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In the past week, TONS has been going on, with Bentley, and everything else as well.

Bentley's Exposure
Sunday morning, I left for my friends house, rat in pocket and peace at heart; he had not yet been discovered. By the time night fell that same day, my mother had discovered the little creature that inhabited the nook by my bed. All in good time if you ask me. The box he had been living in was no longer enough to contain his bountiful energy at 2 1/2 weeks old. Luckily, she was in a good mood and did not murder me on the spot as I had assumed she would. She promised not to tell anyone and that was that.

So just moments after that incident, I happily brought the cage, that had been patiently waiting in the garage all this time, upstairs. My new dilemma: no food, no water bottle, no bedding, no car. Oh ****... But Bentley had not yet begun eating solids or drinking water or going to the bathroom regularly, so that was alright.

Throughout that week, he turned into the sweetest animal I could imagine. He would wander around my bed, nuzzle my hand, and when placed on my shoulder would lick my neck. Such a beautiful creature. But all this made me feel excruciatingly guilty. Bentley had no other rats to fall back on, and I found myself thinking quite often that I was depriving him of a proper rattyhood (childhood). Worrying, as I too often do for a 16 year old, I consulted my mother.
"I'm not going to have a million rats running around like when you got those mice" she crudely stated. That was completely different, I meant to breed them. What she doesn't know, is that before I do ANYTHING, I plan for it all and am prepared. But she was stubborn and insisted that I wasn't being cruel, still I had my doubts.

Yesterday, Friday, I was quietly reading on my bed, when my grandmother barged in. Shocked, I threw my pillow in front of the cage. She wasn't as nonchalant as I thought she would be though.
"Anika, you just scared whatever that little creature is in there." I couldn't help but crack a grin.
She took it very well and promised to take me to the pet shop to get what I needed today. Little did she know though that I was picking up a couple more residents at the same time.

The New Cagemates
Approaching the shop confidently with money in hand and a supportive brother by side, I knew that when I left, there would be two more lives left in my care, and I was prepared.
The pet shop owner, Tony, escorted us the cages full to the brim with ratty goodness. I would have to choose carefully for my new additions. He pulled out a certain bin and left me to make my choice. With Ratpudge, it was love at first sight; a beautiful, milky color graced his round physique and when I reached down to hold him, he didn't flinch away at my touch. In all honesty, I don't know why I chose Ralphie. Something inside told me to I guess. He's tiny, completely ordinary, but nonetheless full of the ratty goodness aforesaid.
After making my purchases, my brother carried the rats into the car under his shirt, undetected. I feel horrible for not telling her about that, but now is not the right time, and Bentley couldn't be happier, I couldn't be happier. I know a good sum of people who would be deathly jealous of Ratpudge.
My biggest challenge now, is the feeding. Ratpudge seems to be around 3 or 4 weeks old, while Bentley is around 2 1/2, and Ralphie around 2. But I could be wrong. The new two refuse to take the formula and I'm in the process of weaning Bentley right now. This will be an interesting experience.
 
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