I'm animal-lover through & through, & have owned a lot of pets in my life (dogs, cats, birds, fish, guinea pigs, & frogs on my own, plus I grew up with my mom's pet chickens, ducks, geese, horses, donkeys, & pot-bellied pigs), but have never owned (or, until recently, even CONSIDERED owning) rats. However, in searching for ideas on a small-animal friend for my 6 1/2 yo daughter (she is begging for a pet that can live in her room, since her older sister has parakeets & her older brother a betta fish), I was introduced to rats by a pet store employee. Since then, I've done a ton of research, & my husband & I have decided that a pair of young female rats would make the perfect Christmas gift for our daughter. (Of course, I expect to be heavily involved in the care of these animals, too. I'm not just handing them over to a little girl & expecting her to do all the work!). The more I learn about pet rats, the more excited I am to add them to our little home zoo (currently consisting of 2 small dogs, 2 cats, 2 parakeets, and a lone betta fish). But I also find that I have a ton of questions, & reading posts on this forum has been a huge help. So ... I decided to sign up so I can ask my own questions.