Rat Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Sorry this is a bit long.. I just need to get this out.

I like my coworkers, honestly I enjoy that I get to work with other crafters... but so many of them give me crap for my pets.

There are so many things I thought people would give me trouble for- vegetarian, lesbian, drawing furry art (not porn), being part Roma- but it's the rats that they harp on. We get to talking about our pets and I try to chime in with stories of my boys doing something cute or silly and they sneer and say "ew gross! Rats are so nasty!" Even when I tell them that Gustav is a neat freak, and that I give them baths, they stick with the "rats are dirty" stereotype. They say the same thing about my tarantula. Only one of my coworkers has ever owned rats, and she says that she would rather have rats again than dogs.

My grandmother also keeps saying that my rats are going to bite me and I'll die of some super-infection.
One of my cousins keeps sending me links that cite outright lies about spiders and rats. I tell her that dogs kill people all the time, labradors a notorious biters (she has a lab mix), and she tells me I'm lying, or that those dogs were raised wrong, or it's just not true. Yeah, most dog attacks are from dogs that are abused, but there are also cases of dogs defending themselves or responding to stress. Guess what? Spiders only bite humans in defense! They aren't randomly biting humans because they like to be jerks (that's cats! jk) they are trying to keep themselves from being squished or grabbed.
I also tell her that I have been bitten by a brown recluse and by black widows, it didn't kill me because I do not have a compromised immune system. She just refuses to listen and even told me she wishes all spiders were dead- to which I told her that that would make way for the centipede population to grow.

Heaven forbid I post a picture of my rats on Facebook, I'll get negative comments from her, and I've blocked her before, but then my family gave me a hard time and said I was being immature. I've unblocked her and asked her to keep her negative comments to herself but she just tells me I'm being a brat. This is the same person that whined to our grandmother that I was being rude when I asked if the the shadow that looks like a peanut on her ultrasound was her baby. I know I'm not always as polite as I should be with her, but I'm giving a lot better than I get.

I'm just tired of being insulted and shut down when I try to talk about my pets. I try to tell them facts, but then I get more **** for "not respecting their opinions".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
664 Posts
Psychology 101: People love their fallacies. People just hate on rats/spiders because they don't understand them. I like to remind people (assuming they're of some european descent) that theoretically if it weren't for the Brown rat they might not exist today. It was the Brown rat that came to Europe and displaced the plague carrying Black rat, helping to stop the spread of the plague. Also, i've never understood how people could be afraid of spiders. I'm much more afraid of mosquitos and all of the not-so-lovely things they like to share with us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Kind of stuck in a balancing act with my family... most of the trouble comes from the German/French side that has always been a bit hard everyone. If I don't play nice, they will demand I pay them back for my college expenses.

Yeah, they do love their fallacies. The like to think they are fact.
The things I hear about spiders all the time. I understand that not everyone likes these animals, but I'm not a huge fan of some animals and I still know to respect that other people love them. It's just basic human decency. Didn't we all learn that in grade school?

I saw a chart once that showed how many humans are killed by different types of animals. Spiders weren't even on it because so few people die from spider bites. I think only an estimated 10% of all spider bites worldwide require medical attention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Everyone I know said the same thing when I said I'm getting rats: "Why would you want a rat?? Don't you know how filthy they are??"

Some people I have been able to bring around, some I haven't. If they don't want to see my rats they don't have to, that's why they are in my bedroom. My boyfriend and I have friends who own a tarantula, and I have been extremely arachnophobic all of my life. Even pictures can make me hyperventilate. I know they are almost always harmless but it's one of those irrational fears I think almost everyone has. Our friends always ask if people want to see the spider and those who do go into the other room and those who don't stay in the living room and hang out til they come back.

I just try to make it clear that if you don't like my pets, that's fine and when you come over I won't make you look at them but don't disrespect me by insulting the things I love IRL or on social media. Don't like it, don't look at it or remove it from your timeline! I do the same to all of my other friends who occasionally post something I don't agree with or don't want to look at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,072 Posts
Rats aren't much different than kids/people. Haha nothing can be said about my rat that I can't say about someone's kid. That kind of throws people off. it doesn't bother me much when people say" ew your rat so and so." I just laugh it off and say something like you are crazy! Rats are awesome!! I think people are used to me being a little "off" anyway so most are open minded. I live by the "if it don't apply, let it fly" motto. I had one coworker who didn't like my rat, but he still got pictures of wilder being my co-captain in the car, or doing cute amazing things :D I'd force my ratty pics on people! Haha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
955 Posts
Och I feel so lucky that I don't have to deal with this stuff. My mum comes round to see me and brings gifts for my boys - she thinks they're adorable. She says she's their grandmother :p And my friends who aren't so keen are polite enough to refrain from being rude. I get - "oh I don't like rats but I have to admit yours are cute" or "my kids are obsessed with looking at your rat pics on my facebook" :) Others are curious and have made a point to come over to meet them.

