Day 287: Ratty

When I (Claire) was a child, we had pets. First we had a cat, who got jealous when I was born and so went off to die. Then we had a hamster, who had a biting problem and so only was let out of his cage on the weekend to run around in the bottom of a cardboard box for an hour while we children watched, wearing gardening gloves.

Then, though, we found our calling. In that my fourth grade teacher began running some shady free rat-sitting business wherein you babysat the class rats for Spring Break and then got to keep them. In sum, we got "free"* pet rats for a dozen years who were all inbred in some way that produced large rat tumors that they lugged around with them on the kitchen floor. These were the good times.

Because this was not 2006, or 2007, I still did not really like animals during any of these childhood pet experiences. But my brother, Little Tony, who was a warmer little child who sought and gave affection more readily, did. He was extremely passionate about his many Rattys: Ratty, Ratty Jr, Ratty Jr. #2, etc. etc. (It all sort of blurs together.) In the world of his bedroom, he was the best friend and savior of freakishly large, tumor-filled rats who roamed his room all day, chewing holes through mattresses and getting themselves lost inside for days at a time. If they had cages, they were never in them.

This weekend, my mother was cleaning her desk, and found a note she wrote on August 8, 1997 about the day's events. Little Tony, at the time, was 10.

"Tony and I took Ratty to the vet for a broken elbow. Tony wanted to know on the sign-in form why the Vet needs to know when Ratty's last vacation was. (The sign in form read 'last vaccination.')"

I didn't know rats could have broken elbows.

*How much can a rat cost, I wonder.


Lara said...

Whoever's ingenious idea it was to make rats pets should be shot.

Just wanted to say thanks to you ladies for bringing a smile to my face with your oh so clever and always witty blog. And to answer your question Claire, No, we aren't engaged...yet... :)

Anonymous said...

that was not the lara of claire and lara...

sylvia said...

We had a bird that chewed its own feet off and bled to death one night. So we tried fish instead, but they committed mass suicide by all leaping from the tank. If you ask me, stuffed animals make the best pets, but then you don't have any fun stories.

Real Time Web Analytics