Pete and Custard are an old married couple now. When she came home not feeling her best after her most recent tumor removal, he took advantage of her lowered defenses and took care of her, never leaving her side. Now they are always snuggled up to each other with her in the comfy warm position on bottom. He adores her.
I remember that when Pete was still a 'teen' while he was reserved with me, he always seemed to love and get along with other rats. As he matured, either he changed, or I grew to understand how finely tuned his temperament really was.
He knew how to navigate ratty politics without fights, but he most definitely had his preference, and that was big brother Jeffrey. When Jeffrey died he was unhinged for a while, beating up the other boys in the cage to the point that I had him neutered just to see if it would calm him down. He calmed down, took his place at the top of the pack, but didn't really bond with anyone else.
So it seems Pete is a manrat of sensitive disposition and deep feeling. He does not share love cheaply. He loved his dearly departed Jeffrey just like he loves Custard. In between, he let everyone else know they were not welcome inside his personal circle of being including me, though Custard seems to be having a good influence on him lately as he actually seems to seek me out a little bit when I come by. A sweet big lug of a guy, but very reserved and even a bit shy for a big boss rat. Custard is much more relaxed and fearless. I think he feels stronger with her around.
When I took some shots of them on top of the cage, I put Custard back in because she kept scaling down the side and causing havok in the room while I was cleaning the inside fo the cage. Now, Pete never comes to me when called usually. But when I finished the cage I went to fish him back from the top of the critter nation--usually a fun game of catch me if you can. So I called his name. He bolted away from me briefly as per usual,but paused and seemed to think about it. Then he ran to me and pancaked for me. He was ready to get back to Custard and while the cage was open, he's just too lazy to figure out how to scale the side and do it himself anymore. I was so proud my boy came to me, even if it was just so he could be carried back to his lady.