I have discovered a situation, and I wanted some more professional weigh-ins before I did anything.
A friend of mine from high school had a rat. I recently found out it died (it had to have been younger than a year, since she's going into her sophomore year in college), and has been replaced with another rat.
She has left it at her (recently dumped) ex boyfriend's house for three weeks, at least. I have no idea what kind of treatment it's getting there, but I can't imagine it's the best. She just got a kitten, the rat is alone (meaning, a single rat), and so I'm pretty sure she's not going to do right for this little ratty.
That being said, if I were to take it, the rat would have to deal with a new human (me), and I would have to smuggle it by train when I got to school in August (Oregon to North Dakota, takes about 31 hours). Animals aren't technically allowed on Amtrak, so she'd kind of be sitting in the semi-dark during that time, in a three gallon critter keeper I have. Boring, but survivable.
Also, pets (other than fish) aren't technically allowed in my apartment, either, so I'd probably have to hide her at a friends place while I was moving in/getting visited by officials. After the first couple weeks, I am fully confident that no one will come in uninvited, based on what other people who live in the apartment say.
I think she's a fairly young rat, so I'm hoping she'll adjust to me pretty well. I'm just worried about the trek halfway across the country, but I'd like some opinions, as to whether that, or staying with her current human would be better.
And of course, after a couple weeks, and the excitement at the apartment has calmed down (I'll be moving in in August), I would go find her a friend, craigslist or a shelter or something, so she wouldn't be a lonely rat any more.
On a slightly different subject, does anyone have anything bad to say about the Coast Cage Ritz Chinchilla/Rat cage? It's a good size for me, I just want to make sure it's a good size for the rat, too.