boo. Been considering getting one yourself? You totally should.
1. The tails are not as creepy as you think. they’re not scaly, they’re not cold, they’re not snakes that have latched onto your rattie’s rear.
2. They clean themselves. Yes, like cats. There’s really nothing as cute as watching Boo ruffle his ears and straighten his whiskers.
3. Smell: which is to say, they don’t. Though I haven’t done it for Boo, I’ve been told that rats can be litter trained. But if you don’t, you just have to change the bedding at a reasonable rate. (Every four days or so for me.)
4. They’re just really silly. They chatter their teeth when they’re happy, bounce around like squirrels, and will sit on your head.
5. A small animal that actually likes you. Rats are really affectionate. Unlike many rodent-pets, they’ll be excited to see you, won’t run away and hide from you permanently, and will probably give you rattie kisses. I’ve always found small furry animals appealing, but for many, I couldn’t see a the difference between “tolerates you because you have food” and “actually wants to see you”.
6. Behavioral experiments: I’d be the worst psych student if I didn’t try this, right? Something I’m doing this summer is building Boo a maze. Easier version: a water maze. In a large tub of water, set two platforms, one with a treat on it. After getting your rat accustomed to the water, put him on one platform, and encourage him to swim to the second. (Large pools and platforms located below the surface of the water make the ‘maze’ progressively more complicated.)
7. This face: