|NOT a wolf|
Rats have been domesticated as pets for hundreds of years and in fact they were pets first. Rat baiters caught rats to throw into pits for terriers to pull apart. It was a horrible, insane, grisly sport, but in the process the baiters noticed that the rats who had either white or fawn markings were tamer, had milder temperments, and were easier to handle. Somewhere along the line someone began to breed them and likely one of their children made one into a pet. It was because of this amiability of temperment and the similarity of rats' diet needs to ours that they became a prime laboratory animal. This is only a tiny notch up the nasty ladder in my personal system of belief, but in the process of all of this beastliness the good was somehow drawn out by creating the perfect companion pets.
Domestic rats are like small dogs in loyalty, love, train-ability, intelligence, and companionship. They clean themselves constantly as do cats, and they are cheerfully sweet, showing the capability for humor. It takes very little time to convert a pet rat hater into a fan.
|How sweet is this?|
Their biggest drawback is that name. RATSSSSSSSSSSS conjures up visions of plague, garbage, sewers, poverty, slums, and filth.
Of late, fans of the pet have taken to calling them 'ratties' to differentiate them from wild rats. This does not fool the ratophobe however, or the rodent-averse. They need a new name, a new designation that encompasses their loveable qualities and their cuteness.
My friend Matt came up with the perfect moniker last night. We were playing with Raoul and Mortimer and Matt commented on how more people should get to know them and thus learn how wonderful these little animals are. I climbed on my usual soapbox about the need for a new name. With nary a blink Matt said:
" Adoramites"It resonated. It made sense. They are wee mites of pets and they are totally adorable. I've begun to spread the word and shall from here on in, refer to my pet of choice as adoramites.
My own particular adoramites are waiting for me to go and get them for some quality tummy tickling and ear scritching, and as their willing slave I shall do just that. You really should be checking into these pets. Get some books and do some googling. Write into the forums and use the term 'adoramite' and get it around. Within two years it will change the perception of these small critters from 'ewwwwwwwww' to 'awwwwwwwwww'.
|Greg's adoramite Rosie. Awwwwwwww!|