Meeting My Eloise

28 08 2009

Ok, so I have to admit that upon meeting my lovely rat Eloise, I was a little bit nervous. You know, rats don’t have a very positive reputation. When people think of rats, words that come to mind are NOT “cute” and “cuddly.” Many people generally tend to think of the big ugly sewer rats, the ones that live in New York, and scurry about in the muck. However, my little love is white with red eyes, which freaked me out a little bit at first! Anyway, so the first time I met her, I was somewhat afraid that I would drop her and she would get away from me, sending me chasing after her and then trying to figure out what the heck to tell Dr. Macewen if I couldn’t scoop her back up again. Also, I was kind of afraid that she was going to bite me. I had no idea what to expect! Right after picking up my Eloise, she decided to poop on me. Very funny, because none of the other students’ rats pooped on them. Its ok, though, because I took her pooping on me as a sign that she was a little nervous to meet me too.

So as we became acquainted, which happened rather quickly actually, I found out that she’s a major clean-freak. Every other second, she is licking her fur and her paws desperately to keep herself clean! When I went into the “rat room” a little bit later on in the day after I had initially met her a couple hours before, I took her out of her cage to play on my lap. She was sniffing around like crazy! After her tiring exploration of me and her environment, she decided to plop herself down in my lap to take a little snooze. All in all, Eloise is very gentle, extremely calm, and sometimes pretty playful. Never really hyper, though. Thank goodness! I know my friend Caitlin’s rat can be all over the place sometimes. I don’t know if I could handle that. I don’t have the energy!

Over about a week, I went into see her everyday for about an hour or so just so we could become better acquainted with each other. I took her out of her cage to let her roam all over me. Eloise usually pooped and peed on me every time I went to see her so I learned that it might be a good idea to start wearing one of the labcoats hanging by the door. I thought it was really cute that she would just place her head inside the sleeve of my coat while the rest of her body stayed outside. She would just lie on my arm and the only thing I could see was her white furry body! She would sometimes fall asleep like that. Other days when she was being a little more lively than usual, she would actually go up into my sleeve and then when she got up to my shoulder, she would try to go back down but over my stomach, not back through the sleeve. Eloise also likes to try to get under my labcoat and then she peeks out between the spaces between the buttons! Somedays I noticed she liked staying more on my stomach and legs, and when I tried moving her up closer to my shoulders, she would run back down to where she had been. I thought that maybe she was afraid of heights; however, other days she liked curling up on my upper chest around my neck. Then she would smell around my lips, and it felt like she was giving me little kisses! During this bonding process, I have grown to love my sweet little Eloise. Here are a few fun pictures of her that I couldn’t resist taking when I was playing around with her!