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Ratatouille
I've become a crazy rat person. A couple years ago, our oldest son brought home a fancy rat named "Sheila."  This occurred after one of his roommates received a rat terrier puppy for Christmas.  As a result, "She-she," as she became known, needed a new home.  So began the following conversation: Son: I need you and Mom to house Sheila for a little while. Me: How long is a "little while"? Son: Until she dies. Me: That's what I figured. Now, the thing to know about fancy rats is, they only live 2-4 years.  The other thing to know is, they will charm their way into your hearts faster than you can say, "Ratatouille." Before long, She-she had become one of the most beloved pets my wife and I had ever cared for.  When we were home, she often had the run of the house (full disclosure: she was litter trained when we got her).  When we had ice cream for dessert, She-she got her own little bowl. Then the inevitable happened.  She-she became ill and, at barely more than two-and-a-half years old, we were forced to put her down.  Tears were shed. My wife and I subsequently vowed to take a break from owning pets. The traumatic end-of-life business had taken its toll. A short while later, we welcomed two new housemates to our abode: Milli and Vee (short for Vanilli). Don't judge me.
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