Just wanted to share a story that, wow, just wow. Rats have already stolen my heart.
Day two with the little ladies. Molly and Mary, adorable, a few days weened off of mama and in a temporary (and reasonably sized) bin cage. (With proper ventilation, space, etc etc. We're in the process of building them a large cage.) I take the bin and place it in the center of my bed, block off a large area, pull the mattress out so they had more area to explore. (My mattress is directly on the floor, no box spring.) I reach into what was once a kleenex box, let them sniff me before I go to pick them up, and put them on the mattress.
At first they were confused, hesitant, maybe even a little alarmed. The two snooped around, and even returned to their cage once or twice before venturing back out. Once they were comfortable, I knew right away their own little personalities.
Molly is a rather shy one, quick and cautious. She'll snatch a cheerio right from my fingers, whereas Mary will slowly and delicately pull it away. Mary was just all over the place and showed more interest in me than her sister. But what was really fun, is when after what was probably half an hour of play, they started to get really comfortable.
At this point both are exploring between the mattress and the wall. Mary's energy level spikes, and her and Molly zip around. I put my hand on the floor, and stomped my fingers and my hand ran up and down. Mary leapt into a game, I couldn't stop laughing.
I would gently cup her, then my hand would scurry away. Once she'd catch my hand (hop on it), I'd cup her again and my hand would go running. She'd chase it in circles and then tumble and romp with her sister. We had to have played this game for almost ten minutes. They were all over me, too. Exploring my hair, sniffing my nose and my lips. I talked to them a lot, too. Think they like that.
When we put them away, they curled up and crashed.
Later on, I returned to see if they wanted to come out for another 20 minutes or so. I let them both sniff me, and pick up Mary who's a bit squirmy and set her on my chest. She held still once I started petting her, but when I went to move her she darted off and went back to her kleenex box.
To be honest I was worried I maybe freaked them out. I let them sniff me again and started to replace some wet bedding at the opposite end of the cage. They watched me, and when I looked back and put my hand up for them to sniff, I couldn't believe my eyes, their little heads were vibrating! I looked closer, and I can't be truly certain because I've never owned rats before, but I think they were chattering!
My hand crept in and I started to gently stroke Mary, who laid down and rested her head. I then pet Molly with my thumb and she curled into her sister.
It was so interesting! They were so tired from running around and playing games and exploring that they just wanted time to sleep haha. Needless to say, they stole my heart. I'm amazed by how different their personalities are, and how quickly they're opening up to me. I already feel pretty much like a member of the family.
If I would have known rats were so amazing, I would've gotten these guys a long time ago.