Pets like Me: Ares & Juno

What happens when you put a rat and a cat in the same room? You’d expect chaos to ensue, but that’s not always true. Unlike what most cartoons would have you believe, these rats see cats as family.

Meet Ares & Juno

Davi: What is a common misconception about rats?
Ares: People think we’re dirty and gross, but we’re actually very clean. We groom ourselves just like cats, and almost never need to bathe. People also think we’re vicious, but we’re really affectionate.

What would you rather be doing instead of what you’re doing right now?
My bro, Juno, would rather be searching for a place he heard of called “all-you-can-eat buffet.” I want to learn about a contest called “the rat race.” Sounds way fun, and I’m very fast!

Have you ever been lost?
I once burrowed under pillows to get comfy. My guardians didn’t see me, so they freaked out! They turned the bedroom inside-out trying to find me while I watched! Hilarious!

What’s the best cheese?
I’m a big Colby Jack fan; Juno loves Swiss.

What’s the absolute worst name you could give a rat?
We have a cousin named Catfood. He gets really nervous around his feline siblings.

What normal things do rats do that other animals think are weird?
We’re excellent climbers, and great jumpers!

Ever been mistaken for a mouse?
All the time! But we’re much bigger than mice, and longer and—not to brag—but we’re way friendlier!

Do you prefer comfy cozy or roughing it?
We definitely put the ‘creature’ in ‘creature comforts.’ We sleep in soft hammocks and the floor’s always thick with cottony paper bedding.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what’s it gonna be?
That’s tough, but I’d say pumpkin seeds. They’re so yummy!

What do you love most about your humans?
We love that they took the time to learn about us before adopting and socializing us, so we’re comfortable being handled. They also challenge us with activities and feed us a well-balanced diet. In return, we love spending time and cuddling with them.

Friends come in all shapes and sizes. They may be unusual pets, but rats are intelligent, interesting animals. I’ve nibbled at rat facts to show why these rodents rock.

  • Rats can laugh. They don’t chuckle like humans, but make a high-pitched noise when they play.
  • Rats use their tails to communicate, keep their bodies at the right temperature and help them balance.
  • Rats are social creatures and live in communities where they care for each other, sleep together and play.
  • Rats cave to peer-pressure, just like people. The urge to conform is so strong, many will eat repulsive food if they see their friends doing it. (Kinda like that Empire State Building thing, amirite?)
  • Rats are extremely clean animals, spending several hours a day grooming themselves and others.
  • Rats have good memories. They can recognize a person’s face, respond to their name and, once they learn a navigation route, they never forget it!