Little know fact about me: I love rats.
Several years ago, while Tucker was at boot camp for the Navy, I became very, very lonely.
I had Sophie, the wonder pit bull, but I still felt a huge gaping hole in my heart where there should have been a Tucker.
In my desperation to fill that whole, I turned to the animal kingdom. NO. Not like that.
I had a sorority sister who was an underling manager at Petsmart and I would get off from one of my two jobs and hangout at Petsmart for way too long.
That led me to developing a fixation on the rats.
I blame Tucker for this. He was always bitching about how we should have gotten a rat instead of a dog – Sophie – and how the rat that he had for his behavioral psychology class was the coolest thing in the world.
So I was looking at these rats, day in and day out, and eventually I just couldn’t take it anymore.
I picked out Pumpkin and Belle and their huge ass cage and called it good.
Then, wouldn’t you know it, my sorority sister called me up and told me about a tiny little rat who needed a home and I’ll be damned if I didn’t come home with a new rat, Turnip. She got her freakin’ name because she bit just about anything that was near her. Get it? TurnNIP?
We had those rats for three years. Through us moving to Florida. Through us getting a new dog. Through me getting pregnant with Cara. Through a lot of stuff.
Then one day, I noticed that instead of three rats running around, I had TWO rats running around in their swank cage. Mind you, no rats had escaped…Pumpkin and Belle had just finally decided to eat Turnip – literally. I guess they got tired of Turnip biting them. Karma’s a bitch when you’re a rat.
One by one, my rats died and the last to go, Pumpkin, was my favorite.
I was I don’t know how many months pregnant with Cara and overly emotional as it was and I can still remember checking on Pumpkin before I went to bed for the night and realizing that she couldn’t see. By that point, I had owned her for at least three years and that’s pretty old for a pet store rat. I literally held her as she took her last breath and balled like a fucking baby as I wrapped her up in a Ziploc bag and put her in the freezer. [How’s that for an endorsement for Ziploc?]
I donated their cage to the local Humane Society and honestly haven’t thought about getting another rat until today.
Today was the day that we went to Petsmart to get a couple of mice for Henry the Snake and a bag of dog food for Sophie and while we were waiting on someone to come and pluck some mice out of the tank for Henry’s dinner, I glanced up a couple of tanks and saw this boy rat sleeping on his back.
I WANTED HIM.
I wanted to scratch his little white belly and sit him up on my shoulder.
Tucker knew something was up when I started trying to scratch the rat’s stomach through the tank’s glass.
“I tried to tell you when you were wanting a dog, years ago, that we should get a rat…” Why’s he gotta bring up old shit?
No rat came home with us tonight. Just Cara’s mice that she told us would be Henry’s dinner. However, I can’t help but think about that dude hanging out on his back, with his tiny little “hands” curled under his chin.