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Cute Rats And Mice Compete

Cameras were snapping, and people were oohing and aahing over entrants in the latest American Fancy Rat And Mouse Association show.

Marylou Zarbock
Posted: November 5, 2013, 8 p.m. EST

rat in show box
© Marylou Zarbock
Rats patiently waited in show boxes for their turn to be judged.

If you tell people that you’re going to a rat and mouse show, you might get a few odd looks. And some people are still surprised to learn that rats and mice are kept as pets. But seeing the beautiful fancy rats and mice at an American Fancy Rat And Mouse Association show could change these people’s minds.

The latest AFRMA show took place in Riverside, California, on October 26, 2013. Karen Robbins, president of AFRMA and a show judge, said there were 94 entries at this show: 76 rats, 8 mice and 10 other (the other category included artwork, costume and Kooky Kontainer).

The show can be nearly an all-day event, with health checks being done from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and judging running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It can go later, depending on the number of entries and the judges available for the event.

Big news at this show was the acceptance of the new Pink-Eyed Platinum color in the Unstandardized class. "These rats are a pale grayish color with a brownish tint and red eyes that is different from Champagne, Silver or Beige,” Robbins said. More information about it is available on the AFRMA Unstandardized page. The goal for breeders of any Unstandardized rat is to eventually be accepted in the Standardized class.

rat with ribbon
© Marylou Zarbock
Pet Classes included the categories Most Affectionate Rat, Biggest Rat, Most Laid Back Rat, Most Unusual Markings and Best Pet.

This show began with evaluations and Pet Classes, then other contests. It wrapped up with the Regular Classes, in which rats and mice are judged against a standard. The rat show results and the mouse show results are posted on the AFRMA website.

Winners in the Other category included Holly Daub’s Kooky Kontainer and her costume of a ladybug on a fence, modeled by her rat Smokey. Photos from the show can be seen on the AFRMA Facebook page.

Robbins was pleased with the turnout at the show, which had people coming and going throughout the day. She said she looks forward to seeing everyone again at the next show, which is January 25, 2014.

Finally, something that made this show really unique and memorable was the number of people with taking pictures, including USC graduate student Chrystal Li, who was there filming a documentary about the show. It might be 2014 before the documentary is completed, but when asked how she feels about the possibility of a documentary featuring the AFRMA show, Robbins replied, "Great!”

See video from the show below.

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Posted: November 5, 2013, 8 p.m. EST


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