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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read this on a rescue site. You can't read it and not be brought to tears.

I don't have a name, or I would tell it to you. You can call me "cage four," if you would like, it's what they all call me around here. I don't have a photo to show you of me, either, as no one cared to take it. I have family, but they have... all been removed from me, all but the eleven babies I have here at my side, but I don't know when they will be taken. I just know they will be, despite how much I would like to keep them here, because I love them so. I am a breeder rat, given a number, just like my sister over there, across the room, a shelf up from mine. She has babies too, the same age as mine, and they will be taken from her too. I remember the day we were born, close at our moms side. We thought the world was a wonderful place, so much to see, so much to do. So many smells around us, so much to investigate. We spend our days playing, tackling each other as we got to know our bodies, how to move our legs so we could go where we wanted. We had no worries, just life ahead of us. Little did we know that joy was soon to end and h*ll waited for us. I would give anything for that time back, not for myself, my body is worn down and my health is fading, but for my children. To never have it end for them, but their innocence will soon be shattered, as was mine.
Five weeks has passed since I gave birth to my last litter. I know it is my last, and my sisters, because I heard them say "retire them." I know what that means. Any day now they will come and take our children and drop us in the snake tank. We will die, unloved, never knowing what that gentle hand feels like or what treats taste like. I will never watch my children grow into adults, or have peace of mind that they will live a life full of love and happiness. I am a rat, and because I am a rat, I am seen as having no feelings, nothing worthy about me. Worse, I am a feeder rat. It is raining today, no sun coming through the windows, just streaks of water running down the pane. I felt it when I woke up today, my children nestled around my body. This was the day of goodbyes and certainty. I looked over my children one by one. My heart sank as I realized some were not as colorfully marked as the rest. My two blue daughters would be sold as pets, most likely. My blue son may find a good home. The rest were common, and I knew what would become of them. It's funny, but until that day I never noticed their markings. I just saw my babies, and how beautiful they all were.
They pulled my children from me one by one, snatching them away by their tails, and although I tried to kiss and nuzzle every last one goodbye, I could not, it all happened too fast. And than they were gone. I ran to the side of my tank, to tell my sister what happened. I wish tears could block sight, because what I saw I wish I had not. They were taking her children, too. She fought, as I had, to wish them well, tell them she loved them, but those humans can be fast when money is to be made, and they were gone from her in seconds.
My sister was not as lucky to have the hope for some of her babies as I. She was black and white, a hoodie, as were all her children. No one would want them. As the humans glanced over her babies, they placed each one in a tank on the last shelf. It was the feeder section. My sister placed her face against her tank and sobbed. For her, death had already come. Three of my babies were lucky, they stood a chance. They were taken in the front area, for customers to pick over. Feeders were kept in the back. The rest of my children were put in with hers. We called to them, but they could not hear us. Then I was picked up and placed in a separate tank, reunited with my sister one last time. We spent a few hours consoling each other, best we could. Than she was taken from me, for the last time. Another goodbye. I had nothing left. For five dollars my sister was sold, and her life ended. Five dollars. And here I sit and wait for that customer who owns a snake to come along.
My dreams never saw reality, and I don't understand why. I had the capacity to love a human. I could have been so good as a pet. My thoughts trail off to my children, scared, alone, and probably by now sold, wondering where mom went, safety, warmth, and where their siblings went, as I am placed in a cardboard box and taken away. My last thought was of a place where my sister, her children, my children, and myself could have lived as beloved pets. We don't live long, I know that. But those few years we could have had would have been the world to us. Now, as sit in a strangers house, farther away from happiness than I could have thought possible, and turn my head from the snake that has been watching me, I know I could have been something more, if only I had been given a chance. I'm a good rat, why did this have to happen? If there is a life after death, I hope it is a place less cold than this world. I don't ever want to feel this lonely and unloved again. I really could have been more than this. I really could have.
- By Ryan Greye
A Rat's Tail Rescue
 

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Oh boy. I should not have read this, especially at work. People thought I had just received bad news or something. I think of all those Ratties out there......too sad for words.
 

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I wasn't going to read this but I did. What's most sad about it is that it's probably very close to the truth- meaning, I believe that rats do have the capability for higher thought and emotions. It's just such a shame that so many people don't realize their value as wonderful companions and friends.
 

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My boys are both feeder saves. Binky actually has a heart issue and was 'free' with a three dollar donation to the rescue program. He was housed alone because they thought it would stress him too much, but the vet told me he'd be fine with one, and he is. Timey was bought last weekend after I lost my Mort, who was a craigslist find. We weren't going to get anyone yet but he just called to me, he immediately came up and cuddled me and started rearranging my hair. So we have two wonderful boys who were feeders. I know giving money to the pet stores is bad and for every rat I save a bunch more take their place, but I can't just walk by. My boys, Zaphod (dog), Binky, and Timey saved me and keep me sane and happy. Who rescued who?
 

