Author Topic: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!  (Read 2271 times)

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lady_disdain

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Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« on: May 07, 2013, 07:41:58 AM »
Today, Prudie treats pet rats as an "infestation" (in her answer). Further down, in a follow up answer, she states that if someone doesn't mention to the pet sitter that they have rats, they leave themselves open to having the exterminators called!

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/05/dear_prudence_my_co_worker_keeps_cats_and_rats_in_a_one_room_apartment_should.html

Of course the colleague was rude in not letting the letter writer know she also had pet rats but that does not warrant killing them! Would Prudie have said the same thing if it had been a surprise dog? And called it an attempt to reestablish rabies (instead of plague)?

cicero

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 08:07:35 AM »
I dunno - if the apartment was *that* filthy, with feces and urine, then I could understand her thinking that it is a rat infestation and not pet rats. it's not the same as a surprise dog.

and really - the whole letter sounds a bit off. As Prudie says, if the person has some kind of hoarding/hygiene issues, they would tend to not let anyone (especially a co worker) see.

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MorgnsGrl

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 08:15:39 AM »
That whole letter and response seem weird to me. I can't imagine that the rats were running free in the apartment, especially since the cats would probably eat them if they were (??). Clearly a rat or rats living in cages are pets, not random vermin. I don't know what I would do if I were the cat sitter in that situation. If the conditions were truly awful I would be tempted to call animal control and have all the animals removed from the apartment.

Twik

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 09:47:41 AM »
Clearly, Prudie is not into the concept of rats as pets. I suspect she'll see lots and lots of mail about this.

If the conditions really are filthy, and dangerous to the animals, they should be reported to the authorities. However, it might be, from the description given, simply a smelly litterbox, and one of the cats having an accident.

If the living situation is as dire as it sounds - two people and eight animals living in a single room - her workmate has some serious problems. However, it sounds like the writer was already a little ticked off ("I only agreed to do it because of guilt,") and might be overstating things out of her annoyance.
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MerryCat

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 09:52:45 AM »
If it really was as bad as the LW states, I could maybe see calling animal control to have the animals removed from a situation that was clearly no good for them. But killing the rats merely because they're rats? That's not acceptable in any way, shape or form.

For what it's worth, my sweetest, most cuddly pet was a mouse named Sydney who loved to ride on my shoulder, snuggled under my ear. I love my cats but they're not big snugglers, you know?

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 09:55:16 AM »
I was appalled that when someone pointed out that the rats would have been pets, Prudie referenced bubonic plague.

WillyNilly

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2013, 10:15:31 AM »
I think Prudie used the word "infestation" more because the co-worker asked the letter writer to care for the cats. No mention of the rats. Sure some people keep rats as pets and that's fine and all, but all rat lovers need to be realistic and understand a lot of people are not ok with rats of any sort at any time - and that's ok too. To a person who is not ok with rats, walking into a situation with 4 rats is a shock and possibly a terror.

MrTango

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2013, 10:17:50 AM »
If it really was as bad as the LW states, I could maybe see calling animal control to have the animals removed from a situation that was clearly no good for them. But killing the rats merely because they're rats? That's not acceptable in any way, shape or form.

For what it's worth, my sweetest, most cuddly pet was a mouse named Sydney who loved to ride on my shoulder, snuggled under my ear. I love my cats but they're not big snugglers, you know?

Killing someone else's pet rat in their home is unacceptable, I agree.  On the other hand, if I found a rat in my house, I would kill it without any thought about where it came from or that it might have been someone's pet.

wolfie

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2013, 10:30:51 AM »
That whole letter and response seem weird to me. I can't imagine that the rats were running free in the apartment, especially since the cats would probably eat them if they were (??). Clearly a rat or rats living in cages are pets, not random vermin. I don't know what I would do if I were the cat sitter in that situation. If the conditions were truly awful I would be tempted to call animal control and have all the animals removed from the apartment.

A friend of mine who is a manager at a cat shelter has a great picture of a rat eating from the same dishes as about 10 other cats (no the rat was not welcome). So I don't think it is a given that the cats would eat the rats.

oogyda

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2013, 10:42:35 AM »
While I don't agree with Prudie's attitude about the rats, I think it is entirely possible that they aren't pets.  Given the conditions described, the rats may have "appeared" and the coworker is simply not inclined to do anything about it. 
It's not what we gather along the way that matters.  It's what we scatter.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2013, 11:09:57 AM »
I took it as Prudie suggesting animal control needed to be called because of the conditions, and that she assumed animal control would try to rescue the cats but would euthanize (or straight-up kill) rats, even pets.  Which is probably true, unless it's an extremely specialized rescue program.

Twik

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 11:14:18 AM »
Well, the letter writer says specifically that the coworker lives in "one room with four cats and four rats," so I would presume they are pets. If they were just rats in the building, the number would likely not be that easy to determine.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Sophia

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2013, 11:41:34 AM »
I think it is really important whether the rats were in cages.  Rats in a cage/enclusure are pets.  Not, then pests.  If the place was that disgusting, they might have been running lose.  Or, they might genuinely have been infesting the place.  Rats like squalor. 

clio917

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 01:05:39 PM »
I'm with Twik - I think if the letter writer was able to accurately count the rats, they were in cages. If they were running around the room, he/she probably would have said something like "a bunch of rats"

That said, the pet owner was very rude to not tell the pet sitter about the rats. Somebody who reluctantly agrees to fill a cat food bowl and scoop a litter box probably isn't going to be happy to find out by surprise that they also have to clean rat cages.

Prudie really annoyed me with the rats today and the tattoo question yesterday.

Twik

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Re: Dear Prudence does it again - rats!
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2013, 01:13:52 PM »
I get the feeling from her response that Prudie is, oh, maybe just a teensy-weensy bit rat-phobic. She doesn't seem to really get that rats could be beloved pets, not bubonic-carrying vermin.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."