I started reading about rats way back in May of 2003 at Curiosity Rats. I became very intrigued by rats and started looking into getting some of my own. I didn't talk to my parents about getting my own rats until September of 2003. They agreed to let me get two females. I bought my first female from a pet store, she was an agouti girl that was very sweet and loved to sleep on my shoulder. However, I had this weird moment the day that I got her and felt like I didn't need rats (when I really had just been having a horrible day). We took that female back and I was ratless again for about a week.

My dad and I started driving around a lot, checking out many pet stores to try and find a wonderfully sweet, young female who loved to just hang out in your hand. After traveling around for a long time, I bought Lily - my first official rat. Immediately after I got Lily, I started to go to other pet stores to try and find a friend for Lily. We found a beautiful litter at a pet store that would be avaliable for buying some babies in about a week. So, we had our names written down and when the litter was avaliable, I ended up going home with Luna. Ever since then, I have been hooked on rats.

Granted, during all of this time I have learned so much more about the care and raising of rats through wonderful mentors, websites, and books. I stress the importance of proper quarantine, handling, feeding, and caging.

My females are housed in a Martin's R-695. They get daily play time and are fed Suebee's mix, along with lab blocks and fresh fruits and vegetables (plus your occasional treat every now and then). I use Aspen for their bedding and Yesterday's News for their litterbox. I have a large "Rat Table" that the girls play on most of the time and they are allowed on that for one to two hours a day.

I got my first males on April 9, 2005. I had had males as fosters before but never as my own "pets". Vivaldi and Gershwin are two amazingly spoiled and sweet boys. They are housed in a Martin's R-685 and use the same bedding, food, and exercise routine as my girls do.



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