Sunday, August 1, 2010

Laughing Rats?

Yup, apparently so.  Rats enjoy being tickled and actually laugh when tickled.

        We are so profoundly conditioned to abhor and revile these small mammals that many react with disgust at the name "rat".  However, if you look a little more closely you discover interesting information.  Below is a quote from an online article.
Willy was my friend Kathy’s rescued rat.  He had a great life that included full run of the house.  He would return to his always open cage to eat and drink on one side of it and urinate/defecate on the other side. Kathy is a pianist who practices long hours each day.  Occasionally Willy would run over to Kathy and rest on her shoulder as she played.  At some point, Kathy realized that Willy only came to listen to pieces by Bach.  With 100% regularity, he would appear on her shoulder within minutes of her beginning anything by Bach, but no other composers.
Rats like Bach?  Rats like to be tickled and laugh?

These beings are not even considered animals under the woefully inadequate law (inadequate because it places no restrictions on what can be done to animals in labs, only that they have to be fed and watered) that is supposed to provide some protection for animals used for testing in laboratories.

Willy the rat likes Bach and may even enjoy being tickled and laughing but the laboratory law (Animal Welfare Act) does not consider him to be an animal --- nor does this law consider mice or birds to be animals.

Cats and rats, enemies right?

What a piece of work we humans are.


Christina said...

I was pretty grossed out by the idea of a rat as a companion BUT when Haven was making trips to the vet a few weeks ago the vet tech had her rat there being treated for a toothache. She was very sweet and friendly. I talked to her through her cage and she kept putting her head down. Kate (her mom) said she wanted me to scritch her head. I of course did so and made an instant friend. All animals should be treated with mercy. You would think if you were using an animal to save lives you might have a little more reverance for that animal. Lab testing on animals is not necessary. There are better and more advanced methods. Its just cheaper to hurt the animal.

Patty said...

I've always loved rats & mice but then I love all non-human animals, and I like them better than I like most people. A mouse is such a tiny creature yet perfectly formed. It's amazing. And rats are very affectionate.... and social


veganelder said...

Thanks for your comment is interesting how we choose some of our fellow animals to demonize without really knowing anything about them.

Krissa said...

Oh my goodness! That is so interesting about the rat who likes Bach! ... When I was in 5th grade our class got 2 rats and (this is lovely) we did a diet experiment with them. One got only junk food and one got only healthy food. Yeah. Then at the end of the year they got adopted out. My mom let me have one of them - his name was Hutch, the class had voted on the names "Starsky and Hutch". Hutch was the junk food rat. I gave him good food for the rest of his life. ... Like all our fellow creatures, rats are intelligent and amazing beings. What a shame that they suffer so much and are rarely beloved by us people.

veganelder said...

Thanks for commenting Krissa. A bright spot for rat people is that there are a number of rat rescue favorite (because of the nifty name) is Rat Chick Rat can visit their site at: