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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my first rat nail-cutting experience. I was NOT looking forward to it, but it had to happen... Tiny, my largest buck, he would leave me scratched from the neck down every time I had him out. I am not directly allergic to rats, but I am allergic to their urine, and so their scratches would leave raised marks... nothing serious, but it would hurt just to have him on my shoulder after a while, and with his nails so sharp, he couldn't go 2 seconds without leaving a matrix of scratches.

I tried putting a brick in his cage, but it didn't help... Tiny, he throws a freaking fit when you try to give him a bath... like his life is at stake, so I was not looking forward to having to basically hold him still while my wife snipped the tips.

I donned my leather gloves, just in case... anyway, the first foot went mostly ok, then the 2nd foot he started to struggle and I held as hard as I felt was ok, I didn't want to strangle him... so when he struggled too hard and started freaking out I had to let him go for a sec then to try to finish the back feet, after a couple fear poops, my might add... well after I got his backs done, I took off the gloves because I was going to have to use my fingers to hold his front feet with more finesse.

This is when the unexpected happened... the first snip and he makes a squeek and I think "uh oh" and let him go... well what does he do? He starts licking me! Bruxing! Licking... like 8O ... I don't know... I was putting him through **** but it was almost as if he knew I wasn't trying to hurt him. It was quite interesting for him to do that... I really felt like, now I know for sure he likes his human friend enough to not hold a grudge.

We finished last toes without incident and I gave him a treat... now he is in my lap like any other day, except of course, he isn't scratching the **** out of me. It's all good in the hood.
 

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:lol: If I tried to clip my scratchy boy's nails I think I may get bitten, ever though he hasn't even indicated he'd bite for months now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haha... yeah tiny bit me the first night I had him... only time I ever got bit. It has been a long time ago, but wasn't going to try this without my trusty work gloves... My furry little friend may be good at making me talk like an idiot, getting me to feed him treats, and petting him on my lap, but I do not trust him to know how to properly pierce my body.

It was just getting too hard to play with him... his talons were making even shoulder riding painful. I don't know why, but he is the only one that does not keep his nails trim. This was not just for my sake, but his, for his nails were snagging things and one toe had already been hurt by this.
 

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That's so sweet! ^_^

Something similar happened to me with my boy. After I got him neutered, the vet had to take the staples out. But they weren't coming out. Two vets and two vet techs all tried, for like an hour. All while they made me hold him. And at one point while they were tugging at my poor little boy's stapled-up wound, he started frantically licking my finger. He knew I didn't want him to be going through that, and I didn't like it any more than he did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They are very emotional animals. Perhaps more nuanced than a dog or something, but it's all there. They feel, they have empathy, they get scared, they feel pleasure, they get angry, and they can forgive. I have noticed all of this... it is a shame that they live such short lives. I feel as though they deserve to live longer.

Most people in this country look at rats as just pests... to be exterminated. I don't go around trying to change people, but I do appreciate what I have learned in keeping rats. Maybe I feel humbled to think that we are not so far from them. You know that our range of hearing is 20,000hz? Did you know that a rat can hear an entire range equal to ours that is entirely outside our range of hearing? They have their own little world to themselves.

Even mice... I have two mice... the kind raised for live food... white mice with pink eyes, lab mice, and on their first night home, they constructed an incredibly elaborate little nest out of the material they had handy, shavings and tissue. I woke up and saw that they spent the night building a castle. Wonders never cease... mammals even smaller than rats, yet able to build their own little world when given the chance to.

I am not a PETA member, I love steak, I hate dogs, but there is something about these rodents that makes me happy, and to have respect for the nature that we are not as separate from as we would like to think.
 
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