I never planned on keeping rodents as pets. But, one day, I bought a few mice, mostly to draw and observe them. I learned they had distinct personalities, moods, and behaviors, and they needed a very healthy environment in order to thrive as much as possible.
I adopted my first rat, Willa, because she was up for adoption and gave me that "hello, friend," look. I fell for it. She was a lovely pet in all respects, always happy to see me, even when she was dying due to a stroke.
Raising rats is not easy. The more I learn, the more I need to learn. They are frightfully smart, emotional, and needy for positive interaction, play, and exercise. Don't buy them as pets unless you plan on spending lots of time learning their ways and lots of money keeping them healthy (because we don't raise them to be healthy at the start).
Today in the #Ratfiles:
Ember has proven she can warp time and space. I could not find her anywhere after evening play time, then searched about this morning, frightened she'd escaped into a house packed with cats, only to see her, at last, nibbling breakfast in the cage and mocking me with her placid demeanor.
This is why some of us do not have children. We would misplace them.
I have started to hide their food in the empty toilet and paper towel rolls. This change has been met with unanimous delight.
My next project: clicker training. Sparkes is still prone to bite without provocation, and I hope training helps. I am undecided on the Prozac because...well, it is weird and maybe unnecessary.
I have trained them all to return to the cage when summoned. This usually works for all of them or for three of the four. The outlier would be Ember, working her magic on bending time and space to her will.