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So far, I feel that I've been lucky in that I have yet to truly meet someone who is opposed to my rats. The person who I've met that most dislikes them is my step-mom... Most of the time, I just don't speak about them at all in front of her. I don't like conflict and I don't want to hear anything bad about my babies. There are times that she makes small comments though, and it really upsets me. For instance, I was talking about cats once and how much I love them and she replies with, "A cat would probably get rid of those rats." With a fake sort of neutral tone. It seems like she tries sometimes, but others it's just really hurtful and I hate hearing those snide remarks about them existing.

What makes me most angry is when she came to me and fussed at me for leaving their droppings under the cage. Admittedly, there were probably more under there than there should have been, but it really wasn't that bad... (Not to mention, did she just lay on the floor and inspect it or did she mistake the couple pieces of Yesterday's News on the floor as droppings? ._.) She then went on this whole thing about how those droppings were going to give us all diseases and that she'd done the research that said even pet rats can give diseases through their droppings. Then she went on about how she didn't want the dust from all those droppings getting into the ventilation system and making us all sick. Okay, first of all, my rats are not diseased and that's a bit absurd. Second of all, our vents are on the ceiling in the bedrooms. And how much dust can possibly come from a few pellets?!

Of course, I cleaned it all up and kept it clean from then on, but even though it was a bit stupid to me, I understood her concerns. What angered me the most was that my brother has a pair of sugargliders. I've never smelled anything that reeked more than those two... I'll bet you that she never said a word to him about the dust they caused, or the diseases we could get from them. Not to mention, my brother left fruit and vegetables sitting in their cage for weeks without cleaning it out. What does she do when I tell them that? Nothing. She doesn't even care. Seriously? That's disgusting. Why do my rats get so much crap?! Because they're clean and they smell nicer? Oh, wait, no, it's because they're rats and she hates their freaking tails. But the sugar gliders are sooooo cute. You know, the ones no one cleans very well and smell terrible? Yeah, those.

Sorry guys, I just... Really needed to rant to you guys.
 

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response rant:
I have those issues with my fiance's mother as well. I understand that family feels comfortable making comments, but I think it's rude to be so openly disgusted with somebody's animals, especially if you are a guest in their house. I mean, people love their animals. I wouldn't feel comfortable openly criticizing the appearance of your dog or cat, and you would have a right to tell me off if i did.
in fact, many times people don't enforce any boundaries with their dogs, and let them leap on you and practically knock you over. You just have to shut up and ignore their impolite animals in those situations. (maybe more impolite owners)
but for some reason, when my rats are ALL the way across the room in a cage, and they are not touching you unless you specifically request contact with them, and they are not vocalizing their presence at all....it is open season for comments.
anyway, i know the struggle.
I actually put a little sign on my cage that says "please be polite to the rats, they are very fancy." to gently remind people, that we have no other animals in our house except these. they are our dogs. we love them and we take them very seriously, and please, shut up if you have nothing nice to say.
 

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When I got my first couple of rats, no one in my family supported me at all. However, since I was paying for their stuff with my money (the rats, their cage, their toys, the food for the first couple of months), they couldn't say much. My mom was the most vocal about it. She said that she didn't like rats, she could not stand them. She did not like their beady eyes, their long hairless (which aren't really hairless) tails, and they freaked her out.

Well, after I got them of course I expected her to be a little wary of them. However, if she said something I did not like, I specifically told her that was ridiculous and I told her facts. I stood up to her. A lot of people will say, "Oh well she's your mother. You should respect that she doesn't like your rats." Bull. If she's not going to respect ME or MY pets, then why should I respect anything she says? I understand her fear, but she should know better than to insult my animals and my decisions.

I say, if you pay for your pets, then you should tell her how it is. Let her know, "Hey, I don't appreciate you saying all this about MY pets and MY choice in animals. If you don't like it, then fine. But do not insult my animals and, in turn, ME." Because that is what she is doing. She is also insulting YOU. A pet is an extension of YOU. She may be your step-mom, but that doesn't mean you can't stand up to her.

These days, my mom has taken a liking to them. She doesn't insult them and she'll say hello to them when she's in my room. She might even pet them (if they don't make any sudden movements xD). Also, perhaps if you educate her that rats are domesticated, just like dogs, and do not carry diseases like wild rats do. If they DO carry anything, dogs or even cats have the same chance at carrying anything and getting sick. Rats have been domesticated for over 100 years. They have LONG since gotten over that stage and are a loving pet just like a cat or a dog.

Long story short: I would tell her straight up (don't worry about getting into it with her. Or her trying to get into it with you) that you don't appreciate what she's saying. Talk to her like an adult though. Educate her. Tell her facts. If SHE starts yelling and saying you've disrespected her, tell you didn't and not to say anything about your rats, then end the discussion and walk away. Don't fight, it will make it worst.
 

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@Fanciestrats
The sign's a good idea... I just don't understand why people can't be polite about it? :I I may not like your pet, but I would never say anything to your face about them, unless I felt they were a danger or there was some sort of serious issue going on.

@VeeVeeLa
Hello fellow Georgian. XD I like a lot of the points you made, my issue is a personal one though... I'm extremely wary of conflict. It makes me exceedingly uncomfortable, especially when it comes to my step-mom. It's not that I'm afraid of her, not really, but it's the reaction I'd get back. I don't mind a simple talk, but if there's something about her tone that sounds angry or she gets loud, I'll lose it and it won't do any good at all. I almost cried just trying to bring up the topic of getting rats in the first place, which actually went fairly well.

Educating her does no good. Actually, what sold her on me getting them was how much research I had done on them. Which is what confuses me. If she respects the research I've done, why does she come in here and say they're going to give her diseases? They won't. I've told her so. But nooo, the research she's done has been so much better than mine. You know, the whole year I've been researching them vs. the maybe hour she looked into something? Nope, I'm wrong.

