When my daughter left for college she left behind her pet rats Luna and Malka. If you've ever had rats you know what great pets they make. Albino rats have been bred since the early 1900s for their docile natures, thus what's followed is totally different than NYC sewer rats (although if you cleaned up those little fellows who knows how well behaved they'd be?).
Domesticated rats bond with you. For instance, when I sit at my computer Luna sits beside me while I scratch behind her ears; she responds by closing her eyes and making teeth chattering noises (a rat's bliss). Malka is the more active rat, but when she's feeling affectionate, she'll patiently groom Tom's nails. Both wait to hear my car at night then scurry to greet me at the door when I come home from work.
Lately, they've taken to nesting under the orange couch. I found this out the other day when I walked into the room and thought, "Now, why is that dishtowel moving across the floor?" I looked under the couch and saw a pile of old newspapers, dishtowels and rags wrapped around each other in a huge rat's nest. I had to take it apart yesterday, it was getting so big, and then this morning I found they'd dragged all the folded laundry under the couch to start again.
Nothing makes me happier than waking up in the morning and saying hello to my rats— nothing, that is, except for writing this blog, which has cheered me beyond belief, giving me a way to deal with my own rat's nest and the day-to-day of missing my kids.