I've managed to "convert" my husband. Well, the rats have really. Not that he needed much conversion. He LOVES animals, but get very, very attached so it always hits him harder than he expects when they get sick or die. We had the best hamster in the world, and after he lived his two full, happy years and we had to have him put down, it took 2 years for us to agree that we needed more fuzzies.
SO I got Dax and her sister Kira in May. When Kira couldn't recover from some difficulties as a result of her spay, we had to put her down. It was hard for me, but I think it hurt him more. He said he felt like he didn't spend enough time getting to know them. Now we have had Nip and Tuck, my sweet little boys for a month, and despite the fact that he tells everyone that he is trying not to like them (ha!), he still talks to them and laughs at their antics. But he's become very fond of Dax. He calls her his favorite, and wrestles with her and gives her the best treats. It's so sweet.
I think that ratties got short changed when they were handing out lifespans. They are much more interesting than turtles and they live a LONG time.
I LOVE my ratties... too bad I have to work or I'd be home with them all the time.