Christmas is five weeks away, and everyone is at least starting to think about it, if they haven't already done more than that. Also, people's thoughts are turning to what they'd like for Christmas.
A few years back I mentioned on here about wanting a lion. I know it's not a realistic wish, but I like lions. I know I couldn't provide one with what it really needs, and a lion is a wild animal that belongs out in the wild and not in captivity. But knowing that doesn't stop me wanting a pet lion.
There is another pet I've wanted since I was a child that I only haven't had because first my Mam and then Kelly insisted there was no way I could have it though... Something other than a lion, I mean.
Now, I know there will be people who wonder why I would want a pet rat, because rats have bad reputations. But rats are generally very clean and intelligent creatures, and their social nature makes them very friendly. These things combined make them fantastic pets.
I've wanted a pet rat since I was about nine or ten, and my brother, Carl, has wanted one for as long as I can remember. But neither of us could convince Mam to get us one.
I was having just as little luck with convincing Kelly... Until now!
A litter of female rats managed in like ten seconds to achieve what I've been trying to for more than ten years: convince Kelly that rats are cute.
The result was that two of them became early Christmas gifts for me.
They're of the variety of rats known as Brown Rats, though they're actually a colour called Berkshire Pearl, which is a silvery grey with white tummies. One of them also has a white marking on her forehead, which is called a blaze on a rat, but would be called a flame or star on a horse. It's that marking that helped us to name them...
The one with the marking on her forehead is called Star, and her sister is called Skye, which means cloud.
Neither have really attempted to bite, though both have checked the edibility of our fingers; Skye a bit more roughly than Star, though neither hard enough to draw blood. Star is more outgoing than Skye, and will already allow me to pick her up almost every time I try to (bearing in mind we've had them less than a week). Skye is much more nervous, but will allow me to pet her a little from time to time. Both of them will take food from us, though Skye is more hesitant about doing so than Star is.
They appear to have a fondness for cheese, pumpkin seeds, and dry pasta. Although, they haven't actually refused any food we've provided as yet, and aren't as picky as the degus and gerbils about which parts of their proper food they eat; the gerbils will pick through their gerbil mix, the degus will toss anything they don't want out of their cage, but the rats appear happy to eat everything that makes up their rat mix.
Don't worry, we aren't forgetting the degus and gerbils; if the girls get something, the boys do too... Though - in the degus' case especially - it's sometimes something different. Even down to the fact they got some new toys when I went back to the pet store with Kelly to get some toys and things for the rats.
The boys are curious about them, and often try to get to a spot in their own cages where they can see the girls. They - the degus especially - are also making a point of showing us that they're cute and like to be petted and hand fed too, which is both cute and amusing.
We've taken some photos, but haven't grabbed them off the camera yet. Hopefully soon!