Ten Questions: About Rats

by Scott Lydon

In the upcoming year, our resolution is to get to know our community a little better. What you like, what you dislike, who you are. We've learned from talking to you, there's a lot to enjoy by meeting our community!

This time, we're talking with Rhonda, aka RhondaCakes, a wonderful young lady who made her rat a pretty classy looking home.




Isn't that lovely? We've got ten questions with Rhonda, right after the jump...

Ten Questions With Rhonda

1) How old is your rat?
I bought Astaire from a pet store when he was a baby, along with his brother Elvis that sadly got sick and left the building after I bought him. It hasn't been quite a year yet, but I'm hoping to have him around a few more years. I also have two baby rats named Disco and Stagger Lee that are about a month old.




2) Where was your rat living before this? Is it a step up or a step down?
Before his classy new bachelor pad he is now residing in he was staying in a grapefruit juice box we had cut holes out of, and before that a shiny white box that a watch came it. As he gets bigger we have to find him more suitable hang out he can fit in and store away things he finds. This Woot house is definitely a step up in size and style :)

3) Have you considered buying larger products in future, to give your rat more space? Maybe build him a cardboard wharf or subway?
I've always wanted to work on making a super big rat sanctuary out of maybe a bookcase or old refrigerators with the doors taken off... cardboard boxes, toilet paper tubes, juice boxes, and instant coffee containers are our specialty at the moment, oh yeah, and double bubble gum buckets.




4) How does your rat react to the velvet tones of Matthew and the Woot Podcast team?
I have to confess, we haven't had the pleasure of hearing his velvety tones on your podcast, but I have seen Astaire secretly dancing on his house to the woot off song.

Editor's note: the podcast can be heard every weekday on the main page of Woot.com and shame on you if you don't listen!

5) Why a rat? Tell us your most adorable rat story.
I have always had rats since I was about twelve, I started with three and couldn't stop. They are one of the best pets anyone can have, they are about as loyal as a dog and as low maintenance as a fish. Rats can learn their own names and be taught tricks! Most of my friends have rats of their own (including my boyfriend Michael and our friends Geoff and Taylor). We currently have 7 rats in this apartment, not including the other 9 from a previous litter which we are currently finding homes for. As for an adorable rat story, every single thing they do is awesome and they surprise me more and more everyday. A story that sticks out, though, is the time my best friend Philip and I had to take his rat, Napoleon, to the vet. When we got Napoleon on the examination table he was so terrified that he kept running over to Philip and climbing and clawing on his shirt, and he squealed every time the vet tried to pick him up. It was the saddest thing in the world and just showed the affection and trust towards humans they develop. Pets like hamsters and mice just don't seem to do that, no matter how long you have them.




6) Were those paints tested to be sure they're rat-safe? If so, were they tested on rats? How does that make you feel?
Well, the paint I use is non-toxic and apparently not tested on animals, so I am sure it's ok for rats that have been born to live in dumpsters and sewers and eat random tasty garbage. As for testing things on rats, I sure hope that doesn't happen anywhere anymore and if so, I think it sucks, of course. I'm sure there are different ways of testing the safety of products now without having to use animals... there better be.

7) Do you know anything about your rat's lineage? His history or family tree? Could his great-great-grandparents have traveled to America in a shipping container, or is he the first in his family to become involved in retail?
I'm sure that like most brown rats, and their cousin the black rat, his great great granddad rat was a rat pirate that traveled from Asia and Europe and so on and so forth until they were bred for testing purposes into being the domesticated house rats they are today. There are so many rats there's no way of tracking a family tree unless you personally keep them going in your family for years. I would love to think that Astaire is a descendent of RatFink or Master Splinter... Ratatouille is cool too, or Ben, M.J.'s rat. But who knows?

8) What does your rat normally eat? What does he eat when you're not looking?
That's one of the best things about having a rat, you can feed them a little bit of whatever you happened to have for breakfast, lunch or dinner and they will love it. Its super cute to watch them eat spaghetti and ice cream, and I always bring him my leftover french fries and seafood from restaurants. When I'm not looking he likes to sneak around on the coffee table and steal candy wrappers, plastic, lighters, and whatever food we happen to leave unattended. I find everything later when I'm cleaning out his house. But I obviously make sure my rats get good stuff like fruits and veggies so they'll live much longer.

9) Do the local birds of prey hang out on your windowsill and wait for you to let your guard down?
Any bird about the size of a pigeon he could beat the crap out of but when it comes to hawks and such I try to keep an eye out so he doesn't get snatched up.

10) Does your rat ever get to go outside? If so, what is his favorite season?
I try not to let him hang out on his own outside so he doesn't get eaten or hurt or run off, but he does hang out on my shoulder when im out on the balcony to enjoy some air. He has only really been alive during three seasons but so far I would say he likes the fall, cause that's when he gets to eat tasty pie and thanksgiving leftovers.







Thanks to RhondaCakes for indulging us, and all the best to her lovely vermin friends. And speaking of vermin, we want to learn more about you! Done something great? Something ridiculous? Something woot-related? Let us know! Maybe you'll be the one answering the next ten questions!