My CyberSpace Rat

Roxanne Morris
From the RMCA web site, May 2002

While living in California's Silicon Valley, I bought a rat from a local pet shop. I knew he was going to be a wonderful pet to have. My dad had a rat when he was a kid that he used to regularly send to the ground from a roof via a homemade parachute. Almost everyone in my immediate family has enjoyed having this kind of animal as a pet.

This particular kind of rat is seen in many pet stores and is very lovable, and one of God's sweet creatures. Though many people would find this hard to believe, rats are very lovable animals, and show their affection to people that are kind to them.

The only issue I had with MY latest rat given me from the Lord was that the He rat was actually a She rat who quickly presented me with eleven babies. After about six weeks, I was able to find good homes for five of the babies at IBM employees' homes.

That left me with seven rats that were still at my place: four boys, two girls, and their obviously very productive mother. I still had to find homes for these little ones where they could live happily during their naturally short lifetimes.

My rats grew quickly while happily playing in their cages and also on my floors. I never named them because rats can "hear" their own names by its unique sound inside of their ears: I wanted the new owners to exclusively give them names. The only problem I had was that "new owners" weren't immediately found.

One rat became my favorite, and I planned to keep him. I was then justifiably able to give him a name. I named him Scrapper because he enjoyed having playful scraps with his siblings. In fact, a kind researcher at a university said that young rats "chirp" vigorously during play that humans cannot hear. Like many animals, they enjoy having "fun."

Scrapper also enjoyed sitting on my shoulder when I was at my computer. He thereby became technologically astute while viewing a colorful monitor when I did a Web search to learn more about, for instance, the restoration process of Egypt's Sphinx.

Often he would stop watching and would give himself a personal groom because rats do like to be clean. Standing on my shoulder, he would turn his head around to his backside to do a tongue-wash of his fur. One time he lost his balance and fell down on top of the computer keyboard. He immediately regained his composure and quickly moved to the computer's "backside." This frightened me because rats habitually chew everything that they can sink their teeth into, and I did not want a serious System Shutdown.

My computer's well being was saved, and so was that of all of my rats. I kept two boys, my parents happily took their brothers, and a friend took their sisters and mother. So "good homes" were finally found for all of my lovable rats, and the boys even lived two years longer than the average rat kept as a pet!

I believe that loving these animals by humans keep them living longer. But life in animal labs is a quick and excruciating painful way this sweet little animal leaves to inhabit, as my father calls it, "God's Rat Cage in the Sky."