I happened to find myself in the Big Pet Shop the other day looking at the pet rats. I’m not sure how I got there…I think I may have tripped or something. I wouldn’t normally go to the Big Pet Shop because they don’t play with the animals very much so they aren’t well looked after really. The staff there are those faceless teenage clones that you find in chain stores. The ones who don’t give a shit about the company (the company that pays them in buttons and maxpax coffee) and so don’t have a lot of interest in doing anything more than the minimum necessary.
The Little Pet Shop is run by tiny people who really love the animals. They talk to them, play with them and keep them clean and well fed. They refuse to sell pets to small children with disinterested parents and always offer helpful advice on pet care. They can be quite forthright about it too despite being Lilliputians. Sadly the Little Pet Shop has no pets rats for sale. It’s part of their policy of only buying from rat breeders with reputations for healthy rats.
Anywho, Big Pet Shop have these adorably cute little baby rats. There are ten of them in a small cage and, when I saw them, they were all sleepy and cuddled up in two big ratty heaps. They really were too young to be separated from their mummies and I had to scowl at the number of them in such a tiny cage.
Then a teeny grey boy rat (who I named Oliver* when I saw what a straight arrow he was) ambled up to the edge of the cage and climbed up to get a better look at me. He was that bluey grey sort of colour that you get with really soft rat fur (Russian Blue Cats sometimes get the same) and he was holding on to the cage with all four of his tiny little rat paws. Then he looked at me with his deep black eyes that said “Please buy me. I would be the best rat ever” in that silent way that rats have about them.
You can imagine the sort of strength of will** it took for me to escape from that yearning little face. I’m going to have to avoid the Big Pet Shop in case he’s still there with his cute little “buy me now” face and those twitchy whiskers….at least until I move into le château de grenouille and can splurge on half a dozen rats and loads of rat toys.
*Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow
** A bit like Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern