Mr. Cream, A Sanctuary Rat with Rattie Ratz

by Jeri

The following is a story written by Rattie Ratz volunteer Jeri, who describes her experience as a foster home with one rat in particular. Cream came to the rescue when he was around nine months old, but due to his temperamental behavior and health concerns it was decided that it would be best if he remained with the rescue and was transferred to sanctuary. Jeri chose to keep him as a sanctuary, making her the one most suitable to speak about Mr. Cream, who lived with Jeri for a year before he walked across the rainbow bridge.

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Mr. Cream
Mr. Cream lived with me, my partner Geoffrey, and our dog Berkeley for a year. He was part of the family. He left us on Presidents Day last month (2.19.2024), and his absence is tangible.  

Mr. Cream was a beautiful PEW, which is a pink-eyed white rat. Mr. Cream was also what VP Jennifer would affectionately call a Furry Fish. You can look but not touch. He could not be adopted because he had bitten another Rattie Ratz volunteer. When a rat is deemed unadoptable because of behavior or medical issues, they are well cared for at Rattie Ratz. I find it inspiring to work with an organization that honors and protects every animal’s life, no matter their issues. 

Thirty minutes after Mr. Cream arrived at my home, he had some kind of stroke or spinal issue after I put him in his new cage. He suddenly could not use his back legs, yet he dragged himself into a box on the ground floor. I called other Rattie Ratz volunteers for advice, and we decided it was best to give him 24 hours before we took him to a vet. I felt another strange carrier and car trip would be extremely traumatizing for him.

The next day, he was fine! 

He was climbing all over his cage, slowly getting where he needed to go. He fully recovered in the next week. I still don't know if it was a stroke, infection, spinal or brain issue. He would definitely have bad days throughout his time with us, but he would recover and enjoy life for long periods of time. While with us, he had three rounds of antibiotics and two vet visits. His left eye was often red all around the socket, which would almost clear up, then suddenly appear again.

Cream loved snacks. For the first six months, he would come out of his Double Critter Nation cage (he had a big cage) and walk out on my lap to get organic salt-free corn chips. Sometimes, he would eat them on my lap, but after the first six months, he preferred to take them back to his special box and eat them, returning for more.

He ate his favorite snacks by hand up to his last day. He loved anything sweet and watered-down peanut butter with oatmeal. He really loved small pieces of vegan cheese puffs. We definitely bonded over food. 

He seemed content with having the whole cage to himself and turned out to be a solo rat. This is highly unusual because rats are social creatures. Rattie Ratz only adopts out single rats if they are going to a home with at least one other rat. I felt his spine was sensitive to touch, which may be why he was a biter and I felt being with another rat would not be a good idea. As the primary caretaker of another living being, I never knew if he could have had rats as friends. Still, I had to go with my intuition and the advice of very experienced Rattie Ratz volunteers.

Mr. Cream was a late sleeper. He did not get up for anything until he was ready. His favorite 'toy' was small boxes, and he preferred a box on every level of his cage, which was about six boxes. He also liked low hammocks and would rest his head with his nose in the air while relaxed - so cute. He had two balls with bells in them, and in the middle of the night, I often heard him pushing them around his cage. 

Cream crossed the rainbow bridge at the veterinarians on Presidents Day last month. The night before was a really bad night, and I knew he was in too much pain for any kind of quality of life. After he left, I saw a growth on his body that had been covered by his white hair, and I am guessing it was ultimately cancer that took his life.

What a spirit. I was so lucky to have known him. We miss him dearly.

If you would like to know more about Rattie Ratz Rescue you can visit their Facebook page. If you are interested in adoptable rats or volunteering for Rattie Ratz Rescue you can visit their website:

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 Rattie Ratz. 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.