Rattie Ratz Rescue: Life Is Better with Rats

by Jeri Lawson 

Jeri Lawson has been a Rattie Ratz volunteer since 2016. She lives with her partner Geoffrey and her dog, Berkeley, in Oakland, CA.

Life is good, but it is better now with rats!

After over a year of not having rats, I started fostering again in December 2022. The renovations on my condo were completed, the heater was installed and working, so I was ready.

All rats, or new groups of rats, have to be isolated from other rats for two weeks to make sure they do not have contagious viruses or other sicknesses before they can be bonded with other rats or adopted out.

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My first rat was the amazing Miss Elizabeth Bennet, though I only had her for two weeks. Miss E had a rough start in life, yet she was very gentle and sweet. She was driven directly to my Oakland condo from Petaluma by the wonderful woman who found her and called Rattie Ratz for help. She is a gorgeous black and white hooded rat with the most beautiful pink tail. When she arrived, she was so scared and nervous that she would not take food from my hand, but I eventually found out she was a picky eater in general. It is still amazing to me how each rat has such strong food preferences. 
Miss E

It took her a few days to feel safe enough to venture out onto my lap and a whole week to take food from my hand. That is a long time because I tried every fabulous treat in the book: carefully sliced avocado, cashews, organic corn chips, and bananas. Once she felt safe, though, her personality blossomed. Soon she was running out of her cage, happy to explore my lap and discover the world. She was very coordinated and agile, so I let her climb all over her cage. It was delightful watching her come out of her shell, and she seemed to enjoy my company.

She was the perfect rat, though I will admit I think all rats are perfect in their own way! 

Miss E found a wonderful home, with a new rat friend, in Marin, California, on the 14th of December. I only spent two weeks with her, that time was a gift. 

Very soon after Miss E left, I was asked to take in two sanctuary rats. Anatoly (named after chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov) and Schultz (named after Paralympic medalist Mike Schultz).

Anatoly is a black Berkshire rat, and Schultz is a beautiful Himalayan. It was determined that adoption would not be the best path for them because Schultz has only three legs and half a tail, due to injuries he sustained while his mother was giving birth. While he is currently healthy, his old injuries may cause medical problems in the future, he is still very mobile and explores all areas of his big cage - hammocks, ladders, everything. I set up his cage for easy accessibility, but besides the padded ladders, he does not seem to need special accommodations. Schultz likes to hide in the fleece padding and loves, loves, loves to lick watered-down peanut butter from my fingers. He is adorable!

Anatoly is super interactive, has higher energy, and needs more exercise and space. He does not have great balance, so I do not let him scale the sides of the double Critter Nation (a big rat cage) as I did with Miss E. He is so happy, really smart, and enjoys blanket diving. He’s a great companion for his three-legged pal Anatoly.


Both boys are young and will get to live as pampered sanctuary rats with Molly, a Rattie Ratz volunteer and official rat whisperer, as soon as they can get a ride to Molly’s house in Oregon. Once someone volunteers to drive them to Oregon they will leave me, but for now we are having a lot of fun.

The bottom line here is - life is better with rats! 

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.