Whenever we’d idly discussed get pets before, we had always assumed that we would end up getting a cat – we don’t have a big enough garden for a dog and, with both of us working, we didn’t have the time for one either. And Codepope is more of a cat person anyway. But we never really wanted a pet enough to actually do anything about it.
In 2010, we pet-sat for our next-door neighbours’ daughter’s lone old white rat; not the most sociable of creatures, but interesting enough to pique our curiosity. But not enough for us to actually do anything about it.
In early 2011, we pet-sat for her two brown rats; much more lively creatures and we really noticed their absence when they went back home. Now we were seriously thinking about doing something about it.
I researched all the pros (intelligent, friendly, cute) and cons (short-lived, sharp claws), found suppliers of ratty things, and found and ordered a suitable cage. And, most importantly, accepted that I would be doing most of the day-to-day feeding, cleaning, and caring for them.
Conveniently, around this time, the rather unimpressive local pet shop changed hands and got a new owner who was genuinely interested in animals and who even had some rats.
So, on 25th July 2011, we brought home two pet rats.