The Big Cheese Got Bigger

The Animal Kingdom sometimes gets a lot of attention here. And here I go again. I can’t help it really. I am amazed by the presence of most animals.

Sometimes, certain species get a bad rap. It is sort of like being prejudiced against certain groups of humans because you haven’t gotten to know them properly. Like Mimes.

We, humans, do the same things with animals.

Take rats.

Most people hate rats, but haven’t actually spent any time with them. Their heads are full of misconceptions about those little rodents. But I am here. I pulled out my little broom — not the one I ride on — and I am here to clean things up.

A little study came out recently. Actually, a big one. To quote Popular Science: “The pet ownership study, conducted online by RightPet, is quite comprehensive. It was conducted over a period of eight years, from 2010 to 2018, and asked nearly 16,800 pet owners from 113 countries to rate their level of satisfaction with a particular animal on a scale of zero (extremely dissatisfied) to five (fully satisfied).”

Got it? With all the results well in: Pet rats do not disappoint. In fact they were the best. Kids between the ages of 10 and 17 reported being happier with rats than cats, dogs, or other popular pets. Another item of note: The least satisfying pets are scorpions and geese. I get this. (Dogs and cats grew in popularity as participants got older, too.)

But back to rats. Here are some things you should know.

•• Rats take care of injured and sick rats in their group. •• This one is tops. A lot of other animals shun the injured. Not rats. They put on a little pot of Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul. Rat Nurses. Helping other Rats. Honor.

•• Without companionship, rats tend to become lonely and depressed. •• Like a lot of people I know. The Rat Pack.

•• Rats have excellent memories. Once they learn a navigation route, they won’t forget it. •• This is way better than most humans can do. We have complex GPS systems built into all our gadgets, and most of us can’t find the way to the Piggly Wiggly two times in a row. Rat Brains Rule.

•• Rats make happy “laughter” sounds when they play. •• We all know how important it is to play and laugh. Rats are like little, wholesome, Tickle-Me-Elmos.

•• Although very curious animals, rats are also shy, and prefer to run away than confront a potential threat. •• Yes, rats are peaceful beings, like Buddha, and Mother Theresa, and Ghandi. Passive.

•• Rats are extremely clean animals, spending several hours every day grooming themselves and their group members. They are less likely than cats or dogs to catch and transmit parasites and viruses. •• Bet you never would have guessed that one. It is okay to snuggle your rat.

•• A rat can go longer than a camel without having a drink of water. •• This is especially helpful when you take your Pet Rat on vacation to places like the Sahara Desert.

•• The rat is the first of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. •• I am a boring Dragon. But people born in Rat years possess characteristics like intelligence, honesty, ambition, creativity, and generosity.

So there you have it. The Rat Report. Oh, and by the way. It is estimated that there are 7 Billion Rats on the planet. Same a humans. That works out to be a Pet Rat for each and every one of us. The cheese sales will soar. I think I just saved the Dairy Industry.

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“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”
― Helen Keller

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“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”
― A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
― Anais Nin

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