I love animals. Especially rodents. They’re small enough to fit in a pocket or a hood, they give some awesome snuggles without over heating you, and they’re the best at giving little kisses without messing up your makeup. And, of course, when I went to adopt my first little fluff ball (Lucy), I did all the research I thought I would need to give her the best life ever. But, as with so many things in life, there were a few things I just wasn’t prepared for. This are just a few things that I really wish I had known about before I brought home Lucy.
- Everyone thinks you’re insane
Trust me, it’ll happen. Someone, somewhere will look at you like you sprouted a third head when you tell them you have rats. Unfortunately, the stereotype of “plague carrier” still rings through most people’s minds. But, don’t worry, there are communities of people who love little rodents that are there to be supportive.
- You know, until they turn on you.
It’s just like any other community. Sometimes, I feel like it’s worse than human parents. If you don’t match up with their beliefs EXACTLY, you’re a horrible person who is killing a helpless animal. Don’t be discouraged, though. Like most communities, there are plenty of level headed people who get that you have to do what’s best for you and your rat. And are more than willing to give helpful advice when asked. And not asked. Again, it’s a lot like having human kids. The Internet is crazy.
- Google is your best friend and worst enemy
Not a lot of people know how to take care of rats. Who knew? So, what do you do when you don’t know how to do something? Google it! Because in the entirety of the Internet, surely there is information about taking care of a tiny rodent. And, trust me, there is. But, like everything on the Internet, there is also a lot of conflicting information that you (as the responsible human that you are) must sift through to find out what you need and what is rat poop. There are a few sites/blogs that I personally would recommend because I, too, had to do a fair bit of sifting when I first started out.
Honestly, as someone who is a parent of a small human and several small rodents, everything is pretty similar. The biggest thing I hope you take from this is simply stop worrying about everything so hardcore and just stick to what you have found is best. If that means your rats free roam and only sleep in a cage, good for you. If that means you have a strict schedule for everything, awesome. What matters is that everyone is happy and healthy.
I hope this was beneficial to my new rat parents out there. And to my veteran parents out there, I hope this was something that brought you back to the first day you brought your first fluff ball home. What did I miss? If there something you wished you had known beforehand, let me know in the comments. Let’s make a comprehensive list for those joining our little community!