Rats often develop symbiotic relationships.
I'd venture to say that many rats develop close relationships with other rats and perceived rats (us humans) but I can't say I've seen or expected anything like the relationship developed between Rattus Rattus and LJB, our two first boys. They were so cute together. They always played nice, always slept closely together, and always shared their water and food. Actually, LJB would spend most of his days on top of the cage collecting food and Rattus Rattus would spend most of his days down inside the cage eating the food LJB collected. LJB didn't mind. Rattus Rattus used to come up and steal the food. After a few weeks, LJB brought it down to him, one piece at a time. That's pretty much how they lived their whole lives.
LJB was very sick though. His lungs were very scarred and breathing was always stressful for him. Dr. Bob guessed he probably wouldn't make it to his first birthday. Dr. Bob also suggested separating the two, but we just couldn't do that, and for good reason! LJB fell off of the cage once and I'm not sure how long he'd been gone, but when we got home, Rattus Rattus was hanging out on top of the cage, nose and body extended staring out at the front corner of the room. We of course started looking around the front of the apartment, moved on into the kitchen and bathroom, made it back to that room, and decided that LJB must be in there! We closed the door, Rattus Rattus was now hanging off the other corner of the cage staring out at the back corner of the room. We checked under the bed, in the closet, under the desk. We checked the shelves. We heard something scratching across the floor. Meanwhile Rattus Rattus shuffled back over to the front corner of the room. Would you believe it? There was LJB. If we'd have drawn a straight line from Rattus' nose to the floor, we'd have found him much sooner!
I must say that I thought it was merely convenient but LJB started making a fairly regular habit of "falling off" and we started making it a fairly regular habit of checking where Rattus was looking before checking anywhere else. He was always right where Rattus said he'd be!
Back to the separating of the two, we didn't. We couldn't. Rattus caught one cold during LJB's lifetime and it cleared right up. LJB lived to be almost 2 years old and Rattus died soon after.
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Disclaimer: There are many non-sarcastic accounts and tips on the web regarding rat care. This is not
one of them. These are merely accounts of our experiences with rats, our perceptions of these experiences, where we've failed
and where we've succeeded. These accounts are here for two purposes: