Issac and the Rat Pack - An Introduction

Hi everyone! I have had a few people tell me I should start a blog about my pets. They are not exactly you're typical four legged furry friends. Most people think that they are gross, and associate them with sewers or plagues. But I find that rats have been underrated as pets, and have a bad reputation.

When I first moved to Greensboro in June of 2014, I was living by myself, and although I had a fish tank - they can only provide you with so much company. I wanted a pet that would be small, easy to care for, but big enough to cuddle with. I didn't want birds, hamsters, gerbils or rabbits. Mice were too small...but rats were...the perfect size. Not too big like a rabbit and not too small. They were bi-nural and had distinct personalities. I did quite a bit of research, and from what I read, those who kept rats as pets raved about them.

So I dove in head first, and started looking around on Craigslist for rats that needed homes. I didn't want to buy some from the pet store (in case I decided they weren't a good fit for me). So when I came across an ad for two black and white hooded rats with a cage for $20, I contacted the seller.
A week later, I came home with two male, one year old rats named Vikki and Carl. I quickly decided to change their names to Merlin and Jack.

It took them a few days to warm up to me. Both were shy at first, and didn't want to come out of the comfort of their cage. It became apparent that Merlin was the head-honcho and was most outgoing. Jack was still timid and shy up til after a few months of having them. But by then, it didn't matter. I had already fallen in love with the my two boys.

I had Jack and Merlin for only a few short months. Around May, Jack started to develop a concerning lump underneath his right ear. I thought maybe it was an abscess. It was, but it was the result of an underlying illness. Jack had a Zymbals Gland Tumor. Jack's quality of life declined, and I made the sad decision to have him put to sleep.

Before Jack got sick, I had adopted a third rat from an acquaintance at one of the local pet stores. I knew both my boys were getting old, and I didn't want one of them to be alone if the other passed away. So I brought home Issac, a little black 3 month old berkshire in early January.

Merlin was still doing ok after Jack passed. He had lost a lot of weight, and was going senile. He would forget where he was, and mistake fingers for food. I was lucky to have him another month and a half, when he passed away peacefully, from old age.

I was now left with just Issac. He had always been a teddy bear, from the first day I got him. Outgoing, and lovable, he would always greet you with a lick or two on the hand, and still does. He hangs out on my shoulder while I'm walking around the house, and sits with me on the couch.

I guess I felt like I had an empty nest after my two old boys passed away...I now have a total of 5 furry friends. Three of those are babies from Star and Issac's litter. Star, I adopted from the same acquaintance where I got Issac not long after Merlin passed.

Their kids, Houdini, Atlas and Dot, were born on July 21st 2015. Houdini is a berkshire like his dad, but grey and white like his mom. Atlas looks almost identical to his mom, but is going to be a big cuddly boy like his dad. Dot, my only little girl, is a dumbo, but doesn't really look like either parents. They all have great personalities.

This is a blog about Issac and the Rat Pack.

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