Honestly, most of what she says isn't directed at me, which is why I don't fight it. I'll hear it in passing when she's talking to other people. She'll come down the stairs and say something like, "..those rat." in way that sounds bad to me, but she never actually said it to me. That's what's frustrating. I can't call her out on anything when I'm not actually sure what was said. And when she does say something to me about them, it's a tone that I sense and her words themselves aren't always too hurtful. They're far from polite, but it's not completely disrespect.

I also do mostly pay for my own rats. Vet expenses are completely on me. Food, cage, toys, etc... Have been on birthday/Christmas money. About a week ago was the first time my dad ever had to buy food for them.
 

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Haha, hello! :D

I completely understand. I usually don't like conflict either, but when I get mad at family members I tend to stand up for myself if I think/know they're wrong, but I completely understand not wanting to start anything.

She should probably look up facts about PET rats. Or fancy rats if that'll get more results. If she's looking up rats in general, or facts about wild rats that's not gonna do her any good. Maybe ask which sites she's been looking at? There are a lot of bias sites against rats out there that may even be spreading misinformation. Since she doesn't know a lot about rats, she may not know which sites are for wild rats and which are for pet rats.

If she doesn't want to do that and she's not making an effort, or at least a little bit, to listen to you...then I would call that disrespect, even if it is unintentional. Could you maybe talk to your dad? Or another person that could talk to her for you? Someone she would actually listen to. Maybe they could tell her to tone it down a little bit, because honestly even talking behind your back is not polite, nor is it adult-like. If she can't handle a couple of rats without even trying then...0-0 /
 

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I hate the whole disease debate when it comes to rats. You're more likely to get something from a dog that spends time outside than a rat that spends most of it's life in one room. I've found that my degree in microbiology shuts people up pretty quick when I can start throwing out large words and statistics :p but obviously that's not a solution for everyone. I think that if someone is really being persistent about a topic (doesn't have to be disease), either sit down with them and do some research right then and there or have some handy that you can talk about. I've always been one to print things out and have them handy when I've got an idea or something (comes from working in research) and I find that it's much easier to get your point across if you have some tangible object in front of you that helps you state your case.
 

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Here what I would like to be able to say. Well it's not that they like you ether. And if you think they smell it's probably coming from you. Also it's just a tail it doesn't bite. Ahh my dream to say that. ;)
 

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When I was first wanting to get a rat, my mom was always saying stuff like that, about diseases and them not being clean, and how she didn't think they would make good pets, but then after a while she started getting silly with her insults ("They might give you the Plague. Aren't you worried about that?") and at that point I think she was just faking the disgust because she knew my friend was going to get me some as a gift, and she wanted it to be a surprise. (Apparently her fake disapproval was supposed to make me think I wasn't going to get a rat or something like that. lawl)

After I brought them home and she actually saw how cute they were, she decided she really liked them and would sometimes come in my room to play with them. Haha. Moms are so weird...
 

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My mom doesn't really want me getting rats :/ only because she had a friend that had some and "when they wanted to do what they wanted, they became mean". Really? It doesn't sound like they were raised well or weren't respected enough. She thinks they're going to attack our dog and cat or something lol. I really hope she comes around after I get my new babies today.
 

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Also it's just a tail it doesn't bite. Ahh my dream to say that. ;)
I know right!!!h
Everyone I talk about rats to, they're like, "Oh, i don't like rats" I'm like WHY?? Rats are the best!
"Oh, I don't like the tails."
Honestly, what is wrong with the tail!!!
You get some animals where the tail can fall off! But rats tails are fine. Why does everyone have such a problem with rat tails!
You know, if you changed the name RAT to something else, they'd be fine.
They suffer so much from false assumptions and it's SO not fair!
 

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I know how you feel. I live by myself, and people that come over (generally relatives I'm obliged to have over, rather than people I actually want in my flat) still feel that they have the right to comment on my babies.

This is literally in my house. Yes, I let them run around the place. No, they don't make a mess because they're litter-trained. Don't joke about flushing them. Don't you dare pick them up by their tail. Make one 'joke' about killing them and I will actually hit you.

I don't think I should hide my pets or my affection for them, so I will mention them casually in conversation, the same way other people mention their cat or dog. And without fail, this is how the conversation goes;

Them: What do you like to do?
Me: I like spending time with my pet rats.
Them: Ewww, rats? Why?
Me: Because they're not rude and judgemental like you <3

And I'm told that I'm the one with the problem?
 

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This is kinda veering from the main point but I agree with the sugar glider comment. My first DCN was a Craigslist special that used to house gliders. That is some powerful stank!! My males, the stinky fuzzbutts they are, have nothing on that.
 

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Its like how some men will instinctively diss something because its coloured pink. Its the socially acceptable knee jerk reaction. We have categorized species of animals as either "Good" or "Bad" when in reality all animals are simply trying to survive in a human-dominated world and don't strive to be either good or bad. Humans do that, not animals, but we still like to push our human concepts onto non-human things. We sit in warm houses cozy with plentiful food and we see a rat scurring across the floor and we think what a vile discusting food stealing pest it is. While, somewhere on the otherside of the world a lion enters an a poor village and kills a sheep, and so, is hunted down and killed by the villagers. Dozens of so called animal lovers rush to defend the majestic predator, saying it was here first, the people destroyed its home and its just trying to feed its family. All the while, they're setting poison out for those evil rats because how they steal our potato chips. Funny how that works.
 

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One of my friends didn't like rats because of their tails,until I told him the things that the rats use their tails for many things,gave a few examples of what they use their tails for,and now he thinks rats are really cool.
 
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