Why Rats Are a Writer’s Best Friend (or just MY best friend)

Ever since I have moved into an apartment with my boyfriend, I have been looking for the perfect apartment pet. I have a linnie bird back home, but unfortunately carrying him from the city to home for school breaks would be too difficult.

This week, I finally decided on getting a rat. Contrary to popular belief, rats are a great pet to have; they are super clean (seriously, mine won’t stop grooming itself), cuddly, low-maintenance, and learn to love you. My little buddy here is still getting used to being around me, and he is already falling asleep in the legs of my pyjama pants as I’m reading a book.

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So in celebration of Pikachu (yes, that’s what I named him), here is a list of why a pet rat can become a writer’s best friend. Or maybe it’s just me. (Warning: this applies only to writers who are like me, meaning that they love cuddling and giving/receiving affection from pets).

They Are Low Maintenance

Apart from the fact that they do need to be handled often, rats are a very low-maintenance pet. Make sure their cage is clean and that they have good food and water, and you’re all set. They can even be litter trained, which means less cleaning to do. For a writer who is bus with writing and other occupations in his or her life, this is great.

They Are Shoulder Pets

Many rats love to just hang out on your shoulder. This pretty much means that you can do other stuff you need to do while spending time with your beloved pet. Need to wash your dishes? Let it hang out. Typing at your computer? Put him on your shoulder.

They’re Cheap

Rats are not expensive. The food isn’t that expensive, especially if you buy in bulk. The most expensive cost initially will be the cage, but it doesn’t have to be. Websites like Ebay and Kijiji let you find others who will give you good deals for their old cages. I got mine for 80$, and it’s a decent size. So, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a pet, a rat might be a good idea. 

They Love to Cuddle

Either while I’m writing, reading, or playing on my DS, all while I’m lying down on the couch, Pikachu is there with me. When he’s tired, he cuddles on me and falls asleep. When he’s not, he explores all around me or licks my arm. Basically, he’s there to give affection even as I do solitary things. I think that is the reason I love him the most. Things that I do as a writer – things that humans, like my boyfriend, can’t participate in with me – are things that a rat can join you for a cuddle any time.

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Do you like pets? If so, what type do you prefer?

I like everything from cats to dogs and reptiles and rodents, but parrots are my favourite. When I have a car and a bigger apartment, I definitely want a parrot. And a cat. And a dog. And maybe a lizard, along with a bunch of rats.

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