At the end of the day - whether its a hobby, pet, whatever, if something is important to your friend or family member, you don't have to like it - but you should respect the fact that its important to them even if you can't understand the appeal yourself. There's just no need for rude comments. I wouldn't go up to a friend and say - "oh gee, your taste in clothes is disgusting, why on earth would you wear those?!" So I don't expect anyone to do the same about my pets. Its plain bad manners.

I once had a friend (now ex friend) say to me the day after my family cat had died - a cat I grew up with - "why are you so upset - it's only an animal." I could never forgive her and our friendship quickly faded after that. If a friend can't be sympathetic when I'm grieving over the loss of something that I loved deeply, then they are not a true friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
I'm in this boat very much so. Except I DO get gip at work for my vegan, lesbian ways ha. But I actually get more angsty when people immediately jump to the conclusion that rats a "dirty vermin". I have a family who thinks I'm absolutely barmy (all bar my brother girlfriend who I've converted to an avid rat lover!!) and my OH's family just aw at me thinking this is some part of my anxiety..

I don't understand these people at all. I'm not a fan of spiders but I'm not going to "ew" at you or anybody else who owns a tarantula! I think they just need something to hate on in their lives rather than opening their lives to new things and new experiences.

Ignore them, irregardless of if they're family, colleagues or friends. If they're going to talk about something you love with such disrespect, they're not even worth your breath.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
My family has always thought I'm a little off and they don't mind telling me so...but I just reply that as long as I'm a functioning adult, what does it matter how "off" I am! My parents have never met my rats since we live 600 miles apart, but I talk to them about them all the time and get the stereotypical response from my mother. I can't wait for them to come visit for my graduation so that I can show them just how awesome they really are. My dad is disabled and can't work and I really think he'd enjoy having a couple of rats himself (since he's alone most of the day at home), so I'd really like to make a good case for that when they visit. I suppose I'm fairly lucky with the people that I choose to talk to and share my rat stories with because even if they have misconceptions about rats, none of them really seem to be stuck on the stereotypes and they are mostly willing to hear my reasons for why rats are awesome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
I'm pretty terrified of spiders but I respect what they do for our ecosystem. Even having spiders in your home is really helpful in getting rid of other bugs that are more of nuisance. Whenever I tell people I have rats their usually pretty suprised but I usually don't get people being outright rude. A lot of times I just refrain from telling people unless they ask what pets I have. I also tell them that my rats come when called, don't poop or pee outside their cage, and groom themselves more than some cats do. My boys have learned quite a few tricks without me and having to teach them. Like not peeing or pooping outside their cage. Everytime they would pee or poop outside their cage it was usually on me so I was stick them back in there while I cleaned it up and then take them out again and thats exactly how you train a dog to go outside. I usually use the analogy that their like little dogs because lots of people love little dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
I'm sorry you have to deal with that. My family is pretty chill about my rats. My dad doesn't *love* them, lol, but he isn't rude about it. I've had some people look at me funny, but I ignore the negativity. It can be frustrating but I let it go because they just don't know what they're missing. :) I've only ever had one person refer to my rats as "vermin" but he's not a close friend or anything, just someone my husband works with. I laughed at him and went about my business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Do any of them have dogs or cats? Let them know that domestic rats carry less diseases than domestic dogs. So a dog bite would be more dangerous than a rat bite. And rats are as clean, if not cleaner than cats. My advice would be to just ignore them (I know its hard) but if you're happy with your rats (I don't know how people can't love them) everyone else can just suck it up and shut it up. They need to get over themselves. They clearly think they are important enough to try and dictate how you live your life. Some of my extended family members think my rats are gross, mainly when I post a picture to FB. I just say "Thank You" to whatever they post. That normally shuts them up. Anyways, good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
My family isnt crazy about my rats and i do get the occasional comment but if they don't like the rats, I refrain from showing them pictures. My grandmother is border line ratphobic because of where she grew up so I never showed her pictures except for the ONE time she asked, I showed her a picture of my tan berkshire Sophie on my shoulder and her tail wasn't visible. And my grandmother said "aw okay so that one is cute, but just that one!"

On the Facebook thing though, its been my rule ever since I got one, that it was my friends-only space. No family. I don't add anyone. No second cousins or aunts I never see. Not even my sister. If they want to know what I'm up to, text me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
It's just been really hard lately. There's all this other stuff that's piled on top, so the addition of people saying rude things about my pets has been really hard to take. Some people just make comments out of the blue when the subject of pets comes up. "Oh, she doesn't have pets, she has an infestation!"

My grandmother also gives my mom **** for... well everything. She's a bully. She was yelling at my mom on the phone when she found out I got the rats, because my mom was encouraging me to have them... in my grandmother's eyes she's just encouraging me to be a "freak" (her usual word to describe me since I was a teen). We try to avoid her, but she's the matron of the French/German side of the family, and has all the money and manipulates other family members- she paid for a different cousin's heating in Colorado durning Winter and threatened to have her heat turned off if he did not show up to the family reunion with a haircut and his tattoos covered.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top