And then she said, I think I’m falling in love with rodents

The other day, my daughter and I went to the pet store to get some food for the mice. While we were there, we made our normal rounds, stopping by to say hi to the parakeets, the rats, the hamsters, the chinchilla, the snakes, the lizards, the turtles, the fish, and, yes, even the tarantula.

After we got the food, she turned to me and asked, “When our mice are gone, do you think I should get a rat or a bird?”

“I’m not so sure we’ll get anything,” I told her. With all the animal adventures we’ve had lately, two cats, a fish, and two mice are enough for me, thankyouverymuch.

She looked at me with sad eyes.

“But Mommy, we have to get more pets when Spot and Blackberry are gone because my heart will be broken.”

(How do you say no to that?)

“We’ll just have to wait and see.” I hoped that would satisfy her.

She smiled. And then she looked at me and said, “I think I’m falling in love with rodents.”


She nodded. “When I saw those rats’ faces, I just fell in love with them. Did you see their tails and how long and cute they were?”

Let me just stop here for a second. I know this may give some of you the creeps, but I had pet rats growing up and I loved them.


When I was a kid, my dad built a custom cage for the rats and we kept them outside.

I don’t know how to build custom cages. Nor does my husband. And besides, somehow rats don’t look as cute to me anymore as they used to.

“If I get a rat, I’m going to get a boy rat…” my daughter continued.

Let me stop again. Nothing against boy rats, but we got a male mouse before we got the female ones, and it didn’t quite work out. On account of the fact that he was very focused on marking his territory inside his cage. Every square inch. Every five seconds. It wasn’t pleasant.

“And I’m going to name my boy rat Tigger…”

I listened to my daughter and thought about how, if we got a rat, we’d have to get a bigger cage, and we’d have bigger messes, and my son would probably end up wanting a rat, too…

And that’s when I snapped to my senses.

“If we get anything after the mice, it’s probably going to be more mice, Honey.”

She looked at me with sad eyes again. “But, why?”

“Because if we get a rat we’d have to get a whole new cage and everything.”

“Say house, Mommy! Never say cage. They don’t live in a cage. That’s mean. They live in their house!”

And that’s when I realized she really does love rodents.

But I guess I should be glad that at least rodents are small. Unlike this alpaca (I’m not kidding) that we saw going into the store when we came out:
alpaca in front of petsmart
And now I’m holding my breath, hoping that seeing that didn’t give my daughter any new pet ideas…


  1. Oh my goodness….this is just the cutest thing..but glad it’s cute at your house and not mine!My son had a hamster when he was younger, but that’s the closest to a rodent we’ll ever get.Oh my…have mercy…Enjoy your weekend,Joy

  2. And that is why we have dogs. Dogs I can handle.Many blessings-Amanda

  3. Oh how fun. It reminds me of being young again. We had mice, hampsters and yes even rats. And then my mother bought a pet store ~ really ~ then we had snakes and lizards and horn toads and ….Life is just full of special critters.I hope your mice live a lloonngg time.Blessings, Cindy

  4. I couldn’t imagine living with mice. We have a cat and I think that is enough for me.. he he Although I am sure one day my son is going to ask for another pet but until then I am going to be thankful for no rodents. Is this what I have to look forward to?? More critters…Have a good weekend.

  5. Wow. I’m glad my kids have not caught on to the pet thing. And, no offense to your daughter :), I hope they never catch on to the rat thing. I don’t think this mommy could handle it. :)

  6. I recently overheard a mother talking to another mother at my son’s school about what great pets rats are. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! My son went through a time when he wanted some mice and my out was the fact that with 3 West Highland White Terriers who are bred to track rodents. Mice probably wouldn’t last long in our house.

  7. i am still trying to figure out how you have 2 cats in your house and all these critters are still alive?! my son has an obsession w/ getting a ferret. nope. will not EVER happen in this house. so cheers to you for being such a critter friendly mama!

  8. I am the same way with pets. I think I missed my calling and should be a small animals vet. We keep adding pets. This month it was aquatic frogs. We grew them from tadpoles. It is educational, right? My husband isn’t buying it.

  9. I love it!!!!I have found another mom crazy enough to let her kids have rodents. *big grin*We have gone through the mice. (The last one died two days ago, and I don’t think we’ll be replacing her.) We have had bugs of all sorts. My daughter now has two rats. You can read about the beginning of that journey here: ARE great pets, by the way. It was a big increase in responsibility compared to the mice, but my daughter was ready for it. Thought my mom was going to freak out when I told her I bought Elizabeth rats, but she got over it. ha!And now we have a puppy, too.It’s a little zoo-ish, but it’s all good.Thanks for making me not the only crazy mom “out there”!

  10. I love animal lovers! Your daughter’s got the right heart! (Though I far prefer bunnies to rats.)

  11. Oh yikes! I hope for your sake that the rodent love calms down a little bit, or that you figure out how to build an outdoor custom “house,” one or the other. Have a great weekend!Carrie

  12. My sister-in-law’s SIL has alpacas out in southwest Wisconsin. She showed me photos the other day, and I can’t wait to post about them. But really, once you have one critter, don’t you think you’re destined to have more?

  13. ♥ She's so cute! We had 2 rats growing up and I thought they were yucky back then but it's worse now! I love that she's in love with them and so cute about the cage "house"! :)

  14. Oh my…I have never had mice but my son was bit by a hamster and he wants nothing to do with them…so we are now the proud owner of Hermit Crabs..they are easy!-Happy Friday!Sandy Toes

  15. She is too cute! And you are a good mom because I don’t know if I could do any rodents! Even if my daughter loved them.

  16. And I was worried about blessing my son with the fish he’s been begging me for his birthday! Suddenly that doesn’t seem so bad. :) Have a super weekend!!!!

  17. Wow, I’m feeling pretty thankful for our golden retriever at this point! I’m one of those people that can handle holding a pet rat, but would never want to own one. However, the pet shop IS a very dangerous place for us to visit. I’m thankful I have a husband who has no desire to have any small rodents for pets so I can say “NO” on account of Dad to anything the kids fall in love with, otherwise…. we might have a house-full.

  18. My daughter is like that about cats. She has a true, deep love for them… takes after my mom for horses and my husband’s mom for dogs. I’m like that about chocolate. haha.

  19. Oh you’re a good mommy to let her have any rodents. I’m so glad my kids haven’t asked yet. Such a cute story though!Was that Alpaca really going into the pet store with it’s owner on your way out?

  20. You’re a better mom than me. No child of mine is ever going to have a rodent. No way, no how, not gonna happen. *shudder*Now an alpaca LOL…

  21. Angie,Yes, it really was. :) (We were at Petco, so you can bring your pets in.) Their slogan is true…it really IS where the pets go. ALL kinds of pets! LOL.

  22. How cute. Not the rat part. That creeps me out. But your daughter’s heart is just precious. The rodent thing I can forgive her for :)By the way, thanks for stopping by my blog!

  23. BTW, got a Great New Giveaway going on over at my place, to commemorate my 100th post–please stop by!

  24. She sure has a heart for animals…err…rodents :0 You are a good mom. I would never allow a rodent in my house. They just really freak me out. I have a dog. That is about all I can handle for now.

  25. Oh, I don’t even know how you held your tongue! It’s funny from this side of the computer. I’ll be praying for long lives for those mice . . .

  26. We recently celebrated..I mean mourned the death of our two guinea pigs.I can so relate my friend.

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