Saving Vermin

Yes, hes a rat. But he really is cute.

I will do anything for my child. While I once thought I had limitations (and a little pride), I now am 100% convinced that there’s very little I won’t do to please my red-headed princess. At the top of the list: saving vermin.

For her ninth birthday, Rosie wanted some kind of rodent and she wasn’t really picky about the type. I quickly ruled out a bunny (lives too long and has to roam around), hamsters (word on the street is they bite) and gerbils (watching them run on the wheel is pure exhaustion). That left us with the industry’s favorite- a rat (seriously, ask around. The entire pet community thinks rats make the best pets).

Most people recoil when I tell them we have a rat. Then they see him and fall in love with his Dumbo ears and cute personality. He really is a neat guy except for one little thing- every time I touch him I break out in hives. I’m allergic to the little bastard.

So, I do my best to avoid him. This isn’t as easy as it may seem. Especially since Rosie likes to play with the rat, but doesn’t like to clean up after him. Poor Remmie is neglected at times.

It was evident this weekend when I heard Rosie shriek at the top of her lungs.

“Mama,” she yelled. “Remmie has a hole in his tummy!!”

Thinking she was exaggerating, I came in closer to inspect. I leaned in to get a really good look and that’s when I saw it. It was a big sore alright. And, it was really gross, so I did the only thing I could think of; I screamed, called my hubby for back up and ran into the kitchen in disgust.

The sore was a mystery. None of us saw the rat get hurt. He hadn’t been out of his cage that day and we all swore that he was perfectly fine the day before. But, yet, he had an open wound. Bizarre.

We worried and fretted for a day. Then, we patiently waited for Monday to take the little guy to the vet. (Of course, our vet doesn’t treat rodents, so I kept my fingers crossed that the vet they referred us to would. Thank goodness people respond when you say, “open, gaping wound” on the phone.)

There was one small problem: how to transport the guy. Thank goodness I’m an outside the box thinker. I had the perfect solution.

This afternoon, I walked our pet rat into the vet’s office in style. Remmie was carried in a purple, Pucci Pet carrier that belonged to stuffed animal years ago. It was a big hit among the staff since it had a long handle, wheels and of course a little bling. Apparently, most people just use a cardboard box.

Poor Remmie was a little stressed out while we were there so I had to hold him and soothe him (yes, I have hives). I spent $65 to find out that he has an open wound (which I already knew) and get some magical ointment that should work in five days.

Yep, there’s nothing I won’t do for my child. I’m out some cash and have a slight itching problem. To top it off, I looked like a complete fool when I wheeled toy luggage carrying vermin into the vet. But I have to look on the bright side. The rat’s going to live.

About debcb

All Deb wanted to do was work, until she had Rosie. For the past decade, she's juggled a full-time career, high-profile volunteer work and mommyhood.


  1. Valorie E. says:

    Marc loved our rats, and I’m a little jealous you have one! I’d have spent $65 on them, too. You’re a good mom!

  2. You are a good mom, Deb. No way I would allow a rat in my house! And really great for you to risk injury to yourself (allergies) to take the little bugger to the vet.

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