Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Life of Queen Dumbo Duncanson-Bryan

By Shellyane Bryan
A rat owner from England shares tales of living with her first rat, Queen Dumbo Duncanson-Bryan, and a rat named Mouse.

dumbo rat queen
Photos Courtesy of Shellyane
Dumbo, the rat, thinks she's queen of her world.
Dumbo the rat queen
Dumbo, the rat, chews up every wire in sight!

My rat’s name is Dumbo. I’m sure she likes to be called, Queen Dumbo Duncanson-Bryan, because the world revolves around her. I know Dumbo seems like a twee name for a dumbo rat, taking into consideration her enormous ears. But nothing could have been more appropriate considering the first thing she did when my housemate and I brought her home was dart under the sofa forcing us to coax her out with various tasty treats.

She’s my first rat, along with the late Fidget Duncanson-Bryan (both of them named after myself and my housemate, of course). Fidget had to be put down due to a large tumor above her stomach. Sadly, tumors are common problems in female rats, but Dumbo has since flourished without her sister to keep her in line.

It was when my brother first had a pair of rats that I realized what wonderful pets they make. They are friendly, intelligent and affectionate creatures that provide endless entertainment. After being acquainted with his rats Artemis and Eowyn, who later simply became known as black rat and white rat, I decided I wanted a couple of my own.

I live in a rented house while I’m at university. Technically, we’re not supposed to have pets, but as our landlord allowed me to keep the late Luther The Hamster, we assumed he wouldn’t have an issue with a couple of teeny, tiny, inconspicuous little rats. Needless to say, the day he walked into the living room and saw the enormous yellow cage in the corner with two slumbering baby rats swinging in a hammock, he was not impressed. But, after being bombarded with big watery eyes from four female students, he conceded and let us keep them.

 As a baby, Dumbo was reserved and quiet. She loved to bury herself inside my jumpers and sleep. She also enjoyed chewing holes while she was there — holes I only noticed when I next came to wear those clothes. Now, she is the most excitable, loveable pet I have ever had. Energetic, cute and a little bit on the stupid side, Dumbo tends to spend her time running around the living room, clambering on furniture and, of course, like every good rodent should, chewing every wire in sight (which she gets a good telling off for!).

I can never decide if Dumbo considers herself to be a small human, or considers me to be a giant rat. With a tendency to groom me, lick me and nibble my fingertips, I lean toward the latter. And of course, as she is queen of rat-kind, the entire world revolves around her. She is truly a self-centered little ratty that owns everything she potters across — or thinks she does.

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Reader Comments
I am from the US and I don't think we have those kind of pet rats over here.....I wonder if they are just under a different name here... I know of the white, the japanese hooded rat, or fancy rat, and that is all I have ever seen.....interesting have a good sense of humor I love the part where you said you wondered if he thought you were a rat..that is so funny!
Robyn, Hampton, TN
Posted: 2/10/2009 8:44:56 AM
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