Petal is a rat my son received as a pet at Christmas. (On a related note, if you want to avoid this in your home, you might not rent the movie, Ratatouille.)
Rats elicit a range of emotions from people. Revulsion comes to mind. Also, anxiety, disgust, fear, and other related emotions. My kids think rats are great, though, and I suppose that is what matters… at least this weekend. Did I mention that my daughter would like a pet rat, too, and that her birthday is this weekend? So we may see a friend joining Petal very soon.
Having a rat has also exposed us to the world of those who are really into them as pets. I learned recently that about 500,000 households (in the U.S.) have them as pets. I got this information off of the Rat Assistance & Teaching Society web site. Their mission statement: We believe rats should be respected as pets and treated as humanely as any other pet. Nice, right?
Well… that may be more than anyone wanted to know about the topic. After all, 500,000 homes is not that many when you think about it. (There are nearly 75 million pet dogs in the U.S.!)