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I wish I never read this, it is really playing on my mind :'( knowing there are rats in stores that feel like that! I would rescue them all if I could!!
makes me realise how much I love my boys!
 

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Well, I foolishly read this like everyone one else. Sure wish snakes weren't common pets. I mean, it's not great for snakes either right? What an awful cycle.
 

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Three of my of the eight rats I've ever owned were feeders; including my mama rat, Lilly. And if i hadn't gotten her I would have never had her three babies, Ruby, Thistle and Jude.

I only take in feeders for this very same reason; because they don't have a shot at life otherwise. I read this with June, my newest feeder baby, on my lap trying not to tear up.
 

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This was so incredibly sad... I'm not one to get upset easily, but this has me in tears. My rats are not feeders by name but I think they came from the same place as one might get a feeder. Mine are from Petsmart and you sign a warrant saying they are not snake food before you buy them. Neera is so sickly though, I wonder if they are bought from a place that breeds feeders. Dela is a black hooded, as we all know, probably the most common fancy rat color. I wouldn't trade either of them for anything. My mother tells me how much happier I seem since I got my rats. I don't fall into so many dark moods anymore. My babies mean so much to me and they all deserve to be loved and cherished. I appreciate and respect all of you who bought feeders to give them a good life.
 

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I recently went to my pet store to buy a new cage and they had babies there that could not have been older than 3 weeks. I took two home because I already have five. They're girls and so I've kept them faaar away from all my boys. I took them to the vet today for ivermec as they have a few lice, but not riddled fortunately. Otherwise healthy, but I suspected one girl was preggies already. Dr took a sonar at no cost and confirmed my suspicions. He could already see bones, legs and ribs, so he suspects she's probably more than half way already.

He said he could spay her straight away bit being so tiny it's a risk and he didn't look keen anyway. I said no and my hubby and I have already decided to keep her babies. She's very protective over her tummy already so instinct has set in. After reading this story and then getting my girls and finding out she's pregnant I just couldn't. Not even thinking of homing them. We are keeping them as a family.

I belong to another site as well and was encouraged to abort and spay her now. But I can't do that, she has growing life inside her already.
http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums...1-6B0A-4AE2-BE44-F19C54F60A3A_zpszhe9l75p.jpg
 

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Well she might be older than she looks then because I read that dud yo the food given at pet stores they tend to be smaller. Bottom line is.. She is pregnant.

Funny, or not so funny thing is I've had nothing but negative comments from people on my other site as well. One would think I chose to get her pregnant deliberately instead of making the best of what's been given to me. It's kind of hurtful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If she is older than she is, and she is pregnant, I think it's wonderful that you're keeping the babies. My Nippy came to me pregnant, and raising her babies and knowing she got to spend her life with them is one of, if not the highlight of my life. The bond I have with those babies is unbelievable. You'll be very blessed and I hope all goes well. So glad she didn't end up as a cage 4.
 

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I have absolutely no problem with you allowing her to have babies; you know the risks and that's entirely up to you. A spay on a rat that young could be more detrimental than letting her have a litter and galastop is not available in a lot of places, so options are pretty limited. At least she's in better hands with you than at the pet store.
 

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This was so incredibly sad... I'm not one to get upset easily, but this has me in tears. My rats are not feeders by name but I think they came from the same place as one might get a feeder. Mine are from Petsmart and you sign a warrant saying they are not snake food before you buy them. Neera is so sickly though, I wonder if they are bought from a place that breeds feeders. Dela is a black hooded, as we all know, probably the most common fancy rat color. I wouldn't trade either of them for anything. My mother tells me how much happier I seem since I got my rats. I don't fall into so many dark moods anymore. My babies mean so much to me and they all deserve to be loved and cherished. I appreciate and respect all of you who bought feeders to give them a good life.
They are from the same rat mills, yes.

Pet stores order from brokers and mass commercial breeding mills--folks seem to not want to knowingly support puppy mills with their purchase dollars, but for some reason we aren't there yet, on smaller animals like rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and so forth.

I read that story thinking the rats in that scenario were actually lucky, in comparison.

Tanks? That they can see out of?

Nah, more like breeder racks, and if you haven't seen those, you probably do not want to.
 

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I have absolutely no problem with you allowing her to have babies; you know the risks and that's entirely up to you. A spay on a rat that young could be more detrimental than letting her have a litter and galastop is not available in a lot of places, so options are pretty limited. At least she's in better hands with you than at the pet store.
Thanks
 
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