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.