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Posted 03-30-2010 at 01:22 PM by

I'm putting together Facebook page for my boys like the rest of the over the top pet parents. With it being written from their point of view, to the general public, I plan on making their first post the following. I'm posting it here because, well, it's somewhat cute, kind of informative, and basically Facebook is giving me problems with the account and I'm waiting the two weeks to a month it usually takes to get their help desk to respond to my question. Admittedly it's a work in progress, so opinions and corrections of the info is always appreciated.

So here ya go:

Hi Dere!

We're the Alabama Ghost Boys.

A little heads up for you now: We're pet rats. Yes. Rats. Yes.

It's okay, we know we take a little getting used to. Just to help you out if you're not sure, we'll go ahead and answer our top FAQ.

Q: Won't pet rats bite?

A: Nope. Yes, we are animals, and yes we have teeth that we could possibly use if hurt or frightened, but of most any pet you have owned, we're among the least likely to bite. This is especially true of any pocket pet or rodent including guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, and rabbits. And it's also true of cats and dogs in our humble opinion. We're far more likely to be hurt by you than you are of being hurt by us. We pet rats have been bred to be much more docile and calm then our wild cousins. Fact is, in temperament, we bear as much similarity to a wild rat as a dog does to a wolf, or a cat to a lion.

Q: Don't pet rats spread disease?

A: Hmf. Just to be clear, we have never seen a sewer in our life, and neither has any of our grand parents going back at least 200 generations. Pet rats are a lot less likely to spread something to a human than their dog or cat. We just don't have any reason to have access to all the nasty things that dogs and cats or wild rats track through.

Q: But wasn't the Bubonic Plague your fault?

A: Oh dear. One little plague, and we'll never live it down. So, technically we're Brown Norway Rats. The plague was spread by fleas found only on the Black Roof Rat. Since the fleas didn't like us we couldn’t spread anything. And we're bossier than the Black Rat, so we ran them out of town anyway! Really, we should be thanked for our little part in bringing about the end of the plague, don't you think? But we still get blamed. Sigh.

Q: Don't rats stink?

A: We have an odor, but whether it's stinky is all a matter of interpretation. Many rat owners say we boys smell a little like warm tortilla chips, and they say girl rats smell a little like grape soda. We bathe ourselves all the time. We're a lot less stinky than the dog. In fact, we are potty trained. Our litter box has a lot nicer whiff to it than a cat's box, that's for sure. If our cage is kept clean, we smell less than any of the following kept identically: People, Mice (major stink bombs), Gerbil, Guinea Pig, Bird, Cat, Dog, Snake, Turtle, Ferret, Rabbit, and probably the Fish.

Q: What would you do with a rat anyway?

A: We'll, we're so social, that if you spend time with us, we'll bond with you just like a pet dog. We'll follow you around and love spending time with you for play and snuggling. We're smart too. As we mentioned, we can be potty trained. We also can be trained to come when you call our name, do complicated tricks for you, and sometimes can even be taught to walk on a leash (but that's another story).

We've only been living in our new home for one month, and we already meet our mom at the door of our cage when she comes in the room, and after an evening playing free in the bathroom floor, we all come running to jump on mom's shoulder when we know it's time to go back in the cage for the night.

Along with all that, we also cost less over years of keeping us, take up less space, and never, ever, ever bark.

Q: But...that TAIL!

A: Okay, we've seen what a sweet deal those squirrelly squirrels have. If we were honest, we'd probably trade our front paws to be able to ride on the big fluffy tail gravy train. But, our tails keep us cool when it gets hot, and helps us keep our balance when we're climbing. Honestly, we don't notice them anymore. We bet if you gave us a chance to get to know us, you won't notice them either? No?

We're forgiving. We'll still love you.
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