1. says

    Oh hell if I know. Every rat I’ve ever had loves water colours. Thankfully, Gracie and the others ignored the vast amount of acrylics. No, no one’s sick, you can eat water colour paint all day, and it won’t hurt you. The toxic shit is all locked up.

  2. blf says

    The toxic shit is all locked up.

    Yes, Ok, that will temporarily contain the rats — until they express their true 40-foot killer nature. Unless the cells they are locked in are made of British Industrial Cheddar, or some other indestructible substance, it is, at most a minor obstacle like to infuriate more than contain.

    What have you done to secure the paints?

  3. says


    What have you done to secure the paints?

    What paints? They got all the watercolours. The rest have been secured high up. For now. Gracie in particular has seriously unleashed her inner 40 foot rat, and has been spending nights overcoming any and every obstacle. I ought to enroll her in MIT or something.

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    From quick look at Wikipedia, it seems that typical watercolors have gum arabic (basically edible carbohydrates and some proteins, used also as a thickening agent in sweets, chewing gum etc.) as a binder and may contain glycerine (which is slightly sweet and edible) and honey. So, maybe the watercolors taste and smell close enough to food to the rats.

  5. Ice Swimmer says

    Of course one could also deduce that if rats eat something, they think it’s food. The proof is in the pudding*. Any way, I just got curious about what’s in the watercolours that would attract a rat and thought I’d share what I found.

    * A radio personality here once translated the English proverb “The proof of the pudding is the eating of the pudding.” to “If you can eat English food, you can eat anything.”

  6. chigau (違う) says

    “If you can eat English food, you can eat anything.”
    My local library has several metres of shelf-space of ethnic cookery books.
    Chinese, Indian, Hungarian, German, etc., etc., etc.
    There is one (1) book of English cookery.

  7. Hekuni Cat, Social Justice Ninja, MQG says

    They are so cute--and destructive--which is an interesting combo. :D

  8. says

    I have a fair stock of gum arabic in my studio, and other product for making my own paint (lots of stuff like here), and the rats are attracted to things like gum arabic mixed with clove oil, but they like the smell more than the taste. (They tend to go bugfuck over stuff like Bag Balm).

    When it comes to paint, while they puncture the fuck out of any tube they find, the only ones ever consistently disappeared and completely eaten are Alizarin Crimson and Lamp Black.

  9. says

    Hekuni Cat @ 12:

    They are so cute–and destructive–which is an interesting combo. :D

    Interesting is one word. I have many more. I spent all week re-arranging everything in my fucking studio because of Gracie and her merry band of outlaws. I sat and watched her last night, trying to figure out how to get to the paints -- she knew exactly where they were. If I don’t keep that girl seriously fed, she’s a bloody menace.

  10. Tethys says

    Ah, ratlets. It is cute the way their Rex fur looks all rumpled like they just got bathed against the grain by a momma cat. I don’t know why rats have such a compulsion to puncture foil tubes. I’ve always thought it a similar behavior to handing a human a piece of bubble wrap. Even the most stoic, unplayful person seems to automatically pop a couple at the edge.

    Sorry to see the carnage. The complete loss of poor defenseless art supplies is bad enough, having to clean up the epic paint mess I imagine they made would really get my knickers in a twist.

  11. says

    Could be, Tethys, although I do give the rats bubble wrap to play with, and they spend hours popping it. Maybe I should get some more…

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