Yes, we've now had Emily for over a year. And considering how short-lived rats are, that's worth celebrating.
When we got Miss Em she had been a backroom rat -- the pet store had her in the backroom as unsaleable due to a leaky tear duct. Rick and Annabeth were rat-shopping, and one of the workers mentioned that they had another rat in the back that couldn't be sold because of a health problem -- were they interested in adopting her? She had been spending her life in isolation from other rats (rats are extremely social animals, and it's unusual to have a solo rat). And she hadn't really been socialized to humans, either. And it didn't help that she appeared to be blind in one eye. To this day she tends to weave her head back and forth when she's looking at you, as though she's trying to compensate for the lack of binocular vision.
Wow, she was a scaredy-rat when we got her. She hated to be picked up or have much interaction with people. But after a year of hanging around here, Annabeth is able to tote her around:
Seen here inspecting a birthday card for Grandma that has picture of some rodent that bears quite a likeness to Emily. Grandma and Emily bonded last February when Grandma sat giving her Corn Chex one by one until Emily had about half a box stashed in her igloo.
She's happy to get out and explore, especially book bags, briefcases, and purses, which sometimes have random food left in them:
She's posed for innumerable photo shoots:
And been dressed up in Angelina Ballerina outfits:
Mostly, though, she likes hanging out in her cage with her friend, Farley:
Or snuggling up in an old tshirt:
One of her favorite things to do is try to stuff everything in the cage into the cube. And she's the most persnickety rat we've seen insofar as wanting to use a litter box, which we supply in the bottom of the cage. She enjoys avocados, bananas, beans, and Corn Chex, but her favorite is fresh raspberries.
How did she celebrate her rat-iversary? She was out of the cage, exploring the house, and climbed in my purse, at which time she discovered that I had purchased a 2 pack of QBel Dark Chocolate Wafer Rolls a couple of days before, eaten one, stuck the other in my purse and promptly forgot about it. Emily happily dragged it out of my purse and was quietly enjoying the feeling of being a wild rat who had foraged food AND come up with something so luscious ... unfortunately, Farley came along, grabbed the QBel and started running around the house with it in her mouth, loudly squeaking OMG! OMG! OMG! in her excitement (you know the opening scene of Legally Blonde, The Musical where the sorority sisters are all jumping around loudly singing OH MY GOD!? Farley was doing the the rodent version of that). So, of course, the lovely QBel was taken away. Sigh. Quite a bit of the chocolate covering had already been removed, though, so I think they'd had enough.
Many happy returns of the day, Emily!