Here is Benjamin Franklin Thunder-Cat. He is a bad kitty. It says so on his passport. He gets nippy and scratchy. He thinks he's toilet trained. He is not. Maria knows I call him my furry baby. I also call him beast, monster, and Woodgie-woodgie love muffin. He is more than enough pet for any family. And yet we have another cat and a hen. We had a parakeet, but he got wise and gave us the slip. Easy come, easy go. I thought about getting Maria a fish for her birthday, but I resisted.
Just because I resisted buying a gold-feeder to swim in a bowl of water, does not mean I have good sense.
I am the weakest, silliest, most pagan (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller", "rustic"), farm-wishingest citizen in suburbia.
And I am a rat wrangler.
Meet Pepper, fancy rat and nose wiggler.
She is curious. Scurious. Sweet and docile and fun to watch.
Polly is timid, sweet and docile. She loves to take her lunch in to her hut with her.
Pepper and Polly are my Winter Solstice gifts to the children, who all agreed that Maria's class rat, Cheddar, was great fun to have over for a weekend visit. When I tell the story I emphasize the children's love and fascination with the cute, scampering critters known as "fancy rats." But the children tell it another way... affectionately, a bit warily and with humor they say, "Mom, you're crazy, you know."
At least Gretchen gets it. When I was debating my impulse, she came on board all the way and said that rats are great pets. She wistfully recalled a childhood practically overrun with pet rats. When she said she and her sisters had twenty-one rats, well I felt positively sane for only wanting two. And she is right. Rats are great pets. Easy to care for. No biting. No barking. They like to visit and explore, but are happy too in their modified bird cage.
I love rats.
No. The real experts are little girls. Izzy and Maria know a fun pet when they get their hands on one.
And just before Christmas, when little girl excitement and energy was at a high watermark, Izzy and Maria were tickled pink to take turns loving and feeding and holding Pepper and Polly.
Rats give you the giggles.
Their tails wiggle and their whiskers tiggle.
(sorry :: poetic license)
"Soft voices" and "gently" were the words of the day.
The "Ratty-Rats," that's what Gretchen calls Pepper and Polly. Izzy called them Polly-Holly and Peppermint, which I thought was awfully clever.
Is anyone here?
Either they've all rushed to their local pet shop, because they see what fun we are having, or Chickenblog is being cut from blog lists everywhere.
Come back. We don't bite!