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hi everyone, my name is jim. i'm the owner of three wonderful female hooded rats named Bella, Ella, and Adora. I'm a first time rat owner, but I've had them for over 6 months now. I was always afraid of rats because my house sits in a wooded area and we had a few minor infestations of rats during the colder months. however, when my now ex-girlfriend and i were at the pet store one day getting stuff for our guinea pigs, i saw a gray and white hooded rat(Bella) and I fell in love. I asked to see her and she climbed up my arm right away and I knew i had to have her. we also got a creme/white hooded rat(Ella) who at first didn't like being picked up or played with much. we got Adora more recently. They all love attention, but Bella is the trouble maker. She got away from us twice while we had her out of the cage, but all she wanted to do was explore.

I love my babies, but here's my problem: now that me and my girlfriend are no longer together, i find myself afraid to handle them for fear of them escaping. when my girlfriend was here, it was easier because if they tried to get away while we were holding them, she grabbed them. but now that i'm by myself, i'm worried about them escaping as i said, and its hard to isolate them one at a time to take them out because they're always together in their cage.

any suggestions on what i can do to overcome this fear?
 
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