Cuddly, cute, smart, furry, little ratties. <3

Day 18 of the A to Z Challenge is about the rats I have had! (Click here for a list of all the topics)

Many people think of rats and disease ridden pests or science experiments, but they are also amazing little pets.

I have had five rats altogether, one of which I still have. All five have had their own personalities and their own reasons for me loving them. They have each had an impact on my life, and I miss all four of the ratties I have lost.


The first rat I ever had was Tilly. She was white with creepy red eyes and I named her after Fievel’s sister in An American Tail. She was an amazing pet. She wanted to be out on me all the time. I would even bring her for walks outside in my sweater pocket. When I was on the computer she would hang out in my lap and do laps around my waist. Sadly, she ended up getting a mammary tumour (which is quite common in rats) which eventually took her life, but even with the lump growing on her, she still had a great life. I was extremely devastated when Tilly died and it took me a long time to get another rat.


When my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I moved out of the in-law suite in my parents house, we got another rat. Her name was Sansa (from Game of Thrones) and she was grey with black eyes. She was so curious and always wanted to explore and find new things to climb. Her favourite way to escape my husbands computer desk was to climb down the vacuum cleaner and then run around on the floor of his office. She was also a little thief. One time, my husband got mad at me thinking I had stolen his slice of pizza… Sansa had grabbed it with her long teeth and dragged in behind his computer monitor and was gorging herself.


After having Sansa for a few months, we decided to get her a friend. We got another little ratty that we named Arya (also from Game of Thrones). She was white with black accents on her face and down her back. Arya had issues with her respiratory system almost right away. All of her life, we had her on different medications. After Sansa died, Arya’s respiratory issues got worse. She missed her friend 🙁

To help Arya get over the death of her best friend, we got two new ratties, Blizzard (Bliz for short) and Min (from the Wheel of Time). About a month after, we had to have Arya put down. Her breathing had become very laboured and we were worried about her quality of life.

Bliz and Min

Min and Bliz missed Arya, but not as badly as Arya had missed Sansa. Probably because they had each other, but also because they were not in the same cage very much (we didn’t want Arya to get the others sick and Arya was old and annoyed with the younger rats sometimes :P). When we first got Bliz, she got sick (probably from Arya) and we had to nurse her back to health. She has such a zest for like and I think that may be because she almost died as a baby. Bliz loves running around on the couch and jumping up onto our clothing and climbing us. Min was always more docile and cautious and we discovered that this was because she was blind. She could see a bit, which we knew because she would follow us with her eyes, but she couldn’t see very far or very much detail. I think she saw mostly shadows and movement. Eventually, Min got a cancerous tumour that grew rapidly and we did not catch in time (although, I don’t think it would have made any difference if we had noticed it sooner).

Now we just have our ratty Bliz. I think she was lonely in the beginning after Min was gone, but Bliz has gotten used to being alone. She enjoys short visits with our puppy, Isla, and she loves when we give her cheese! Now Bliz has a small mammary tumour forming so we have been looking into different methods of shrinking or, at least, keeping the tumour from growing. We hope Bliz will have months, if not a year more of life in her. She is only about a year and a half old, so if we can manage this tumour, I think her quality and quantity of life will continue to be great! 🙂

Have you ever had a rat or wanted one? Leave a comment below!

Also, if you have any information that would be useful with Bliz’s tumour, please let me know!

About the author

Leetah Begallie

Leetah is a writer and graphic designer who lives on Vancouver Island in Beautiful British Columbia. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her husband (Matt), her dog (Isla), and her three pet rats (Avi, Lily, and River).

She writes mostly fantasy but enjoys tying in other genres to her stories.


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