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A Rat Tale, Updated

10 March 2006

Updated 13:30 (Do you guys realize how difficult it is to snap a photo of a rat? She’s like a 3 year old little girl: “What are you doing? Are you taking a picture of me?! This is my best side. Helllloooooo in there! Is this the screen? Oooh, that’s shiny! What does this button do?”– So the pictures are probably way too big, and they’ll take forever to download. But YOU ALL ASKED FOR IT!)

For Valentine’s Day, Trixie made little paper heart valentines for each of the animals, which she attached to a small treat. The cat completely ignored his. The dog said, “Thanks very much for this biscuit, but did you notice there’s this bit of paper stuck to it? Oh, never mind, I tore it off, now I can eat the biscuit!” The rat, who is hers (and Trixie takes her responsibility seriously), got to see the pink heart through the bars of her cage, but the treat of special seeds and nibbles was placed in the rat’s food bowl, and the heart remained on the desk.

During one of her desk perambulations three weeks ago, the rat became curious about the pink heart. Mostly, she was curious about the bit of tape still stuck to it. So she began to nibble. And nibble. Being the softie that I am, I let the rat have her valentine. It’s just a piece of paper, right? And rats in the wild eat such terrible things, a bit of paper can’t hurt. (I did remove the tape, though.)

Trixie was a bit worried at first, but she’s a first-time mom, after all. The rat brought the pink heart into her little wooden house, and we would see a corner of it peek out the door, from time to time, when the rat was rearranging her living space.

Last week, for some reason, after Trixie changed the litter in her cage, the rat decided to move house up to the eating platform, and she brought up a large piece of brown paper towel and some bits of litter material to line her new cozy house/food bowl (it’s all the rage among young urban rats this season, I hear).

And, to decorate her new home, she brought—you guessed it, the valentine. It’s been nibbled a bit on one lobe, but it’s too cute to see her snuggle up to it when she’s sleeping.

1. See that little pinkness on the left? That’s the valentine.

2. Once she woke up, I had to bribe her back into her bed with a kibble. You can see more of the valentine.

3. Here she is, face on. Again, a wee bit of the valentine is also visible below her.

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