A Short List
- Rats are the most intelligent of the rodents (that's why they use them in lab tests). You can train your rats to respond to their name, run over assault courses, fetch your pipe and slippers in the evening (no just joking on the last one).
- Rats are clean. (You only have to see how much time they spend cleaning themselves and each other).
- Rats are clean. They generally nominate a "poo corner" and use that. A healthy rat's urine is odourless and colourless. Its poo is similarly inoffensive and (if allowed to dry for a few minutes) rattles up the vacuum cleaner a treat.
- Rats are social animals. So, they tend to be very affectionate. There is a compensating responsibility - buy two rats. No matter how much time you spend with your rat, it will be active at night when you aren't there and be lonely. Two rats are (almost) as cheap to keep as one and more fun (and you get twice the love back).
- Unlike hamsters, most rats don't bite. Neither Buffy nor Odo have ever deliberately bitten Joy or myself. (The qualification is because Odo did chew on a rag, once, not realising it was on my finger - he did stop as soon as I yelped).
- Saying you don't like rats because they are dirty, smelly and carry diseases is like saying you don't like dogs because of their unfortunate habit of running in packs and tearing people limb from limb.
It is misinformed and bordering on stupid.
Fancy rats are no more like the world famous plague carriers than Lassie is the Wolfman in disguise.
- Go on. Take a chance. Love a little rat. (Or preferably Two).