Rat and Mouse Gazette

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These excerpts of previously published materials are used with permission of the Rat and Mouse Club of America.

Pet Owner's Creed

Craig Schumacher

We love our small friends -- we value their lives.

We will not knowingly sell, or allow them to be used as food for other animals.

We understand their value goes far beyond the dollar.

We will meet all of their needs.

We will breed with care, being responsible to limit their numbers, spending the time required to achieve the best pets possible.

We realize that some "Show Quality" animals will result. This is a by-product rather than a goal. In this way the rats don't pay with their lives for our ribbons.

Rodent Responsibility Creed

Otto Squeakers

We love our big humans -- we add joy to their lives.

We will not knowingly allow ourselves to nip them or chew on their prized possessions.

We understand that their value goes far beyond our source of food, housing, and amusement.

We will meet their companionship needs.

We will fraternize with care, being responsible to not overproduce in order to prevent overwhelming our human friends.

We realize that only some of us can be "show offs" and graciously offer ourselves to be shampooed and displayed so that our humans can win ribbons and trophies.

Animals and Souls

Paul Wiegand

T'was an argument that occurred one day
With a person I heard with assertiveness say
It's the soul that separates people from beast
I assured him it's not.
From my point of view
it's the tools that we use when we sit down to eat.
And yet to some even that doesn't matter
The moral is plain, not the soul or the brain
For animals are us,
there's no difference, they're the same
And for those who think different
Oh shame, oh the shame

Gazette, 3(6):10


Jackie Jennings

They're here for such a short time
Fill their lives with love
as they fill yours
They ask little in return
a peanut, a kiss, a pat on the head
Worth every minute of the time you share

Gazette, 3(4):10

Jackie Jennings

All through the night, quietly tapping
You never hear it when it's light
The noise while you sleep
Stops when you try to find the noisy one
But the secret they'll keep.

Gazette, 4(3):12

The Last Straw

Author Unknown

There's an old, true story about a farmer who had a problem with rats. One afternoon he saw two rats on the path in front of his house. He took a big stick and went in pursuit.

When he reached them he saw they were walking slowly and carefully, side by side. Each rat was holding one end of a straw in its mouth. He realized one of them was, in fact, leading the other down the path with the straw. Looking closer he saw that the second rat was blind.

The farmer put down the stick and went back inside.

Gazette, 3(2):11

Tunnel of Love

Diane Newburg

It's time to surrender -- you are entering the tunnel of rat love. Rats are angels with fur. They're soft, they're warm, they're irresistible. Rat secrets: rats are polka-dotted under their fur, rats love ice cream on hot days, rats love to hand wrestle. Rats will pay your rent if you let them. Rats have two lives: theirs, then yours. R.A.T. stands for Rambunctious, Adventurous, Terrific. Rats like to sleep in piles. Rats invented playtime, then invented naps. Kiss your rat. Be owned by a rat... it will take over your life (and you won't mind).

Gazette 2(1):11

Intelligence Test

Author Unknown

A couple of years ago, I read a story about an experiment that would test the intelligence of a rat.

The rat would get treats if it ran in a wheel. The treats would not be given directly, just once a day, and the amount would be in relation to how much the rat had run. The point, of course, was to see if the rat would put in a good day's work to receive a lot of treats afterward. If that was the case this would suggest a very high degree of reasoning capability and intelligence.

They connected the wheel to a revolution meter and started the test. They didn't watch the rat constantly, but checked the meter every evening and then provided the reward. It didn't take long for the rat to understand what was expected of him. The wheel spun more and more times each day. Each time they checked the rig, the rat was almost always sleeping, but that was understandable, since the rat obviously worked quite hard.

When the rat began to grow quite fat they got a bit concerned. Even though he had eaten a lot of food, all of the exercise should have kept him well fit. Could the stress of the running destroy the metabolism in some way? Stressed didn't seem like a proper description of that fat and sleepy creature that barely managed to crawl to the bowl to get his treats.

The mystery wasn't solved until one of the staff entered the room at a time when the room was normally empty. In the rat cage he could see a very fat rat sleeping on his back, just under the wheel -- but every ten seconds or so the rat would lift one of his legs and give the wheel a good push to get it turning.

Unfortunately, I can't verify the truth in this story, but it is too good not to be told!

Gazette 1(1):12

Star More Gazette articles can be found at Virginia's Rat Page and at the RMCA web site. Star

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