The Pepsi Challenge!
Up until Slinky, it never even crossed our minds that rats would be big Pepsi drinkers. Slinky, however, would chew on straws in pop cans just to see what all the excitement was about. We couldn't teach him how to suck through the straw though, so he had another plan. He just decided that he was either going to get his Pepsi directly out of the can of out of the human's mouth. It was an ultimatum and the decision was ours. His fingernails were pretty sharp so in lieu of having our mouths pried open, we opted to have him drink from the can. Sometimes we'd pour him a little bit in a dish or a bottle cap, but he didn't care much for that experience. He preferred to have it out of the can.
Sometimes we'd have a lot of leftover carbonated beverages before bed, and if we hadn't given the rats a treat that day, we'd pour the Pepsi into sauce pans and cake pans for them to drink out of. The first time we did this, Andy-human had left-over Coke and Nat-human had left-over Pepsi. We called it the Pepsi Challenge. The results were interesting though scientifically didn't say much. Seven out of twelve rats preferred Pepsi over Coke. Three out of twelve rats preferred Coke over Pepsi. What about the other two rats, you wonder? Well, one was busy modifying the woodwork, the other, Slinky, was busy climbing up Nat's leg.
Are the rats willing to drink another product if one is not available? You bet! After the Pepsi supply was emptied, they had no problem butting their way over to the Coke supply.
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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: