Rattie Ratz Rescue: Remembering Rats Monty and Bucky

by Daria Filimonova

Daria Filimonova is a volunteer with Rattie Ratz Rescue.

Monty and Bucky (formerly Motley and Crew) were both adopted in January of this year. When the two boys were adopted by Lindsey, they were already considered senior gentlemen as both were born in 2020. That did not stop Lindsey from wanting to provide a loving home for the pair where they could live happily until their passing.

Lindsey remembers Monty and Bucky as two "calm, chill rats" who had two distinguishing personalities. The boys were given up by their previous owners because their daughter lost interest in taking care of the rats, and the parents did not have time for them. Luckily for Monty and Bucky (as renamed by Lindsey), Lindsey had previous rat experience and was looking to adopt.

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Lindsey first heard about rats when she was in middle school and another girl brought a rat to a youth group event. Lindsey was intrigued by the rats behavior. She noticed they were more personable than gerbils, which she had kept before. From there, her adventure into the world of pet rats began.

Monty and Bucky

Monty and Bucky were Lindsey's ninth and tenth rat that she’s owned. Lindsey remembers Bucky as an unusual fellow in terms of how relaxed he was. "He basically would not move as long as a person was holding him," Lindsey notes. "It was crazy how he would just sit calmly on me while I was using the computer." As mellow as Bucky was, he had a feisty side that came out when he was getting food. Lindsey says that he would eat only inside his cage and reveal another side to him, "He would grab the food really fiercely and sometimes gave people a little scare that way." Bucky also enjoyed free roaming on the deck or in the bathroom, as did his brother, Monty.

Lindsey remembers Monty as a more energetic rat that enjoyed exploring and getting treats. Lindsey notes that Monty would "move his mouth all the time so it looked like he was talking without making any noise.” His brother was an extreme talker. Lindsey remembers that when she first got Bucky and Monty, Bucky would squeak when being picked up. He remained talkative, always making all kinds of sounds like chattering and squeaking. "He would start talking when you picked him up and keep at it for a while," Lindsey says. The brothers enjoyed bringing paper and cloth into their hammock, as much as possible to stuff in. "The hammock had a roof, so it would end up stuffed like a pillow with a hole in it where the door was." Although Lindsey says the boys were not as good at building beds as her female rats were, we think they get an “A” for effort.

When asked about her experience owning rats, Lindsey opened up about the commonalities between rats and humans. "We have a lot in common with them. We like the same foods, too. My friend said it was funny that the rats used to fight during the night and then snuggle together during the day, and I was like, well, people are like that, too." 

Speaking of food, Lindsey recommends feeding rats a healthy diet including fresh vegetables and other ingredients. In fact, Lindsey got unlucky and bought an expired bag of rat food from the pet store which smelled "of rancid oil," and she did not realize it was expired while she had Monty and Bucky. Luckily for the boys, they were treated to other foods such as vegetables, fruit, eggs, rice, corn, and the list of yumminess goes on. Lindsey did not know what the rat food was supposed to smell like so she did not suspect it was expired, but she noticed that Monty and Bucky, and some rats she pet sat, all hated the food she had. So here's a reminder to check the expiration dates on your pet food when buying!

Lindsey wanted to adopt from Rattie Ratz because she believes in helping animals. "I think it's weird when people say they like animals, but they don't want to help the ones that need help," she confides. That is why she prefers adoption over buying from pet stores or breeders. Lindsey points to the many rats that need homes in rescues and shelters and does not want to support stores and breeders "breeding more rats than anyone can take care of.”

When asked if she would keep pet rats again, Lindsey says that her original plan was to provide a home for elderly rats starting with Monty and Bucky. Both the boys seemed to pass from old age; Monty had slowed down and stopped climbing, and Lindsey motivated him with applesauce, eggs, and yogurt. When Monty passed, Bucky stopped eating a week later, either from heartbreak or old age, and passed away soon after. Lindsey had planned on adopting another male rat to keep Bucky company, but the timing did not work out. "I was thinking I could have sort of a chain of elderly male rats and become a sort of rat hospice, but it didn't end up happening," Lindsey says.

As it stands, Lindsey thinks that after keeping ten rats over the years she is ready to end this chapter. While the pros of having rats were enough to keep her hooked for this long, there's a list of cons that are driving her towards a new path. "I don't think I will have rats anymore because I am kind of allergic to them and because it makes it hard for me to go on trips away from home." Lindsey's housing situation is changing as well which makes it difficult to adopt at this time.

Although Lindsey is saying goodbye to rats, we at Rattie Ratz want to thank her for providing a loving home to Monty and Bucky, we are sure they loved the time they spent there and all of the food!

If you would like to know more about Rattie Ratz Rescue or find out about upcoming information/adoption events, please visit our Facebook or Instagram. If you are interested in adoptable rats or volunteering for Rattie Ratz Rescue, visit their website at www.rattieratz.com

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from Feral Paws. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. We also have a special Facebook Group for our pet articles--join and never miss a pet article.