Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Devil Rat (Now with pictures)

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! For just a nickel, a single shiny nickel, no more than a nickel, you can see a double feature! Not only do we have the amazing, never before seen in captivity, first time on these, our native shores, the famous Devil Rat! But today only, we have for your enjoyment! For your pleasure! The crazy animal lover who has taken the Devil Rat into her home! Yes! The mother and the animal lover! The Devil Rat and Keeper!

Now folks, just behind this curtain, I tell you, there's a sight like no other. We keep the lights dim in there folks, to keep the Devil Rat calm. But never you fear, he's safe in his cage. No hope of escape or injury there. The Keeper is the only one in danger here today, folks.

As you process through the line, stay in line! Stay in line! You'll have the chance to peer into the cage so cleverly constructed by the Keeper. Yes, it may indeed look like an average Rubbermaid storage bin, but the Keeper ensures us that it is indeed especially constructed to hold the terror that is the Devil Rat! For the Devil Rat cannot climb its sides and so stays on his structures below. As you pass the Devil Rat's enclosure (Hands to your self! Stay in Line!), the Keeper will lift the lid and allow you to peer inside.

Now! You may have heard the unsubstantiated and wholly false rumor that this Devil Rat is nothing more than a Syrian hamster! Do not be fooled by those who are jealous of our World Renowned Exhibitions! Nothing but the best for you today here, folks! This is no hamster scuttling out from under his bedding! This is no diminutive rodent rearing up on his hind legs to bare his teeth at you!

This is the one and only Devil Rat! What hamster ever displayed such clear markings of black and white? What hamster ever displayed such agility? Leaping over logs and scurrying across bricks to launch himself at the Keeper's hand with such fortitude? We all know, folks, how docile and friendly the average hamster is. Why, children even keep such animals as pets! No so with this rare specimen!

Spare some time as you pass through the curtain just behind me so that the Keeper can tell you her story! How she originally was misled to believe that this was indeed a hamster, and how she constructed a complicated tubular complex for the little menace. Give her just a moment of your time (Just a nickel, folks!) to allow her to tell you how the Devil Rat would attack her from INSIDE the tubes when she changed its water! Eventually she realized that this was no ordinary hamster, as you can see from him limber and agile form, his muscular torso, and his pointed teeth of destruction! So she disassembled the complex, putting her very life at risk as she did so, because the Devil Rat was INSIDE the tubes as she pulled them apart.

The Devil Rat is in his new habitat and with this Keeper as a limited engagement! Time is short! Only a nickel, folks, for this once in a lifetime opportunity! Tell your kids and grand kids that you saw the Devil Rat, the one and only Devil Rat In Person! A tale for the ages! And only a nickel!

Horrible part is though that the youngest daughter adores this little creep. And I'm supposed to hand tame it. Stallion? No prob? Wild Buffalo? OK, it worries me but I can slide food to it. Hamster? Yikes! It hisses and squeals to itself in preparation of my hand entering the "Training Bin" as the hamster aficionados on the web call this thing. (On the other hand, since it has no tubes, it's not peeing in the tubes, so that's one thing in its favor. I think.)

(Edited to add pictures. I like to call the first picture "Kung Fu Rat." Except for this last picture, he's hissing at me in every one. I can't really blame him for hissing at me in the towel, but I felt as if the post deserved a close-up of his teeth. Which as of yet have not made contact with my skin. Hurrah. And the second picture, where he looks to be leaning oh so casually against his fiber hide out, kicking back, so to speak? Yeah. NOT! That's him on his hind legs showing me his teeth as he prepares his attack. He really deserves a movie instead of stills. Even I think he's cute in these pictures. Humph.)


CindyS said...

HEY!! I paid my nickel!! Where's the pic?

You are a brave one although I have always wanted a dwarf teddy bear hamster. Then I think of cleaning it's cage and it probably only living for a short time and figure I'm better off.

