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Some rats never learn.

If we were to give Grandma an IQ test, I am convinced she would have failed. If you were to, for example, stick your hand in a hot frying pan, you would flinch, scream, and most importantly, never do it again. Grandma didn't understand that last part. At our previous apartment, we lined the walls of one room with shelves, and on those shelves we put the aquariums the girl rats were living in. Because we determined they'd chew the lids off anyway, we would take the hard-plastic doors out of the lids so they would have something to climb out onto. This solution worked out very well for the most part.

Grandma however, well, we're not sure if she fell off or jumped off, but every morning we found that she was not in her cage, and every morning we'd look down below, and there was Grandma stuck in an unused aquarium that was stored below her home. She always looked so confused too because she didn't know how to get out. We'd take her out and put her back in her real home, she'd drink and eat like she didn't eat or drink in weeks, we'd turn around, and she'd be right back where she came from.

In all honesty I have to say that although I wouldn't stick my hand in a hot pan twice, I didn't think twice about moving that aquarium that was stored below. The day it was moved, Grandma did her thing and found herself wandering around. She got lost in the walls, through a small hole where the heater connected with the other rooms. We tried everything to find her including tearing chunks out of any walls that were connected, gently putting a rodent-safe rat-trap covered in peanut butter through holes in the basement that we could otherwise not reach, etc. Grandma was nowhere to be found. Her sense of direction was as bad as her ability to remember that it wasn't useful to jump out of her cage. We tried for about 6 months too. I could just see her pacing a 6" X 6" piece of territory wondering which way to go.

What did we learn from this? Don't lose your Grandma in the walls; she may never find her way back!

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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:

    1) To entertain.
    2) To help avoid repetition of mistakes

  Remember! Your rat is not a science project, he is your friend!

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