Today is a good day for me -- it's World Rat Day! Click on the link if you want to learn all about this unofficial holiday that celebrates rats as companion pets. I have to be honest, I've never owned a rat in my life. I've only had hamsters when I was growing up. I was always a little freaked out about rats. Some of my friends have them and tell me they make terrific pets.
A Fancy rat is a domestic brown rat. Domesticated rats are different than wild rats. Fancy rats can differ in color and can be white, multicolored, even blue. Most wild rats are brown, gray, or black. It's believed that Fancy rats are easier to tame than their wild counterparts. They also live longer because they're protected more. Pet rats can live 2-3 years, whereas wild rats live about an average of one year. A Brown rat is a wild rat that's also called a Norway rat. These are the most common and live anywhere humans live. Rats will eat almost anything. Studies have shown that they like scrambled eggs, macaroni & cheese, and cooked corn. Their least favorite foods are raw celery, peaches, and raw beets.
My first picture book, A New Job for Dilly, is about a little rat who loves pickles. Dilly loves sour pickles so much that he sets out to find a job so he no longer has to steal them. His adventure takes him from A through Z until he finds the perfect job that allows him to enjoy his pickles. Dilly is a Brown rat because he lives out on his own in the wild. A New Job for Dilly is the first of a three book series. It's illustrated by Lisa Oakman and published by 4RV Publishing LLC. It will be released at the end of April 2009 and you can pre-order it now. Just click on the little book icon to the right of my blog. Dilly is absolutely thrilled that there's a special holiday just in his honor. How about you -- have you ever had a pet rat?