We had a great time and, as many of you suggested, took a lot of photos with our cat, discussed various pet, planned to introduce our cat (Kali) with Socrates, my cousin's rat (with every possible precaution).
I totally agree that the person who told you to get rid of your cat (even if only for that one evening) was waaaayyyy
out of line.
However...please, please, please...don't introduce the rat to the cat...please, please, pretty please? Your cousin isn't moving in to live with you, or you moving in to live with him or her, are you? That's a rhetorical question BTW (the answer isn't any of my business), I'm just hoping to get you to consider whether there's an actual need
for Kali and Socrates to meet. The example of you and your cousin moving in together is the only one I could think of which would actually necessitate
this introduction, because if it was applicable, neither of you would or should get rid of your fuzzies! If there isn't a real reason, please don't. It's not worth the risk. Pleeeeeease?
I admit it: I'm concerned about the rat. I wouldn't want anything to happen to your cat of course, but I totally love rats
. Back in the 90s I had dozens of them. I only stopped after my last rat, Pestis, died, because I had become allergic; once that happened, as they passed on, I didn't get any more. Now I collect toy rats....
There are people who have rats and cats, or rats and dogs, and occasions where the cat or dog and some of the rats are "friends" -- they play and sleep cuddled together and so on, but in the overwhelming majority of these cases, they were introduced as baby kittens or baby puppies and baby ratlings who grew up together. That's the only situation I'd even consider
trusting, even with tight supervision, letting a rat be uncaged in the presence of any cat or dog.