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Rat Bondage?

One day my friend Stacy saw someone walking their rat on the road near her house. The rat, wearing a harness and on a leash, was walking along on the ground, in it's galumphing rodent way. She laughed so hard she almost drove off the road.

As hilarious as a "rat harness" sounds to those of us who are uninitiated to the rat world, such a harness is valuable both for assuring you that you have control over your beloved pet in public and out-of-doors, as well as assuring the public that you have your fearsome rat, "Bone Crusher", clearly under control. And, to be successful, it is said that rats need to start getting used to the harness when young. Accordingly, the smallest sized rodent harness available was purchased.

Even though this was the very smallest size, it is just too big for Eek. Little Eek is now an adult, yet this harness will not adjust small enough to stay snugly in place on her little body, which is unfortunate, as the impulsive and adventurous Eek is the rat that could particularly benefit from a harness. Larger Scribble looks to be a more promising harness candidate. And with her striking black and white markings, Scribble would certainly look quite dapper in this new little lovely burgundy and black number.

Scribble in handFor those less familiar with rats, they can be surprisingly slippery and fast, plus are astonishingly flexible. While Eek is the much faster and more agile rat, Scribble is certainly quite slithery and quick too.

The harness was slowly and gently placed on Scribble's back for the first time and, immediately, Scribble vertically jumped a foot into the air, escaping the harness, then bolted into her cage. Not a particularly auspicious beginning. For the second attempt, many days later, once Scribble had been lulled into, what is for her, a relaxed mood, the harness was placed near her, then very slowly, onto her. Immediately she sprang into action again, and we ended up with Scribble's head through an "armhole" and a back leg tangled in one of the straps. Another week or so passed to allow the previous harness trauma to disappear from rodent memory before the harness was tried yet again. This time the harness was actually on! It was strapped and everything! But only for a mere second before Scribble managed to, Houdini-fashion, slip out of it in the blink of an eye.

Rather than continuing to traumatize Scribble with harness wearing attempts, the introduction of a rodent harness for these two rats has, for now, been abandoned. Clingy Scribble is trustworthy and shy in public, and if startled or scared, bolts down the front of the shirt of the human who is carrying her.

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Blog_post | by Dr. Radut