Rats are pretty cool if you buy them from a Biology supply company or a reputable pet dealer. Wild rats, yeah, not so nice. They can survive just about anything and are really hard to kill.
I managed about 80 cages of rats and about as part of my work study for the biology/psych department. My primary job was to get them accustomed to human touch so the precious senior thesis students wouldn't get bitten.
Rats have bones, but they do have a lot of cartilage. They can fit through any hole their head can fit through. And honestly, if they couldn't, they could chew the hole bigger in almost no time.
Some things I learned while being a rat wrangler:
1. You can actually pick a rat up by its tail, in fact, it's the proper way to do it. Their tail is bone and muscle, unlike dogs and cats which is primarily cartilage. Picking up a rat by it's tail means it won't bite you.
2. Male rats are filthy and disgusting little poop and pee factories when you compare them to females. I'd have to clean male cages 2-3 times per week. Females, once. You can tell a male and a female rat apart fairly easily, just by the cage. You can also tell by other obvious means too if you don't have a cage.
3. Baby rats are called pups, and when first born, look like pink and grey jelly beans.
4. If you have to clean a cage with a mother rat and her pups, ALWAYS remove the mother first. Go ahead, I dare you to touch a pup if she's still in the cage.
5. Be careful if you are messing with a rat you find in the wild. It may have a sword and an underground city. Not all the rats hanging with Mrs. Frisby were killed.
Edited by Qwyksilver, 15 July 2007 - 07:43 AM.
Sacrificing minions: is there any problem it CAN'T solve?
- Lord Xykon, OotS #192
Beowulf ll. 1538-1543
... Pay no heed to proud thoughts, famous champion. Now the flowering of your strength is but for a while. After a while, the time will suddenly come that disease or the sword's edge will cut off your power. Either fire's grasp or flood's surge or blade's bite or spear's flight. Or vicious age, or the flash of your eyes will gutter and burn out! It will be all at once, great campaigner, that death will overpower you.
It's terrifying! Without enough caffeine your body undergoes these hours of partial paralysis and hallucinations! :shudder:
Black Lightning: MA010.