We’ve all heard the saying “a dog is a man’s best friend”, but does this sentiment still ring true today? Sure, domesticated dogs were brilliant in the olden days for herding animals into pens, or chasing down freshly wounded prey, but these outmoded tasks are not performed by the cosmopolitan dogs of today, which prefer to ride in handbags and wear fluorescent coats. Instead, they tend to loll around under the dinner table, blowing off farts in an attempt to disgust you so much that you’ll give them your food.
Cats are no better either. Most cats don’t enjoy the company of their human counterparts, maintaining an aloof veneer of self importance whilst expecting us ape-like serfs to provide food and lodgings on demand. They strut around with an undeserved sense of achievement, like a four legged Piers Morgan. Even that is better than having a cat that likes you. If it actually likes you, a cat will try and initiate you into its clan by bringing home a half dead baby bird, and watch earnestly as you cave its tiny head in with a shoe, sobbing to yourself as you put it out of its misery. If you don’t kill the animal, the cat will continue to bring home more semi-living animals, starting with sparrows and mice, slowly working up to polar bears and jaguars. Horrible creatures.
So then, for the modern person who doesn’t enjoy dinnertime flatulence or bludgeoning wildlife for the sake of decency, what is the perfect pet? Well, I’m about to reveal all, so keep on reading! Oh wait, you’ve already read the title at the top of the page. Alright, smartarse, the answer is rats. No, there are no prizes for guessing correctly.
|There's only one appropriate response to this picture, and that is "D'awwwww"|
Rats are quite simply the best animals that you can subjugate and hold in captivity in your home. Put in simple terms, they are like dogs that you don’t have to take for walks. However, if I left it there, this would be a very short post and a poor argument, so I’ll elaborate further.
For small rodents, rats are blessed with a decent amount of intelligence, similar to most dog breeds. As such, they can be taught to perform simple tasks, such as putting a ball in hoop, jumping through a hoop, shitting through a hoop, and carrying a hoop. In terms of hoops, rats have got that area sewn up tight. They can also be taught to use a litter tray for extra hygiene, which makes cleaning their cage less of a chore than it would with a turd-machine gerbil.
Another thing that people don’t tend to realise is just how affectionate most rats can become. Even if you had 100 rats, they’d still want your attention, jumping up lovingly when you enter the room, queuing up for a fuss. As they grow older, they also learn to play little games. They’ll wrestle your fingers and love to be chased around the room and tickled. They always come back for more. Females are by far the most active, whereas males still like to play, but also enjoy a nice long rest on the sofa with you. If you want a lively animal, female rats are definitely the way to go.
“But Addman, don’t they spread diseases?” I hear you cry narrow-mindedly. Wrong. Wild rats can carry disease, but mainly because we pour diahorretic turds over them on a daily basis through sewerage systems. Domestic rats, however, do not have this problem. Chances are they are more likely to get sick from you, what with your dirty lifestyle of going outdoors and touching things. You’re probably also going to say that their tails are “icky”, for which you would be wrong again. Their tails are similar in touch and texture to a human finger, so unless you find yourself repulsed by your own hands, you can’t use this as an excuse. How would you function in modern society if you are frightened of human digits? If someone waved at you, you’d have a heart attack whilst madly swinging a sharp object at them, like a dying villain in an action film making a desperate attempt to kill the hero despite having already lost.
If that’s not already persuaded you to buy some super intelligent rodents to do hoop tricks and love you until the end of time, then think about the costs when compared to a more traditional pet. Dogs and cats cost a lot to get set up. New collars, leads, food bowls, water bowls, chews, toys, beds, vaccinations, flea spray, worming tablets, and special shampoo are all required, not to mention the cost of the animal itself. Rats on the other hand, need very little. Once you have a cage for them (be generous with size if you can), all they need is a couple of plastic tubes and a hammock to sleep in. To chew, you can use the cardboard innards from toilet rolls, and empty cardboard boxes. Ours love to sleep in old Belvita boxes (probably because they can smell the biscuit goodness).
This brings me on to another fantastic point about rats. Their food is really cheap. Standard rat muesli does the trick, but they can also eat anything that people eat. If you’re having mashed potato, slam some in a small dish and let the rats have a bit. They absolutely adore egg, and will peel a boiled egg in record time. If you give a dog a piece of chocolate, it could potentially die, but rats just shrug it off and look for the next piece. Obviously, don’t cook them an entire burger and let them eat it because they’d get so fat you wouldn’t be able to fit them through the cage door.
There we go, is that reason enough for you? I suspect you aren’t reading this anymore. You’ve probably run straight to the pet shop, banging on the windows and demanding ratty satisfaction, and who would blame you? No me, that’s for sure. Just remember to thank me when your life is greatly improved by having such a super cool pet.