“There are two types of people”, explains final year student Sanne as her grey rat Iggy sits on her head. “Those who detest rats and those who are mad about them.” Two guesses as to which group Sanne belongs to!
Rats still have a bad reputation. “I don’t understand why,” sighs Sanne. “People associate rats with disease and dirt. My experience doesn’t support that. Iggy is incredibly smart, with his beady eyes and his silver-grey fur. He has good manners, he’s very friendly and he can wind you round his little finger if he wants a treat. And he grooms himself more often than the average cat.”
When friends call round, they sometimes get a fright when they see Iggy. But they often change their minds when they get to know the rat better. “One of my fellow students was so impressed by Iggy’s cuddle factor that he has bought himself a rat too. It’s fantastic to be able to help spread the word: rats are really cool pets.”
Iggy is an active little creature. “Rats are very inquisitive and intelligent”, says Sanne. “While I'm studying, he usually sits on my shoulder. During my classes he’s alone at home and stays in his cage. Then he likes to lounge in his soft hammock or nibbles on the remains of a salad I didn’t manage to finish at lunchtime. Ever seen a rat enjoying a crouton? Very zen. Recommended!”