When my fiancée first asked me about making our little family of animals bigger, I was a bit hesitant. I was open to the idea but thought about the animals we already have. There is Diego, my silly green cheeked conjure, Hotdog, the clever ball python, and Spaghetti, the loveable corn snake; do we need another?
One day, as we were strolling through Petco searching for bird food and aspen for our snakes, Alexandra called out my name. “Giovanni, come look!” As I walked over, she showed me a tiny fancy rat. After a very long talk, we decided to take him home. Like most people, the thought of rats made me cringe a little. I thought rats were mean and messy; however, this is not the case. This little fancy rat touched my heart in so many ways; we decided to name him Poofy.
After some research, we found out that rats are actually very intelligent, clean, and sweet social creatures. Never judge a book by its cover! After a while, we decided it was time to get Poofy a friend, and so we got Casper the rat! They clicked immediately. Poofy and Casper did everything together. They slept together, wrestled together, ate together, and even swam together!
Years went by, and all of a sudden, Casper got sick. Casper had developed a small tumor that rapidly grew. Although Poofy could tell that Casper was not feeling well, Casper always kept his head up and his tail swinging! Each night, they would sleep together and share their favorite snacks. Poofy would groom Casper on spots he could not reach, and Casper would do the same. Eventually, Casper passed, and Poofy was very upset.
Fancy rats taught me to never judge and to never turn your back on your family. All animals, no matter how big or small, are capable of teaching even the smartest person what is missing in their lives. The saying is true: “Great things come in small packages.”
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