Hand taming. Ouch.


Megan Frampton said...

Yeah, where's the pic?

Devil Rat--sounds like a Regency-set rake kinda guy.

Suisan said...

OK. You got pictures. You happy?

Perhaps he is a tamable Regency hero. But to Regency heroes bite? (I guess the vampiric ones do, yeah.)

Bev (BB) said...

A hamster is the only thing of Amy and Mark's that ever bit me. Was a female, too.

Devil Rat indeed. :D

Told you to get gerbils, laws be hanged. Loved those gerbils. Hehehe.

sxKitten said...

I've had numerous hamsters, mice, gerbils and guinea pigs. The only ones that bit? Hamsters! Evil critters, they are. Lovely photos, though.

Suisan said...

I do love gerbils. Sniff.

(If I superglue a tail on this thing, does it become a sweet and pleasant gerbil?)

Bev (BB) said...

Amy says to get him plenty of wood wedges to chew pronto so he won't eat the cage. Why we preferred metal or glass cages for rodents. We had rabbits at one point too.

You can get wood for them to chew from the pet store but those untreated wood wedges from the hardward store work just as well considering how fast the little Devil Rats go through them with those teeth of theirs. Makes their own bedding that way, too. And they actually like that part. Tends to calm them. :D

CindyS said...

OMG!! He's the most darling little guy I've ever seen!!! You call those little nibs teeth!? ;)

My first cat was dropped at a pet store I was working at - I have no clue how old he was but we had to bottle feed him for weeks afterwards. I remember the first time he bit me - you would think such tiny teeth wouldn't hurt but I swear that tooth sunk clear through my thumb to the nail - hurt like an SOB.

I hope that you can find a way to get him to calm down - biting animals are no fun.

The cat I mentioned is now 15 years old and can still come up behind me and sink his teeth into my wrist. We think because he was so young when he was abandoned that he never learned that biting hurts. He lives with my mom and dad and for years after I was married he would stalk me around the house until no one was paying attention and then latch on - broke skin a few times - I figure he was mad because I left. Now, he will sit by me and let me pet him for about 10 minutes, then he goes into attack mode. Poor guy has been locked away from me on occassion. Luckily, I'm the only one he will attack but he will do his arched back dance around others. And he has the nickname of Devil Cat.

Good Luck!!


Doug said...

I've been bitten by mice and white rats. Brown rats, never. But we always had the most problems with our Brazilian Rainbow Boa, Elissa. The bitch! I think she even bit herself a few times.

Those photos are CUTE. The first one reminded me of "hamster style," the martial arts discipline alluded to in Trey Parker and Matt Stone's movie, "Orgazmo". (I'm not making any of that up.)

Suisan said...

I've had at least two cats drive a tooth right through my fingernail into the finger beneath. Cat bites *HURT*.

I'm not saying that the hamster is that dangerous, I'm just saying he needs a movie. He photographs as adorable when he's actually racing around his enclosure muttering to himself and screeching in fear. I can ignore him, but the kindergartner is going to get chomped on if I don't get this thing calmed down.

Lyvvie said...

He is just so cute in the first picture, a wee fluffy, cheek stuffing bundle of furry cuteness. But I believe you he's nasty. I love gerbils, but hamsters always bite. And if you wake them when they're sleeping - hell have no mercy for a hamster disturbed.

I wish you well and urge you to get one of those clear ball things to stuff him in so he can go cat bowling.

Da Nator said...

It's always the cute ones...

How are you supposed to train him not to bite you? Does anyone use a clicker with a hamster?

Suisan said...

You train him not to bite you by offering him your hand over and over.

And then you put sunflower seeds in hour hand so he can climb into it and not bite you.

There's a part of me which is not so clear how this trains him NOT to bite, but OK. Last night he let me touch his back without screeching, and I held my daughter;s finger in my hand and stroked him with her finger, so she's all excited that she petted him.