The Two Types of People in this World: Pro-Rat & Non-Rat
There are two types of people in the world - those that HATE rats and all small furry creatures of the sort and those that channel their inner Cinderella and make friends with the rodents. I'm the latter.
Many years ago, we had a pet rat named Gus Gus. Gus was a fancy rat. He was grey and had a long tail but he was domesticated. In fact, he was so domesticated, he thought he was a dog. We'd let him out to roam and he'd play with our 100 lb Akita. It was fun to watch them play chase. Somehow, Gus was always the one who had to chase big old Kodi Bear up and down the stairs. Sometimes Kodi would lie on the floor and gently play bite with Gus. Once Gus Gus took things a bit too far and mistook Kodi's manparts for a yummy sausage. I heard a YELP and when I ran in to see what was going on, my husband was laughing hysterically and Kodi was eyeballing the rat with disdain. What a good boy he was for not retaliating!
"Ratman," as we called him, would give sweet kisses and take naps on your lap with the other dogs. Sometimes he would get baths and would even help himself to snacks. We kept his marshmallows on a low shelf in the pantry. He knew just where to find them. I miss Gus Gus. They usually live about three years. He lived to be about four and passed with Kodi by his side.
Now, when I get the chance to have little ratty kisses from a fancy rat, I jump at the chance. They are wonderful companion pocket pets. And because I love pocket pets so much, I follow a rescue sanctuary in Indiana for small animals called The Pipsqueakery.
I love seeing all the little animals The Pipsqueakery takes in. This week alone, I've seen posts about rabbits, naked guinea pigs, chickens, groundhogs, and capybaras. (And OMG they dress them in tiny clothes.)
Get our free mobile app
But it was a little rat that caught my attention.
Meet Lou, the Toilet Rat
In a Facebook post, The Pipsqueakery introduced the world to Lou who has become a little famous in his own right.
While we picked up what are essentially designer guinea pigs from one county shelter today we also picked up a literal toilet rat with a bulging eye from another county shelter. Meet Lou! Lou was found in the toilet of an apartment earlier today. There were no other rats in this quite tidy apartment so he was not a pet of the finder. In fact, based on behavior I'm pretty convinced Lou is a wild rat. It's hard to know for sure though since you can certainly have domestic agouti rats and a serious eye injury like this would make any rat grumpy. Regardless Lou needs medical care and pain control so I'm going to glove up and prepare to get bit anyway by this poor boy. It has been a weird day and I admit a literal toilet rat is a first for us. If you like the ridiculous rescues we get up to please consider making a donation because we are 100% funded by all of you.
Wish Lou the toilet rat luck today! He isn't in the greatest shape but we have to remove his bad eye regardless because it is so damaged, painful, and bleeding. I tried to keep that side out of the picture because it's quite disturbing looking. Hopefully I'll have a good update in a couple of hours but regardless we will make sure Lou gets the best care and isn't in pain. I'm more and more certain Lou is a wild rat though. He escaped on me this morning and behaves just like one. He also attacks when I open the cage but so far hasn't managed to bite me. It's unclear if he is choosing not to bite me or isn't getting a chance because I withdraw my hand. Either way he's going to be a challenge to medicate after surgery so that will be fun. Please keep our ridiculous toilet rat in your thoughts today and I'll keep you updated.
Who would have thought? From toilet to media sensation...
The 12 Strays of Christmas
Here at Townsquare Media, every year we highlight the 12 Strays of Christmas. They are usually the pets who have been at the shelter the longest. The ones who are a little quirky. The ones who are "EGRs" or extra grace required pets.
We ask that you share the joy this holiday season and do at least one of three things for these 12 Strays of Christmas: adopt, donate, and share their story!
So, on the first day of Christmas, Townsquare Media gave to youuu a rat in a toilet named Louuuu.
Like Snoopy, Woodstock, Mr. Cuddles and Mr. Snuggles.
And Brody, Omar, and Dover
About The Pipsqueakery in Indiana
Located in Bloomington, IN, The Pipsqueakery takes in a host of small animals.
The Pipsqueakery is a 501(c)3 nonprofit small animal rescue and sanctuary. We provide care for medically and behaviorally needy rodents, rabbits and other small animals, educate the public on their care, and find forever homes and rescue placement for healthy adoptable animals.
They run on donations so if you feel inclined to give, you can do so in various ways:
And in honor of Jesus's birthday, let's see what he says about very helpless creatures. In Matthew 25:40 we see Jesus say "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." There you have it, you don't get much more "least of these" than an actual toilet rat.
KEEP READING: 40 Real Indiana Towns with Quirky, Weird, and Funny Names
Outside the major cities, the Hoosier state is full of tiny little towns you've probably passed through on your way to one of those cities. Most of them are likely 100 to 150 years old, or older, and have been around far longer than the large metropolitan areas such as Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Evansville. Typically, they were started by early settlers who found their way to the state and decided to make it home. Eventually, others would join them, and a community was formed. Over time, as the surrounding areas grew, most of them were folded into those areas and governed by the nearest city or county's governing body officially making them "unincorporated," meaning they did not have their own formally organized municipal government.
A scroll through Wikipedia's long list of unincorporated communities in Indiana shows several of them have names that by today's standards would be considered weird, quirky, or just downright right funny. These are my 40 favorities.