Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Serious Issues Involving Pet Rats

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.

Mouse the rat in her sputnik
Courtesy Shellyane Bryan
Mouse the rat favors the sputnik to hang out in rather than a hammock.

I got into a minor, rat-related altercation with someone this week via YouTube. Normally I am a very calm, tolerant individual and leave people be to think what they please — but this was something I absolutely could not ignore.

From time to time, I like to look at other people’s pet rats on YouTube — to see what they’re getting up to, what they enjoy, what they’re being taught to do. People post some lovely things, especially videos of new baby rats! There is a really lovely video on there about a tiny Russian blue dumbo grooming that makes me smile every time.

However, I occasionally come across a video that I believe I have to flag. More often than not, these are videos that involve someone feeding a live animal to a snake. Now, this is bad enough, but this particular video involved feeding a live, clearly domestic rat to a hungry snake. Aside from this (as far as I am aware) being an illegal practice in the United Kingdom, it is also a heinous act of cruelty to not only terrify a defenseless pet rat, but to allow it to be squeezed to death. I was utterly disgusted that anyone would do this, let alone film it and post it on the Internet. Someone wouldn’t feed a live kitten to a starving dog, would they?

Anyway, I am in no way suggesting anyone should get into any arguments about this, but on this occasion I felt like I absolutely had to say something. I stated that what they had done was disgraceful and cruel. I was not surprised when the response I received was defensive and angry, which I believe is a sure sign of a guilty conscience, if nothing else. I ended the argument quickly afterward and ensured the video was flagged. Hopefully the material will be promptly removed and the account holder will be suspended for violating the terms of contract. Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

As for my rats, Dumbo and Mouse, they are as usual doing well. They finally managed to destroy the towel-hammock I made for them. Then they both somehow managed to squeeze into a tiny sputnik, which was quite impressive; normally, Dumbo can’t fit into one by herself. I wish I had gotten a photo of Dumbo trying to fit into the sputnik, because her front legs were dangling out of one side and her back legs the other. Mouse was happily curled up inside it, no doubt very pleased with how the situation had turned out.

I made my rats another hammock anyway, so we will see if they break their destruction record. Dumbo has taken to it, though Mouse likes the sputnik a lot more. I’ve realized it’s fun to play tug-tail with her while she’s in there. The sputnik has three entrances, and every time I tug her tail, she turns round to face a different way in a huff.

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Reader Comments
that's terrible! I made a conection because I heard of a video called: "gerbil In a Microwave", which is worse. They exploded a poor rodent!
REBECCA, naperville, IL
Posted: 11/11/2009 6:50:01 PM
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