Behold the rat – intelligent, social, tame, full of personality. It’s no wonder that rats are increasingly popular as pets. They have enjoyed a rich, complex relationship with humans throughout history.
According to Chinese astrology, the rat is the first sign; as such, the animal is associated with leaders or pioneers. People born under this zodiac sign are said to be charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking.
The largest state in India, Rajasthan, is home to the Karni Mata Temple, which was built in the early 1900s as a tribute to Karni Mata, an influential woman from 14th century India who was believed to be the incarnation of a Hindu goddess. Around 20,000 rats live inside of this temple, where shoes are not permitted, and where tourists and worshippers alike hope to have rats run across their feet for good luck. The rats are regarded as incarnations of Karni Mata’s descendants.
In April 2008, rat enthusiasts everywhere organized the sixth annual celebration of World Rat Day with rat shows and private parties dedicated to the rodent.
**For the full article, pick up the 2009 issue of Critters USA or click here to buy the issue.**