Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Rat Named Daisy

 A couple of years ago I decided to get a new pet. I already have three cats and a chinchilla, but for some reason I've always liked hamsters, guinea pigs, etc. I do not know why. I thought maybe that feeling would change once I became an adult, but apparently not. So, while I have Rocky, my chinchilla, I wanted something I'd never had before: a rat. Now I know what you must be thinking, "A rat--ewwww gross!!!" which is what I always thought myself in the past, so imagine my surprise when I absolutely fell in love with Daisy!

Daisy is my very first rat and I'm so glad I made the decision to get her. She's very calm and docile, and believe it or not, extremely lovable! I know, I know, you think I've fallen off my rocker, but she really is quite a friendly critter. There's nothing she likes more than to lay on my lap under a blanket and get her nose rubbed. She'll lay there for hours enjoying the attention--talking to me all the while.
Saying "hello" to Rocky
Daisy is not only quite friendly towards me, but it seems as if she likes other furry critters too. One day last week when I took Rocky's cage outside to give it a good spraying down (he lives in a three story mansion that's almost as tall as I am), I decided to see how her and Rocky would get along (I usually let Rocky have free reign in the bathroom while I clean his cage). Well, she was friendly enough, but Rocky--well apparently he doesn't like other critters. I just happened to snap the picture above at the perfect moment because two seconds afterwards, Rocky bit Daisy on the nose. Poor Daisy--she ran into my arms as if to say, "Save me from that big, hairy beast!!".

Last night, I decided to take Daisy out of her cage, like I do most every night, while Scooter was in the bedroom (if she's in the house, she's stuck up my butt) just to see how they would react to each other. Well, I must say, that was a better show than what I was watching on TV! It seems Scooter was a wee bit curious at first, and Daisy being a friendly critter, just wanted to make friends:
Scooter was ok with that at first and was actually very well behaved: she didn't try to bite, scratch, or otherwise attack Daisy--just seemed curious was all.
Until.....Daisy decided to chase her around the bed. I haven't laughed that hard in quite some time! Every time Scooter would lay down and relax, here would come Daisy--trying to groom her and play with her, and up Scooter would jump and run away! I tried to get a few pics of the whole shenanigans but Scooter would jump up so fast every time Daisy came near her it was a bit difficult. But it was indeed good entertainment!
Now, while I dearly love Daisy (I never thought I'd say that about a rat), she is getting old. I've had her for a bit over two years and rats are only supposed to live 1-2 yrs at the most, so I'm afraid Daisy won't be with me very much longer. She's lost quite a bit of weight and mostly sleeps these days (even when out of her cage), so it was rather nice to see her show a bit of energy while she chased Scooter around the bed. I'm not sure if I'll get another rat or not after she's gone, but I wouldn't mind another one. By the way, if you're looking for a first pet for a child, I would highly recommend a rat over a hamster, gerbil, or guinea pig any day.