Last Friday my boyfriend and I decided to do a little pet browsing at Petsmart in Glenville. We originally went in with the intention of merely looking at the animals, commenting on their cuteness, and then leaving, but that plan quickly changed. The first area we checked out belonged to the reptiles, my boyfriend’s favorite. We looked at all the different lizards, from chameleons to bearded dragons, and then spent some time gazing at the snakes. I’ve secretly always wanted a snake but, knowing my parents would never let me have one in our house, I’ve had to let that dream die. I made myself content with just staring at them through the glass. We searched high and low for aquatic turtles, but found out that the store had banned them due to “health regulations”. This was very sad news as we both love turtles, but we moved onto the birds.
There were so many beautiful birds that I couldn’t help thinking how my father would love them all. My father has a pet canary named Theo (he actually lives in my bedroom at my house) and he is the funniest little bird. He chirps regularly and is so afraid of human fingers that he can’t help but try to bite them when they come too close. But I digress. These pet store birdies were all different types and colors ranging from finches to parakeets and light brown to vibrant blues. They were very excited when we came over to look at them and flitted around their cages putting on a bit of a show. But as I was looking at a green parakeet I happened to glance to my left and my gaze came to rest on a little critter. I immediately left the birds and headed over to the rodent section.
Now this is my absolute favorite section of any pet store. I love watching the little critters as they play on their metal wheels or cuddle for warmth with their brothers and sisters. It is absolutely endearing to watch. I looked at the hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs and felt a touch of love for them, but that was nothing compared to what happened next. The cage directly on the bottom of all the others held a creature that seemed to be deep in sleep inside its plastic igloo. I read the tag, not sure what animal it could be. “Fancy Rat, Female” it read. I went to turn away when I saw a bit of movement out of the corner of my eye. The rat had emerged, in all her glory, and came directly up to the glass to stare at us. I drew my breath in sharply. She was adorable. She reached her tiny, pink, human-like hands up onto the glass, almost as if she wanted us to pick her up, and pressed her face against it. She then hopped down and jumped on top of her igloo and gave us another good stare. Oliver and I were infatuated immediately.
Now I’ve never really been a huge fan of rats, but upon seeing this precious rodent that completely changed. I begged Oliver to let me get her, begged him to find a space for her at his apartment, could tell he wanted her just as much, but he had to say no. There was just no way his land lord would let him keep any pet, let alone a rat, in the apartment. I was heart-broken, but cheered by his promise to get me a rat once he moved out of his apartment in the summer. Since then I haven’t been able to stop thinking about fancy rats. I google image search them, I stalk rat blogs, and I even ask the advice of rat owners and rat breeders. I have a new-found obsession. I cannot wait for the next four months to fly by so that I can get my rat. Oliver and I have even been discussing getting two females so that they can live together and be friends! Such joy fills my heart. Now I can only wait for them to be ours.